Today’s Metal #4 And Batman #37 Battle for the Craziest DC Comics Moments (SPOILERS)
Two comics out today. Dark Nights: Metal #4 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the team that brought you over four years worth of New 52 Batman stories and created a legendary run. And Batman #37, by Tom King the current Batman twice-monthly writer with Mikel Janin, with its own sort of tabloid schlock crazy mixed with structural poetry. And together they are trying to bring you the maddest moments of DC Comics right now. So who wins? Well, let’s break it down.
Batman #37 sees Superman and Batman go on a double date with Catwoman and Lois Lane. Hang on , I typed that wrong, Superman and Lois Lane go on a double date with Batman and Catwoman. Is that better? Maybe I had it right the first time.
And the circumstances involve going to the fair on a night where you can only get in as superhero cosplayers. But they don’t want to actually look like themselves. So… switcheroo. And Catwoman gets away with it.
The swinging notes present by everyone wearing each others’ clothes are very, very present. Though at no point does anyone in this Gotham fairground say “hey look, billionaire international playboy Bruce Wayne is out dressed as Superman. Maybe he should have been the one wearing the glasses… as opposed to Clark Kent dressed as Batman. Who doesn’t actually need glasses. And so is wearing them for no apparent reason.
Meanwhile Metal #4 is taking all the dark dimension versions of Batman and other superheroes that have been plaguing the world under the direction of the god Barbatos, and reinterpreting them as untold stories. Which they are, but that’s a hell of a meta way to do it. And using Lucien’s library or untold stories from Sandman to do it – and justifying Daniel’s involvement in this story for more reasons than his Hawkman lineage. And now their stories are being made real within the Metal story – but because they are also being told as comic stories, and thus no longer untold and are leaving the library. Which is ridiculously meta.
Batman is playing up the double date dynamic when you are not only trying to impress a date but also trying to beat out our companion’s performance with their own date in order to make yours better. Except this is a Test Your Wight machine run by someone dressed as Lobo and the person in question is Superman dressed as Batman wearing glasses.
While Metal is telling the origins of the DC Universe as if it were a religious text, with the Monitor, Anti-Monitor – and a third as yet unknown being.
Metal sees the return of Starro The Conqueror, with editorial notes to stories that haven’t actually been told – and so possibly may be found in Lucien’s library. And a response by the creative team that is essentially, they don’t care.
Batman and Superman are challenging each other over their relationships while playing a fairground baseball machine. Which framed by pop-art blown up dots making everything look more comic-book-like than ever.
But before long that’s been forgotten and they are just challenging each other over physical prowess. Batman convinced he could beat Superman. And Superman convinced he couldn’t. And this now becoming the dominant theme for both on their date, the women suddenly don’t come into it…
While over at Metal, the elderly Batman has been keeping a special anti-Superman gauntlet to beat off an army of potential Supermen that has every kryptonite gem, pulling into continyuty suddenly, all of those mad Superman Silver Age stories, reference Marvel’s Infinity Gauntlet, and showing that he can always punch his way out of trouble, ever as an elderly man against many Supermen.
While Catwoman has had a prize cat won for her. And makes a confession to Lois, something allegorial that for Lois is very, very practical indeed and references Lois’ first meeting with Superman. As Superman. Oh and knocking back the whisky.
And in Metal, Superman comes the closest to swearing and calling Bruce the Goddamned Batman. And describing him as hope.
While in Batman, he just sees himself as a bat.
These are just a few examples of course, each issue is jam packed with more. A way to embrace the fun, the joy, the madness of superhero comic books, recognise their lomg histories and go balls to the wall to jam all that in, to one issue a piece.
So who wins? Why of course you, the reader, does… and if you want some actual sanity with your superheroes, today’s Justice League by the equally stellar Priest and Pete Woods, brings it back down for you…
It’s a good time to be reading DC superhero comics, isn’t it?
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