Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dark Days: The Forge #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Something Metal This Way Comes

Written By: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV
Art By: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, Danny Miki, Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper, Steve Wands
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: June 14, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Well, The Forge is here and that means that we're taking our first steps into DC's big summer event "Dark Matter" and at this point.......... I couldn't be happier.  Yeah, we've been dealing with some pretty heavy stuff since the beginning of Rebirth, but really, it's only been dribs and drabs throughout the first year with a lackluster event and a couple of crossover to keep us satiated for what's to come when we finally find out what the Watchmen have to do with Rebirth.  This though, this feels like an event that I can get behind because it's going to be lasting a bit, it has its own series title and from what we've seen, things are definitely going to be coming out of this to get us to our next big dose of awesome in the Doomsday Clock.  Till then though, let's jump into The Forge and see what Snyder and Tynion have in store for us when we look into the dark mystery that Batman has been focused on since the beginning of the New 52.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!;

Our story begins with me getting frustrated beyond belief because just when you think you know what's going on with Hawkman, DC goes and changes his goddamn origin once and again!  Now maybe this is just a ruse and we're only seeing what the magicians behind these fanciful words want us to see, but right now it's tough because when we jump into this book, we see that Carter Hall once again has his reincarnation aspect to his character that was caused by the Nth metal in a damaged Thanagarian ship that crash landed in Egypt thousands of years ago, allowing Carter and Shiera to remember their past as they're constantly reborn throughout time.  Yeah, it doesn't help that we just saw a mini called "The Death of Hawkman" that totally put his ass on Thanagar........... and killed him, but that wasn't branded "Rebirth", so I guess for the time being or until we're told otherwise....... that shit didn't happen.  So yeah, fresh start to Hawkman, where we get to see his classic Earth-2 origin, which may mean that DC is pegging him for some Society action when that finally comes around, but for this story, Carter is plagued by thoughts of visions he's had throughout his many lives, that he sees right before he is reborn again of a dark world, where Batman seems to be the dark ruler of the populace and to Carter's dismay........ he's going to look into what this all means, even if he doesn't like the truth when he finally finds it.

While Carter is searching out the secret of his Nth metal and what it means for this dark vision he's received, Batman is going some searching of his own.......... and man is it totally off the books.  Throughout our many stories of Batman over the years, it seems that he's been researching something that's wrong with the planet and as we see here, it has something to do with the metal at the Earth's core and some frequency that's being emitted not only on our heroes' Earth, but also on Earth-2, which we find out when Michael Holt, Mr. Terrific pays Batman a visit and we find out that Michael's been back and forth between the Universes for awhile now and has been getting readings for Batman and his secret project.  This too gives us future prospects for Earth-2 heroes to join in on some Society action when it comes about.  Whatever readings Mr. Terrific got won't be helpful using the Bat computer though because our hero will need something to act as a compass to find where the vibrations are coming from and we find out what Batman's going to use when he has Mr. Miracle meet him at the Fortress of Solitude to get him into a room that Batman locked and made Superman promise never to look inside......  I'm really lost on what the ramifications of what we find inside are because with the state of our current Monitors in the Multiverse, it seems really odd that Batman would have stashed one of the Monitor's vibrational tuning forks that can merge Universes like we saw in Crisis on Infinite Earths inside........... On top of all this, we also see that Batman has been keeping Plastic Man kept in a metal egg because apparently Plas was deemed too unstable, but for what Batman needs next, he asks Michael to finally let him out.

While all of this is going on, Hal Jordan has been tasked with a mission by Ganthet to travel to Earth to stop some terrible truth from coming to light and the coordinates that Ganthet gives him lead directly to the Batcave.  Inside, Hal is met by Duke, who seems to be on security duty for some reason and after a brief scuffle, the two travel into the bowels of the cave and discover a secondary cave that Batman keeps hidden.  Inside, they hear a strange voice that is driving them deeper into the cave, where they find objects that Batman has kept and has been using to decipher a giant mystery........ like the tooth of one of the Talons that's filled with Electrum, that gives them the ability to reanimate and a vile of Dionesium, which we saw during the Endgame story that could revitalize a person and even bring them back from the dead.  As Hal and Duke walk throughout this hidden Batcave they also find that Batman put together The Outsiders without anyone knowing so that they could uncover more truths about the strange metal that Batman found in Electrum and Dionesium.  Finally, we get to our big reveal, where we find out that Hal and Duke are just more pieces to Batman's puzzle, just like the Joker, who's being held in this secret Batcave and who'd been leading our heroes to him.  

That's it for this issue of Dark Days: The Forge........ and goddamn!  Now, this feels like an event right here, jam packed with characters that I love and a gigantic mystery that we didn't even see the tip of yet.  Some bad shit is going down and like you'd expect, Batman has taken it upon himself to get to the bottom of whatever it is and I couldn't be more intrigued because the answer seems to be something that could make the Universe quake!  My biggest gripes with the book right now are Hawkman and John Romita's art.  Carter Hall is just thrown in here all willy nilly it seems because of his connection to Nth metal and we get a new origin shoved at us that makes anyone who's been enjoying Hawkman over the years look like a bunch of suckers for reading this stories because like we had before the New 52........ his background is a mess and no one at DC seems to be able to decide what it should be......... So they've tried all of them.  As for John Romita's art, it just hits you like a ton of bricks in this issue because the rest of the art in this book is great and then you get to his bits and all of sudden Mr. Terrific has a square damn head and pretty much everything else he does comes off square as well.  That's really it though for the gripes because we had a hell of a setup with this issue that made me really look forward to what the summer brings.......... I'm just a little worried that we had so much thrown at us here that it won't be possible to tie everything up and we'll just leave Dark Matter wondering about things.  Hopefully that's not the case though and DC and the writers have themselves a solid plan of attack.

Bits and Pieces:

Anyone order an event?  Well, if you did it looks like that's exactly what you're going to get.  Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV throw everything at you possibly including the kitchen sink with this prelude to Dark Matter and I'll tell you, I couldn't be more intrigued with what the summer will hold from what we got in this issue.  There's a gigantic mystery happening all around right now and the ramifications could be Universe shattering.  The story was well setup and for the most part, the art was decent throughout....... remember that I said "for the most part".  Go get yourself some Dark Days: The Forge and be reminded why you love DC Comics.



  1. This book got my excitement flowing again through my loins. I also wish they gave just a little more explanation on the Carter Hall. Is this the earth 2 version? Also the timeline seems a little in the future. Aquaman has long hair and the moon batcave is not destroyed any more. JrJr art is a total sore thumb. You can tell he tried so hard to match the rest of the story art.

  2. A piece of metal.. "and they called it dionesium".. goosebumps.. ENDGAME!!! This is gonna be a one hell of a ride. The evil joker is back! By the way, I really fucking hate romita's art.

  3. me: Oh cool! they're bringing back Plastic Man!


  4. Great review, Eric! Thank you for confirming that this isn't really Batman, but Bitch Ass Billy we're dealing with. Just a comtinuation of every bullshit Snyder idea I hated in the New 52. So glad I didn't pick this up. It will be a shame if they let Snyder reimagine the whole DC Universe so much I have to bail on DC completely. But it seems he has carte blanche to do whatever the fuck he wants.

  5. You're missing out Lurching Mike, this book was great. Romita's art seems to work in this issue but maybe the intriguing story has clouded my vision. I keep expecting to see Ulysses every time Romita's Superman shows up.

  6. Great start to something that I hope pays off and is a real event unlike the other "events" in rebirth so far. I hope this leads to a bunch of classic characters coming back and explaining where some have been (joker).

  7. Actually the "classic Earth-Two" Hawkman had nothing to do with the crash of a Thanagarian ship. I found the writing and dialogue particularly poorly executed. The prologue isn't given a time or place (narration or action), then we are "now" and an about to die scientist claims he stayed behind to "protect the discoveries" while others escaped? If lava is overtaking you, destroying your research, what are you sticking around for?

    And I'm not a fan of ONE THING tying everything together. Heroes and their weapons are no longer unique. If Fate's helmet, Aquaman's trident and Wonder Woman's bracelets are all Nth Metal, that takes away from their unique mythos. And to have a "reality-based street-level" figure like Batman somehow installing a cosmic tuning fork below the Supes' Fortress but all done with Big Blue's help, teleporting to a Lunar Batcave.... it was all too jarring for me to enjoy. I love losing myself in a comic but this one kept pulling me out of it.