Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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

The Abyss Looking Back

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: July 12, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

When Dark Days: The Forge came out last month I was all on board with our big summer event and was even thinking to myself, move over Dr. Manhattan, we have way more interesting things going on over here.  It set up a big mystery within the DCU, leading back to the dawn of time and even concepts thrown at us that made it seem that our past continuity before the New 52 still existed in a way that it may be coming back at some point and it all had to do with some enigmatic metal that tied into the Court of the Owls Electrum and even the Dionysium from Endgame. Really, besides for some sub par art and some weird ass shit that I couldn't explain, that issue had everything that I wanted out of the beginning of a big DC event.  Hopefully, that continues here as we head back into the Dark Days with The Casting.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with Hawkman doing his whole journal thing again as we find out that him and other immortals came together at the beginning of the twentieth century to discern what the Nth metal was telling him between each of his lifetimes and what this darkness could be.  Apparently, the Wizard Shazam knew all about the forgotten knowledge of some creature that came to this reality at the dawn of man and who was cast back into the darkness, but desperately wants to return.  For whatever reason, the Wizard gives this sect a dagger that wields the power of Shazam to them as a way to power their means to discover this darker place over the next hundred years as technology catches up with their aspirations, but why the Wizard would allow this to go on, after telling such a world ending tale is beyond me.  

Back in our present time, Batman is tracking down the clues that will lead him to the mystery he is trying to uncover and that leads him to the gates of Hephaestus' forge, but when Wonder Woman shows up to give him a weapon of the gods, that he was given a vision about Batman needing, she tells him that the forges are cold and that the gods have abandoned Olympus because of what is coming.   It's odd that Wonder Woman just shows up out of nowhere here to give Batman Apollo's flaming sword, but we'll go with it because that leads us to the Arizona desert, where Batman's using the sword to gain entry into an underground complex because he's honed in on an energy source that has the same frequency as the thing that's affecting both Earth-0 and Earth-2 and inside we find Dubbilex.  It turns out that this facility was once one of the Cadmus Labs and that they were using the metal of Wizard Shazam's dagger to activate meta-humans, but that it is cursed and brought about a terrible destruction.  Dubbilex doesn't seem to survive through his warning, but instead we're met by Talia Al Ghul, who came to this complex as well to acquire the dagger for the upcoming war that she knows is coming.  In a way that seems like for old times sake, Talia is willing to give up the dagger which apparently is considered the Ninth Metal for Batman's god sword that is considered the Eighth Metal and our story moves on.

In the end, Hawkman, seems to go to this dark dimension that the metal seems to come from through some spacial anomaly that seems created by the wreckage of the ancient Thanagarian ship, while back in the Batcave, Duke lets his emotions get the better of him and accidentally releases Joker from his energy field confinements.  While this is going on, Hal Jordan still can't use his ring in this section of the Batcave because of aspects of the Ninth Metal it seems and the Joker goes on a monologuing spree that really gives us little to no insight about what's going on in this story, only that Batman can't find what he's looking for because it will end terribly for everyone.  It's in this part that we also find out that there's more going on with Duke than him just having Meta powers, like we saw in All-Star Batman, but that he's apparently The Signal, that Batman will use to acquire the answers he's looking for.  As our issue closes, the Joker gets away after destroying Batman's' Genesis Machine, but Duke's abilities somehow allow him to see what it once was and with the help of a duplicate Green Lantern ring, he's able to recreate the machine, with all the mystical and alien artifacts that Batman's collected around it and allow Batman to access the Dark Dimension that he's been trying to get to so that he can have his answers.  He sees nothing though and it's all because of the Dark Multiverse's Batmen it seems, who have blocked him from seeing what's on the other side, but who plan on entering this world instead.  

That's it for this issue of Dark Days: The Casting and where I was really into the previous issue, this dense ass book just really left me scratching my head as to what was actually going on here because every damn character seemed to be all about talking in riddles and being as coy about the information as they could and by the end I left this issue feeling completely lost about what was going on....... besides for something bad was happening.  Not to mention that the jumps throughout time, where Hawkman and Hawkwoman were trying to see what this Dark Universe was and how it tied into their lives didn't really add up to me because at one point, The Wizard Shazam's dagger just falls into the hands of Cadmus, where Talia Al Ghul just happened to be to give Batman the dagger.  A lot this seems to have been going down in this issue, like with Wonder Woman just showing up with Apollo's sword because of a vision and at the end of the day, it just seems like a lot of this book was just happening because and without anymore reason.  I didn't mind John Romita's art in this issue as much as I did the previous and while I won't say that it was good or anything like that, I just think that I didn't mind it as much because of how hard it was for me to follow the story........ The rest of the art was great though.  There's just a lot of shit thrown at you here with this issue and at the end of the day I don't think the idea of the story was properly conveyed and I felt really let down by the end...... mostly because I felt confused and had the idea that I just might be a big dummy and maybe that is the case, but I just expected more here, especially when it came to our heroes talking to one another because even that felt like they were just answering questions with more questions. 

Bits and Pieces:

While I'm all about this summer event and what it potentially means for the rest of the DCU, I can't say that I had a good time reading this dense ass, confusing issue because while everyone is going into this expecting some answers from what we got from Dark Days: The Forge, by the end I just felt like a complete dummy and was left with more questions.  I didn't mind the art from JR JR in this issue as much, but even that doesn't help me because the story is what is really driving this event.  Hopefully, Dark Nights: Metal begins speaking in terms I can understand because right now I just feel completely in the dark about what's going on.



  1. Now that I've read your review, I'm even less interested in this than I was before. Can we PLEASE have gritty street-level Batman back again, DC? I thought Rebirth was supposed to be about getting back to basics. Oh well. . .at least there's Mother Panic for gritty Gotham crime stories, for as long as THAT lasts anyway.

    1. Atleast, This story is far more interesting than the War of Joker and Riddles which is pretty much boring so far.

    2. I least I get the idea that Snyder and Tynion are trying. Maybe it didn't all hit, but they are trying and trying to go big

  2. I'm kind of amazed and confused at this issue at the same time. Just how sheer dense the issue is just amazes me because I'm looking at news articles and posts regarding it and all of them are talking about stuff I didn't really pick up on. Redefining what constitutes a meta? Bringing up future characters? This book is going to take a few rereads.

  3. "The Wizard Shazam's dagger just falls into the hands of Cadmus"

    Talia explains to Batman that Ra's found it in the rubble of Challanger Mountain after it exploded, and that he had sold/loaned it to cadmus for their experiments.

  4. I agree with you. There was a lot of information in this issue, a lot of things happened, and yet, the story is not clear. And honestly I´m not interested in an event from Snyder, especially one that is focused in Batman and a lot of dark Batmen. I´m more interested in the Rebirth mistery, Mr Oz´s identity and Doomsday´s Clock.

  5. I've read this like three times so far there is a ton in here, I enjoyed the story much more than the art which felt dominated by JR Jr, and I'm thing I'm in for this whole shabang it just interests the hell outta me personally.

  6. At the end of the day, I'll reserve my comments for Episode 132 of the Weird Science DC Comics Podcast; at the end of the day, I agree with a lot of what Jim states above, at the end of the day.

  7. Sorry, Eric! Didn't realize this is your review... good job, trying to explain this mess of an issue.

  8. So batman, now that you just went through the years of metal skull torture, collecting artifacts, hiding one of the three jokers, building machines to finally see what needs to be what did you see? Batman "a huge fat pair of dark balls"