This review contains minor spoilers.
What the hell have Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV done to me? Just when I thought Dark Days: The Forge #1 would be one of the single greatest issues of the year, they punch me in the face with the outstanding Dark Days: The Casting #1. Ladies and gentlemen, if these are only primers to Dark Nights: Metal, we’re in store for the comic book event of the 21st century.
This is one of those books that you don’t want spoiled by the Internet, so I’ll try to keep it as brief (and vague) as possible. Following right after the events of Dark Days: The Forge #1, Hawkman continues to narrate the tale and explain the dangers of the mysterious metal and its secrets. His journal entries serve as a warning, but I somehow doubt anyone is listening to Hawky’s pleas.
Elsewhere, Batman makes his way to Greece where Wonder Woman provides him with something special to assist him in his mystery-riddled adventure. Back in Arizona, he meets an old acquaintance and exchanges Diana’s gift for something else. Just what is it and why did he do it? Well, you have to read the issue, because it’s a huge spoiler.
At the same time, the Joker escapes from the Batcave after a struggle with Green Lantern and Duke Thomas. Before he breaks free, though, he reveals to them exactly how his face and body were healed after the infamous “Death of the Family” arc. Interestingly, he declares that he’s only trying to be the good guy here by preventing the Bat from discovering the truth about the metal. Could the Great Deceiver actually be telling the truth for once?
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Back at the Batcave, Batman scolds his two allies for allowing the Clown Prince of Crime to escape. However, it’s soon put aside as the Dark Knight lays down all the pieces of the puzzle, and finally manages to stare into the abyss. What he sees, though, is probably not what he expected.
Like a giant explosion of truth, Snyder and Tynion answer a lot of the questions we had about the New 52 – especially concerning the Joker and Batman. It’s like an onslaught of reveals and OMG moments, as everything comes full circle on these pages. While this event might not solve the three Jokers conundrum, it does adequately address how the fiend got his groove (and face) back.
Unlike many one-shots that only give you a tidbit to go on, in the hopes that you’ll buy the whole cow when it’s released, these Dark Days prequels lift the lid on various mysteries and throw the gasoline over it to further fuel the excitement for the event. After finishing these two books, I’m buzzing and can’t wait for more. I’d say that’s a mission accomplished.
Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, and John Romita Jr. combine their artistic powers for another outstanding issue. Still, though, it’s evident which panels JRJR worked on versus the others. Personally, I enjoy the contrast in styles, but I could understand how it might annoy others.
Put your pennies together and make sure that Dark Days: The Casting #1 is at the top of your buy list this week. This issue shreds like nothing else out there.
Prepare yourself for the one of the greatest single issue comics you'll read this year. Dark Days: The Casting #1 is simply phenomenal.