Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Dark Knights: Metal #1

I thought this series was going to be about how the meta gene is tied into Nth metal and not some fifteen year old metal head's idea of a cool black light poster.

In my version of how this began, Scott Snyder walks into pitch meetings at DC with a huge and obvious boner in his pants and the vestiges of vaginal fluids drying on his chin. This is just to get the heads of DC (whoever they are. DiDio? Johns? Lee? A penis in a three piece suit? two bears fucking?) frothing with excitement. He begins by throwing up his hands and belting out in his best Gene Simmons impression (Gene Simmons at the height of a Kiss performance and not Gene Simmons on Donahue discussing how many women his semen has ruined), "Imagine how much money I'm about to make you!" He then farts up a vague idea (immediately after which Geoff Johns leans over to Jim Lee and whispers, "I thought of that like two minutes ago.") that retcons something in the DC Universe in a clever enough way that the room soon fills with the smell of semen soaking into cotton. In this case, he pitched this: "What if the scientist who discovered the Meta gene only called it the meta gene because his file system was so antiquated that he could only use four letters instead of the five he needed since he really discovered the...wait for it...METAL GENE!" Then he made rock and roll guitar lick sounds with his mouth for five minutes.

"Wow!" growled one of the bears in mid-coitus. "Spuuuuuuuuuurt!" went the penis in the three-piece suit (and Dan DiDio as well). Geoff Johns suppressed a yawn while Jim Lee just kept scribbling all over some art he was working on that was already three months behind schedule. If you're wondering what the second bear thought, he was unimpressed.

"How much more do you have?" asked Geoff. "Perhaps the Green Lanterns can be in it and you can mention all of my great work on that franchise somewhere in there."

"Actually," informed Scott, "I don't have much more yet. I'm going to get James Tynion drunk this weekend and steal any ideas he comes up with. But I have figured out the cover of the first issue! Since it's called Metal, I thought the first cover should be the most metal thing you can think of. And what's more metal than Batman riding a fucking dinosaur!"

"Maybe if he were wielding a battle axe?" piped up Jim Lee.

"Shut the fuck up, WildCATS," blasted DiDio, which is really too bad because that was a really metal suggestion. DC really missed out on that battle axe bit.

"Maybe we can get Simon Bisley to do the cover," suggested the well-dressed phallus.

"No way. He'll stick a fucking dick on it and everybody knows dicks aren't metal." DiDio was always squashing the penis's ideas. Then again, the penis's ideas were always to get Simon Bisley to draw stuff. The penis really liked penises. He was as gay as two bears fucking in a boardroom.

That's the end of my scene. You can applaud if you aren't reading this in a library or on a bus. You know what? Fuck it. Applaud even if you're on a bus. Like that would be the worst thing happening at the moment. Although it might encourage the people doing the worse things, thinking you're giving them some kind of approval for their behavior.

According to the previous two issues of Metal (which were Forge and Casting or just two issues of Forge. Or something. I can't fucking remember. I think I wrote about one of them), the new reason for superheroes is going to be an infusion of Nth Metal into some people's systems. It was never the meta-gene at all! It was just metal in the body! Which seems like a strange mistake to make simply because one letter was left off of a file. Did nobody ever read the file? Did the scientist pass on his report saying, "Here's why people get super powers! I figured it out! It's in this file labeled "META" which for some reason I'm not going to explain any more than that right now or else it will ruin the future revelation that I couldn't actually name the file what I wanted to! Probably because I'm having a heart attack right now! Oh! Oh! I'm dead!" Then another scientist was all, "Oh shit! Don't read that file because it might give you a heart attack too!" And the other scientists all nodded and one piped up, "Yep! That's science!" Then one was all, "What do you think meta means?" And another one was all, "It probably has to do with genes or some shit. A meta gene!" And another one was all, "Can you believe how unrealistic Game of Thrones is this season? How are they all traveling everywhere so quickly?" And another one was all, "Why is that suddenly a fucking problem? It's not like time means anything in that Westeros (I'm glad I'm only speaking that so I don't have to worry about whether or not I spelled it correctly)! Winter isn't a yearly thing but then when it comes it lasts for years? What the fuck is up with the orbit of that planet?! And how the hell are those kids aging so fucking quickly when other people are only spending a few weeks doing their story arc?! And what's up with all the dire wolf ex machina?! I feel like the entire show is going to wrap up when a giant wolf marches in to devour all of the Whitewalkers!"

I guess there will also be some revelations about some kind of Dark Multiverse as well. Scott came up with that idea when Tynion slurred, "And what's up with all this fucking dark matter? Fucking dark matter. Fuck you! What are you?!"

Apparently time travel makes you vomit blood.

I thought the page after that scanned page was going to declare the new age was the Age of the Bat. But it didn't. It declared it was the Age of Metal! After reading that, you're supposed to make guitar noises with your mouth and bang your head and throw up some devil horns. You might even fuck a goat, if you're super cool.

I'm not sure when the Age of Metal began. There was the Golden Age and the Silver Age and the Modern Age (and maybe some other metallic ages I don't remember). Perhaps the Age of Metal just means the time when superhero comics began? Or did the Age of Metal start when Peter David gave Aquaman long hair and a hook for a hand?

Mongul currently has the Justice League battling for their life on his new Warworld. This takes place almost immediately after Mongul was punched into orbit by General Zod, so editorial demanded that Batman mention something about how this makes no sense, continuity-wise. He doesn't say it to help explain it! He just says it because editorial was all, "You know we're going to get buttfucked hard on this by the Fangenders¹, right? You need to get out in front of this shit." And Snyder was all, "Okay, okay. Batman will be all, 'This doesn't make sense!' But then Superman will be all, 'Stop over thinking things, you stupid fucking hypocritical moron living in your parents' basement and not adding any value to anything because all you do is destroy things with your Internet criticisms!'" And the editor was all, "Yeah, maybe that. But tone it the fuck down. You're sounding like Cullen Bunn anonymously defending his shitty Twat Lobo comics on harsh but hilarious blogs offering valid critical reviews."

The Justice League's powers have been rendered inert by...well, it doesn't really matter what by. It's the same old shit as usual. The heroes are too powerful so to create dramatic tension, you remove their powers. Snyder does offer a few ways that their powers can be dampened by invoking red suns and vibration domination technology and Gorgon pasties just so the Fangenders can nod enthusiastically and think, "Yep! Yep! They should have seen this coming! This is just like Justice League #45²! Idiots." Of course, those are the powers with fairly easy explanations for how to suppress them. He doesn't explain how he's keeping Cyborg from utilizing his Mother Box technology. Or how Green Lantern's ring isn't working (although, I mean, really? It's probably just out of charge like in 95% of Green Lantern comic books). And how did he stop Aquaman from talking to fish? Oh, you know what. Mongul probably decided Aquaman could keep his stupid power.

Oh, just so Scott Snyder doesn't feel like he was being too subtle, I got it. It's the Metal Age and the entire Justice League is being forced to wear armor by Mongul!

Some of it is super sexy titty fucking armor!

Toyman has also been captured by Mongul, probably because Scott Snyder needed enemies that the Justice League could kill without Batman getting on everybody's dick about murder. Toyman tells Mongul the name of the toys that will kill the Justice League is Fulcum Abominus. Mongul pulls out his dick and begins sucking it because he's smarter than me and that apparently means something to him. I shouldn't feel too stupid though because why should I have known what a fulcum is? I've never owned a Warworld and seemed to have missed the adolescent phase where Roman soldiers intrigued me as much as women's nipples. I suppose the name means the Justice League will be battling an abominable shield wall? A close formation made up of Yetis? Or maybe just a few transforming robots.

Judging by Mongul and the crowd's reaction, the Aegea Formation must be where the Justice League creates an illusion that they're running away. Either that or this is Greg Capullo's way of telling Snyder to fuck off because he's going to draw whatever the fuck he wants.

I'm not four years old so the crowd chanting "Do not run! Pain is fun!" doesn't amuse me. It does make me question why I've spent so much of my life reading comic books though.

It's at this point during the battle that I need to apologize to Scott Snyder. It's my first apology of the new season but it won't be my last. The problem with writing the critique as I'm experiencing the "art" is that I tend to point out flaws before the artist has a chance to finish. It's like when I'm in the middle of cleaning a floor and somebody thinks they're the next George Burns and says, "You missed a spot!"³ So, um, my apology is that I assumed Snyder couldn't think of ways to dampen the powers of the other Justice League. But he continues explaining how they've all been shut down. Green Lantern's gauntlet has a mini-black hole. And you know what they say about black holes when they're not making anus jokes, right?! Not even Green Lantern light can escape! Plus it's a mini-black hole so don't worry about how heavy and dense it is. Even though it must be even denser than a non-mini black hole if it can still capture light in its gravitational pull. And Aquaman has lost half of his strength to the vambraces made from glass forged in the heat of Apokolips!

Each creature in the Fulcum Abominus has been designed to counter one of the Justice League members. So not only do they not have their usual powers, they have to battle creatures that wouldn't care if they had those powers anyway! Wonder Woman can't even outsmart hers because it has a Cassandra Engine! And we all know what that means! Well, most of us do. Those who don't can always watch old reruns of Red Dwarf.

I hope the solution to defeating the Fulcum Abominus isn't to switch opponents because that's been done fifteen thousand times. Although it would be more original than just having Batman defeat them all after the rest of the Justice League are incapacitated. That's been done about sixteen thousand times. I can't think of any other way this conflict might end. Maybe it'll have something to do with the metal! Or maybe Toyman will have programmed the Fulcum Abominus to turn on Mongul once he's done sucking his dick. He'll be drained and distracted at that point!

Batman comes up with a plan to be eaten by Toyman's machines. He comes up with it the way Dr. House came up with solutions to his medical mysteries. You know how somebody would say just the right word and he'd sort of glaze over into a fugue state for a few seconds before snapping back and yelling, "I am a genius! You people are all idiots! And this show shits on the scientific process to pander to people who believe intuition is some magic panacea that comes out of the ether!" Anyway, Wonder Woman says "Formation" and Batman is all, "That's it! Formation! These machines were formated by Toymanster! If I reach into the gaping maw of this one, I'm sure to find a WayneTech Emergency Shutdown Switch!" Or something. I mean, there is a button in the creature's throat and it does have a bat on it and Batman does push it. But it doesn't shut the thing off at all. It just makes it eat Batman.

By pushing the buttons in the throat of the creature (which Batman realized by knowing that the command to form the fulcum formation was done by a cry from the back of the throat (because Batman knows everything (which means Toyman must know everything because you can't give subtle clues to people who know everything if you're a dumbshit like me...I mean Mongul))), the Justice League turn the machines into Voltron armor. This allows them to "form up" like the Roman formation and turn into a giant robot. Batman is the head, of course. Aquaman is the balls.

Is that why Snyder introduced the stupid rhyming chant earlier when it made no sense because the Justice League wasn't running? Just so Batman can act childish now? Eh, works for me! I mean, I'm the guy who chose to write that Aquaman was the giant robot's balls.

Instead of saying "ass" on the next page, Snyder inserts the title page and credits. Apparently the logo for Metal is a Satanic Hexagram. Can hexagrams be Satanic? They made it into a six pointed star but not so that it looks like the Star of David. It's got some bend to it. But the star is enclosed in a circle with symbols at each point. Those symbols are combinations of Justice League symbols and the bat symbol. So Wonder Wobatman and Superbatman and Aquabatman and Black Computer Batman and Green Lanterbatman and the other one. It's totally metal. Also the word metal is textured like the bumper on a pickup truck. Is that metal? I mean, it's metal, literally. But is it metal, 80's figuratively?

When the Justice League return to Earth, they find a mountain has appeared in the middle of Gotham. Apparently it didn't kill too many people because the city somehow made room for it. But Batman is still upset by it for some reason. Probably because he's thinking about how he vowed to never let anybody else be crushed by a mountain after his parents were crushed by that mountain in that alley.

The Flash finds a door inside the mountain with a pseudo-Challengers of the Unknown symbol on it. It's an hour glass with most of the sand in the bottom half. That's probably not a good sign, right?

Inside the door, they find a cryogenic pod with five people inside. I bet one is a white woman, one is a white man with blond hair, one is a white man with brown hair, one is a black man, and one is white man with red hair! Nearby the pod is Red Tornado. They don't seem to recognize him even though earlier somebody mentioned Aquaman's hook hand. If they remember that, they should surely remember Red Tornado!

The Blackhawks appear, led by Lady Blackhawk, Kendra Saunders. Get it?! She's still a hawk! Oh, Scott Snyder! You're so fucking clever! I bet Geoff Johns hates the fuck out of you. It always hurts to be usurped. I imagine. Nobody has ever been able to usurp me. Or wanted to?

Lady Blackhawk tells everybody that this is the start of an invasion but she can't tell them who is doing the invading. That's called dramatic tension! It's also called bullshit writing. Just fucking say it, you resurrected nutcase! Instead of revealing cool shit, she spends a few pages taking everybody to Blackhawk Island where she has a map of Grant Morrison's Multiversity. She's all, "Nth metal is this thing that's behind all these things. It's such a crazy thing! Hawkman, the most boring hero in the Multiverse after Aquaman, has been studying it his entire lives! Yeah, you heard me right! I said lives! He decided it didn't come from anywhere in the known Multiverse through assumptions and poor science. Unless over the course of all his lives, he had time to use good science? You know what? Who cares? Just believe me when I say it must have come from somewhere else. He didn't know where until he binged Stranger Things last year and Eleven turned over the Dungeons and Dragons map. That's when he was all, 'A-ha! That's the one place on the map I didn't search! The other side of it! The dark side of it! The Dark Multiverse! And now that I've decided that the known Multiverse is much like a two dimensional representation of it, the other side of the map must exist in reality! A Dark Multiverse!'"

"I'm not the worst," mumbled Aquaman.

Ha ha! Wanting proof! How silly!

I like how Kendra wanted proof of Carter's theory which caused Carter to want to prove her wrong. What the fuck does that mean?! You don't prove somebody wrong who just wants some evidence that your theory is reality! You just prove your stupid theory. I already hate this new version of Hawkman. Yes, I'm biased because I've hated every version of Hawkman so I didn't have far to go to hate this one. But I hate him more passionately than I ever hated the other ones and I haven't even met this one yet! The other ones I just sort of hated for no real reason. This one is a scientific idiot.

Kendra isn't much for science either. She just found the word wagon over and over again because a wagon would carry a dark beast named Barbatos from the Dark Multiverse into the Non-Dark Multiverse. And then she decided that Wagon was the root of the name Wayne (you know, wainwright? Wains! Wagons!) which must mean that the Wagon was Batman and he was the bad guy. That's when the Blackhawks pull their guns on Batman. But they don't shoot him in the face for some reason. Some heroes they are!

Red Tornado begins screaming about the door being left open which probably saves Batman's life. He then flips the fuck out which means he'll be dismembered in a few pages. His stories always end in dismemberment.

Batman steals Kendra's Nth Metal and races back to the Batcave to destroy the Multiverse in the pursuit of knowledge.

The Nth Metal reveals Carter Hall's diary hidden in Wayne Manor. It's there to tell Batman he was right to pursue whatever he's been pursuing. The mysteries of the Nth Metal, I guess. And once he's been proving right, he's visited by Dream of The Endless. Well. I guess Snyder can still surprise me without me needing to make a snarky comment about how dumb his twist is. I don't know why Dream has appeared but it's pretty cool that he's been allowed back into the regular DC Universe.

I'll say this about Metal: it's entertaining and interesting. But it's also built upon the dumb shit that Scott Snyder likes to build his retcons. So far we've learned that the Meta-gene is actually the Metal Gene because Nth Metal is behind all superpowers. We also learned that Nth Metal couldn't have come from anywhere in the DC Multiverse so it must have come from the other side of a two-dimensional representation of the Multiverse. I know that's just a metaphor but I bring it up because it's a metaphor from Stranger Things. The other big twist is that Wayne means wagon. In both the meta/metal and wagon/Wayne plot elements, we see the thing Scott Snyder bases almost all of his stories on. He starts small by looking at words and their meanings to expand those observations into a bigger story. Usually I'm just annoyed by them. But this time, he gets to really fuck around with the DC Universe by making this Nth metal/meta-gene connection and I'm always up for a good buttfucking of the DC Universe.

Oh yeah! How can I mention all the word play without mentioning the Dark Nights title of the series? Oh, probably because it's been used before. But this time it's the Dark Nights bring the Dark Knights of the Dark Multiverse! It's boner and/or lubrication inducing!

¹"Fangenders" is my inclusive term for what was once thought of as Fanboys. Being an obnoxious comic book know-it-all knows no gender boundary.
²I don't actually know what happens in Justice League #45. But if you were instantly angry at my lack of knowledge, you're a Fangender. That was the whole point, dum-dum!
³I have a floor cleaning business. This isn't just an analogy of a thing I rarely do. It happens all the time. I'm getting angry just thinking about it! I should probably footnote George Burns as well but what's the point? You have access to the fucking Internet, lazy!