Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Pencils: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, and John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, and Danny Miki
Color: Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper
Letters: Steve Wands
Dark Days: The Casting is the prelude to Metal, which arrives in August. While that comes from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Capullo does not make an appearance on this one-shot. In the prelude, we pick up a bit from Dark Days: The Forge. Duke and Hal are still in the Batcave, Batman is off doing his solo thing, and we’re getting some Carter Hall narration from a journal of his. A lot happens in Dark Days: The Casting and it’s best to read through it slowly. Normally, I’m willing to go through comics fairly quickly, but I took my time with this one and I’m still a bit confused.
Obviously, a lot of people contributed to this book. With that, there are some noticeable differences in the art, but that’s to be expected. Jumping around to different scenes gives the reader a break at times. You can sit with the Talia and Batman scene for a moment before going back to him. The Joker may seem a bit over the top if you run that entire storyline together. While it’s still a bit confusing, I do think this format benefitted the story.
My best guess is that the journals of Carter Hall are trying to point out something that no one else is seeing expect for Batman (and maybe the Joker, but who ever really knows with him?). The Nth metal is where the title for the event originates from and plays a very specific role in the story, but there’s still just enough mystery there to leave you having virtually no clue on what will happen. At this point, I trust Scott Snyder a whole lot, so this one-shot is getting quite a bit of leeway from me.
As far as how this book looks, it’s hard to say that this creative team isn’t peak talent for DC. Despite not having Capullo, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, and John Romita Jr. are all great artists. They each get a cover, too. It’s a nice looking book and you won’t find too many complaints on the art front from me. This is quite the hefty book, and considering how many people are on it, it does come together nicely.
Snyder has apparently planned this story for quite some time. His run on Batman is enjoyable and brings a new aspect to the character. If he can accomplish that yet again, I’ll be happy. I have nothing against his All-Star Batman run, but the New 52 one just stood out a lot more.
Verdict: Check it out. If you read Dark Days: The Forge and plan to read Metal, you definitely need to read this. But if you haven’t, this might help you decide whether or not you’ll be interested in the new story Snyder and Capullo plan to work on.