Why was Batman keeping the Joker in the Batcave? What is Batman’s plan? Will the reader find any of this out?
Writers: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Artists: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert & John Romita Jr.
Colourists: Alex Sinclair & Jeremiah Skipper
Dark Days the Casting represents both the good and bad of comic book events. One on hand it has me sufficiently hyped for the Metal series. On the other, it can be hard justifying paying $4.99 for what is essentially a trailer for the coming event.
Snyder and Tynion have to be careful because they need to tell an engaging issue but they also can’t give too much away. They can’t ruin any surprises from the event and they also can’t give away to many details since not every reader will read the preludes and thus Metal will have to explain things again.
As for the actual issue, it’s ok. I feel the previous issue did a better job of reeling the reader in. The Casting is more like holding the reader’s attention after grabbing it with The Forge. A lot of pages are filled with written words, from dialogue to diary extracts but nobody really says anything. It’s exposition at the same time its jargon. At times it feels like the dialogue exists just to pad the issue out. Certain characters have lengthy discussions over several pages yet say very little. It reminds me of the joke about writing essays for school where you would start each paragraph with “hence therefore on the other hand it can be argued that…”
At the same time I feel like a hypocrite since the few things that happen awaken the fanboy in me that’s excited for Metal. Essentially the issue does its job.
Yet again the issue falls victim to multiple artists. Like last time Jim Lee stands out as the star yet it feels like he might have the least pages. Romita Jr’s art isn’t for everyone but again I quite like it. I feel the blocky-ness lends itself to Batman well. Andy Kubert stands out as the worst here, which is very depressing. His pages are messy. His pages look sparse as large areas are coloured black with shadows covering half the page at times. It would be better if DC chose one artist and stuck with him but they’re relying on star power to sell this issue. Luckily Metal is just Capullo.
Overall it’s a mediocre issue that I can’t justify paying $4.99 for, yet I enjoyed it for what it was.
Recommendation: Pick up the issue – if – you’re a fanboy who needs to know what’s happening. – Otherwise wait for the Metal trade, you won’t miss much here.