Written By: Scott Snyder, Joshua Williams, and James Tynion
Illustrated By: Marcus To and Francis Manapul
The events of Dark Nights: Metal have transformed the universe in ways both wonderful and terrifying…and unleashed four ancient entities with the power to destroy it all.
Mystery. Wonder. Wisdom. Entropy. These four forces govern all of existence, and now the godlike beings who embody them have awakened.
All life is in jeopardy, and the only chance the superheroes of Earth have to stop the unthinkable lies in new alliances…the likes of which have never been seen before!
It was pretty obvious from page one that I probably should have read Dark Nights: Metal before I read this. Thankfully, you really don’t need to know much. The Justice League won a pretty major battle, and in the process kind of broke the universe.
One minor consequence of that is the four cosmic world-devouring titans that have been unleashed.
Every planet contains varying amounts of mystery, wonder, wisdom, and entropy. Most have a particular affiliation for one of the four, and that can draw the interest of one of these titans.
However, that’s not the opening conflict. Instead, the genius supervillain Brainiac attacks Earth and neutralizes the entire Justice League without breaking a sweat. Setting aside my concerns about villains having wildly inconsistent power in the DC universe depending on the particular story being told, it was kind of awesome to see a villain just steamrolling over the good guys.
Just as it seems that things are going, uh, less than great for the heroes, Brainiac reveals the real reason why he’s come to Earth: his home world has drawn the attention of the Wisdom titan and is about to be destroyed. The only way to save it is to follow Brainiac’s master plan, which involves creating four super teams of various heroes and villains.
Superman, Starfire and Martian Manhunter search for the secrets of the cosmos in Team Mystery!
Batman, Beast Boy and Deathstroke battle chaos itself as Team Entropy!
Wonder Woman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon unlock bizarre alien technologies with Team Wonder!
And the Flash, Cyborg and Harley Quinn learn the astonishing truths of Team Wisdom!
One of my favorite parts of superhero comics is the banter exchanged between rivals, and these team arrangements allow for that in spades.
There was a lot going on in for a fairly short story. We get the initial smackdown on Earth, the four separate teams working together to save Brainiac’s home world, and how Earth reacts to suddenly losing most of the Justice League. There was never a dull moment, and many classic characters had to bend their personal codes in the face of a world-annihilation event. Some characters die (though I doubt it’ll stick), so don’t expect everyone to be safe just because they are big names.
Due to the large number of characters featured, no single person gets a lot of page time, but that’s to be expected in a story with stakes this large. If you like hero/villain team ups and high stakes battles, this is the graphic novel for you.