Dark Days: The Casting #1
I’m not entirely sure why DC needed to give the Metal preludes subtitles, but The Casting is a direct follow-up to The Forge despite the different numbering.
While The Forge benefited from being the first installment of this event, The Casting, has a tougher road as it’s tasked with continuing the build without really advancing too much. If The Casting fails at anything, it’s the extended sense of a buildup with little payoff. In fairness, The Casting and The Forge have both been solicited as preludes to Metal. Bottom line — don’t come in expecting The Casting to start making sense of everything just yet. This is merely a tasty appetizer for what’s to come.
Batman is close to wrapping up one of his most secretive cases that he’s kept hidden from most of his allies. Duke and Hal Jordan try to decipher The Joker’s legit (?) warning and the journals of Carter Hall reveal And how does Ra’s al Ghul fit into all of this craziness?
Writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV get deep into the mysteries of Dark Days with this issue. Upon first read, it’s confusing and a challenge to comprehend. The script is wordy, but most of the characters talk from a perspective Snyder and Tynion haven’t shared with readers yet.
A second read probably won’t clarify a lot of questions, the story does an excellent job of building to Metal. There’s a lot of tantalizing questions being raised specifically with Carter Hall’s role and how he started down the path Batman is now following.
The Casting looks great with Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and John Romita Jr. once again collaborating on the artwork. Kubert handles the bulk of the work this issue with Lee focusing on the Jordan/Duke and Joker storyline. With DC having to constantly rotate out art teams on books this was a pleasant surprise. Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper’s colors help provide that extra oomph especially in the Duke/Joker and Batman/Wonder Woman sequences.
For those willing to fully get caught up in the mystery, The Casting is another eerie and captivating stop along the way to Metal. It’s not the unpredictable page turner as The Forge, but it was another entertaining read.
Rating: 9 out of 10