Ricky Church reviews Dark Nights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1…
With big, epic comic book events, tie-in comics are not anything unheard of. Sometimes its a bit tedious to have to collect tie-in issues, especially if so many bear actual consequences on the main event itself. Fortunately most of the tie-ins for DC’s Dark Nights: Metal have told self-contained stories that have only marginally tied into the event, such as the one-shots like The Batman Who Laughs that expanded the Dark Knights backstories. Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt, however, relies on the readers knowledge of everything that’s come before and plays more as a Dark Nights: Metal #5.5 than a tie-in issue, making this an essential read as we get closer to the big finale next month.
The Wild Hunt picks up from where Metal #5 left off as the Dark Knights begin their invasion and destruction of the multiverse, hunting down Flash, Cyborg and Raven across universes as they try one last desperate ploy to save the multiverse. Its some pretty crazy and high-concept stuff, but that’s also be to expected with Grant Morrison co-writing the issue with Scott Snyder.
I’ve always been a fan of Morrison and his meta-commentary takes on the comic book industry in his stories. Since Snyder has used so many elements from Morrison’s Batman run years ago, as well as a bit of Final Crisis, its great to see Morrison return to DC for this event, even if it is brief. The parts where Morrison writes injects so much zaniness and weirdness that you can tell it is most definitely his voice while at other times its a bit harder to tell which is Snyder or Morrison. This is actually a good thing as it creates a nice sense of consistency in the script.
Where there could have been a bit more consistency, however, is in the art. This book has four different artists attached to it with Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke and Jamie Mendoza with just as many colourists as well. Each of their art is good, though their styles are so different that it doesn’t create much consistency with the art as a whole. There is still some great imagery, however, especially where The Flash is concerned.
As I said, when Morrison is involved in a story, it usually tends to get fairly crazy. The issue’s story is easy enough to follow (at least if you’ve been reading Metal throughout), though the inclusion of Detective Chimp doesn’t quite get a payoff here, setting it up more for the finale. Its a bit of a strange beat that somewhat detracts from the main story, even as Chimp figures out what the Knights are doing before anyone else does, but the most interesting thing here is the look at the Knight themselves. In the series proper, we’ve never really gotten a great look at these Dark Knights, only finding their backstories in their individual one-shots. This issue, however, examines the group and reveals a somewhat uneasy alliance between several of its members, hinting that perhaps some could be redeemed. Its nice to see them get a little more of a presence, though one does have to wonder if its too little too late for that.
Overall Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt was an interesting issue that was helped by Morrison’s zany ideas. Scott and Morrison’s script was fairly good as they tied Morrison’s older work closer to Metal, though the art could have been a bit more consistent between the four artists. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing precursor to the big finale that sets up a few questions about how its all going to end.