Hard to believe we’re almost done with Dark Nights: Metal! Issue #5 checks in with the Justice League’s expeditions and sets up what promises to be an ear-bleeding finale. We went through the first half of the issue last time (you can read it here), but there’s plenty more to dive into this time around.
As always, we’ll spoil the issue along the way, so be sure you’ve read your copy before you follow along. Previously we’ve covered the Forge (parts 1 and 2) and Casting one-shots, plus issues #1, #2, #3 and #4. Join us, won’t you?
Dark Nights: Metal issue #5 was written by Scott Snyder, pencilled by Greg Capullo, inked by Jonathan Glapion, colored by FCO Plascencia and lettered by Steve Wands. Rebecca Taylor was the Editor, assisted by Dave Wielgosz.
My Favorite Martian (Pages 5-6, 15-16)
We talked about Plastic Man back in the Forge annotations, but Page 5 gives us some new information about his origin. February 2014’s Justice League issue #25 tied it into the Forever Evil event, with Eel O’Brien attending a criminal summit in Chicago and being doused with a convenient drum of chemicals when Earth-3’s Owlman attacked. Mister Terrific’s “best guess” that it was related to a cosmic-metal experiment run by the Court of Owls or S.T.A.R. Labs — two polar opposite groups, not that it matters — is probably not unreasonable. Neither is the observation that Plas’s body “super-conducts” cosmic energies.
The Martian Manhunter’s appearance on Page 6 is a bigger deal in the post-New 52 Rebirth era than it might have been otherwise. Joseph Samachson and Joe Certa created J’Onn J’Onzz, Manhunter from Mars for a backup feature starting in November 1955’s Detective Comics issue #225. J’Onn possesses all of a Kryptonian’s powers, plus invisibility, intangibility, telepathy and the ability to change shape. To compensate, he’s vulnerable to fire.
Since J’Onn first appeared almost a year before Barry Allen, he can claim to be one of the harbingers of superhero comics’ Silver Age. Indeed, his Detective backups earned him a spot as one of the Justice League’s founding members. This was part of J’Onn’s backstory until 2011’s New 52 revisions. Instead, while he still had some adventures with the League, when the New 52 started he was a member of Stormwatch. That lasted until 2013, when he joined the government-sponsored Justice League of America. His calling Hal Jordan “old friend” suggests that (as with many other aspects of DC continuity) his pre-New 52 history as a Justice Leaguer may be part of the timeline once more.
We’re pretty confident that Page 15’s revelation about Starro’s five butts is new information as of this issue. However, now we are dying to read a Silver Age-style account of “The Five Butts Of Starro!”
Ahem. As it happens, Starro (along with Brainiac) battled a bunch of Green Lanterns and Sinestro Corpsmen when he tried to take over the planet Xudar in Early January 2017-Early March 2017 ‘s Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps issues #8-12. Counting Starro’s butts was probably not foremost in the ring-slingers’ minds.
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