Spoiler Alert: This article has spoilers for Dark Nights: Metal #5. You are warned.
Right from the start, Dark Nights: Metal was promoted as a Batman story. It is true that it depicted the whole of Justice League and delved into the vast scope of DC Multiverse, but, it was central, as we heard, to Batman. This wasn’t really surprising, since the legendary team of Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia were the creators of this event, who had earlier created a character-defining series of Batman during the New 52 days.
The entire reality has been threatened by Barbatos, an evil bat-like being, and also the Dark Knights, which are the nightmare versions of Bruce Wayne existing in the Dark Multiverse. Each one of them is scarier than the previous one. Batman is core to this story, traversing reality and Hell to protect everyone. However, across the event, there is one more character who also hogged a bit of limelight. With issue #5, it became apparent that Dark Nights: Metal is not only a Batman story but, also a redefining event for Wonder Woman.
Right from the first issue of the series, Diana has been included in the book’s core cast. Looking at her role, it wasn’t surprising that she has featured on a lot of variant covers and we even saw a section of her mythology getting a Metal makeover. Once the Dark Multiverse started manifesting itself, and the Earth was further threatened by Dark Knights and as the planet started sliding towards the dark, it became clear that it was a necessary situation for everyone to join the battle, irrespective of how badly Batman wanted to handle everything on its own. It didn’t take long for all the DC Universe superheroes to join the search for Nth metal, to try and beat Barbatos and his team. This effort was led by Diana of Themyscira.
Metal #5 takes this search to its conclusion. Diana got blindsided when she was attacked by a backstabbing Black Adam at the Rock of Eternity, which also happens to be the center of the Multiverse. She was not only attacked by Black Adam but, also by Kendra Sanders who morphed into the evil Lady Blackhawk. With everything pitted against her, there being almost no hope, and defeat staring her in the face, Diana still doesn’t give up. She is not a quitter. She has faith, and she fights. She discovered Carter Hall’s legendary mace, and with just one swing of it, Black Adam is done and dusted.
Just when Diana tried to prove that she wasn’t only defined by her muscular strength, but, by the strength of her heart, yet again, she got distracted and shot point blank by the scariest of the Dark Knights, The Batman Who Laughs. The Joker induced Batman tortures, Diana, verbally. He told her that there wasn’t any hope. He revealed to her the entire plan of Barbatos’ and the vital role that Justice League had to play in it. In essence, he told her that it was a doomed battle from the beginning, and the result was inevitable. He told her that she was a failure. The way things are, the condition of reality and disappearance of Batman and Superman in the Forge, everything compels Diana to listen to him and believe, however, she doesn’t.
Left at the discretion of Lady Blackhawk, Diana showed everybody how she is a true inspiration. With her magical lasso wrapped around her fist, she punches hope and love into the heart of Kendra Saunders. Then jointly they take a great risk by going to the Dark Multiverse to take the battle home to Barbatos. Down there, they are faced with more horror. Yet again, Wonder Woman was faced with a lost battle, this time the opponent being a swarm of dark and deranged versions of her own.
However, this is what brings out the best in Diana, and at this point, the creative team comes up with a single page, which will be remembered as an iconic Wonder Woman scene. Before jumping into the battle, she is unable to imagine her victory, and she asks Kendra to join her in screaming out as loud as possible for them, to ensure that Barbatos and The Batman Who Laughs hear their war cry.
This is truly an epic scene, and it makes the reader understand the raging fires of Diana’s heart. Looking back, it appears as if the entire Dark Nights: Metal series was a build-up to this panel, this moment which showcases the purest true persona of the Wonder Woman, in a manner never seen before in comic books. It all suddenly makes sense. It is clear why Diana was a prominent part of the series’ marketing. This series was never exclusively about Batman: it also had another face of the Metal coin.
Riding on the success of her movie, Diana has been receiving unbelievable focus from the whole world. Her character is symbolized by decades of successful, but, often typical runs, however, Metal evolves her. It bares her to the basics and puts her up on the pedestal of what might possibly be the most important character of DC. It showcases her strengths, and it shows that Wonder Woman’s true strength is her warrior spirit, her ability to love, and her faith in good.
As we enter the finale, it is not clear as to what will happen to Barbatos and his evil Batmen. The situation is not promising for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other DC heroes. However, if they paid attention to Diana, let out the war cry and let hope take them over, they might be able to overcome the dark even now. Years down the line, when people will select their favorite Wonder Woman series, it won’t be a surprise to see Dark Nights: Metal rule that list.