Writer: S. Snyder, J. Tynion IV
Artist: J. Lee, An. Kubert, J. Romita Jr.
Colors: A. Sinclair, J. Skipper
Inks: S. Williams, K. Jansen, D. Miki
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover: Jim Lee
Publisher: DC Comics
Dark Days: The Casting picks up where The Forge left off. Batman and Hawkman are in their respective time periods trying to uncover information on a mysterious metal that runs through the history of DC Comics.
The journal of Carter Hall (Hawkman) is still the more interesting side of these books. All the heroes involved in Batman’s search, uncharacteristically, seem like chickens running around with their heads cut off. Batman is pinballing around the world, serendipitously running into whoever can send him on another task, while Duke and Green Lantern make one foolish mistake after another. I like the use of older characters while adding new mythos, but the story hasn’t become cohesive yet. Every other page tells us how dire the situation is, yet we’re not given any real stakes to worry about.
The art in the previous issue had some problems that just seem exacerbated here. The artist switches are frantic and hurt the narrative. There are some genuinely nice pages, but each artist has noticeably weak moments as well. It may seem like I’m being harsh, but for an overpriced summer event book featuring three legendary artists, I feel like the reader is being short-changed.
Making this and The Forge into a single 64-page event preamble, like Countdown to Infinite Crisis, might have helped this story read better. While inconsistent art and pacing also detracted from the overall enjoyment of this book, I don’t think it’s going to scare anyone, who has followed Snyder’s Batman run this far, away. The premise is interesting, and I’m still looking forward to the main event book, but a quick recap could probably give readers all they need to know without having to read these issues.