Bats out of Hell wraps up as Cyborg and the Justice League have to somehow find a way free from the Dark Knights’ prison! But if they weren’t able to beat only four of the Knights, how can they beat all of them?
JUSTICE LEAGUE #33
Authors: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Tyler Kirkham
Inkers: Mikel Janin
Colors: Arif Prianto & Jeromy Cox
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
The Dark Knights from the Dark Multiverse have targeted the Justice League. Cyborg was first to fall, but as the League sought out sources of Nth Metal, Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern were all taken to special bat caves where they faced and were defeated by, their Batman counterparts. Cyborg’s own knowledge of the League and his own computer systems helped this takedown.
What You’ll Find Out:
As Cyborg watches his friends led in chains by the Dark Knights, his Mother Box inside him speaks. The Knights want his Element X and Cyborg has failed because he still retains his humanity. He is not the first one to become like this, but he is the first one not to give in totally to the computer. The Mother box explains that it will erase his humanity and Cyborg will no longer have any fears or doubts. He will finally be able to stop Barbatos and his Knights. However, even as the Mother Box speaks to Cyborg, another voice seems to shout at Cyborg, begging him not to. This new voice wants Cyborg to learn from his failures, to feed off of them, not to erase them. But Cyborg knows that sometimes he has to take one for the team. Maybe giving in to his Mother Box is the way to go.
As the Knights lead the Justice League, suddenly the holographic Alfred starts glitching out. Murder Machine explains his connection is being disrupted. And the reason is Cyborg, who is now standing there, ready to fight! At his command, the binds that held the Justice League dissolve and they engage the Dark Knights. Then Cyborg frees the remaining League friends (such as Dr. Fate and Deathstroke). Then Cyborg finds the one who was whispering to him. The one who argued against the Mother Box: Raven.
Then as Barbatos arrives, the entire League vanishes, needing to find the Nth Metal still. Barbados isn’t too thrilled but the Batman Who Laughs isn’t concerned. He’s killed the League before, after all.
And in the space known as hypertime, Cyborg devises a plan. He’ll need Raven and Flash for this one.
What Just Happened?
I often have an issue with big crossover tie-ins because they usually don’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. This story (as a whole) isn’t much different. We started with the League seeking out the Nth Metal and end up in pretty much the same place. I get why it’s done this way. Companies want you to read every little story that is connected but also realize that some people just want to get a full story out of the core book. But they still often bug me.
This is also reminiscent of the Forever Evil storyline a few years ago that was part of the New 52 relaunch. Cyborg is taken down. He seems out of it. All hope is lost. Then Cyborg comes back and brings back the League. Apparently, Cyborg is the League’s very own Deus ex Machina.
But it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s not bad at all. Just not mind-blowing or a “must read”. As a little self-contained story, The Bats Out of Hell could have been so much worse. The art is very nice (and a lot better than the rest of the Justice League Rebirth series). The pacing is good and some of the splash pages are fantastic to look at.
And if you’re a Cyborg fan, you definitely want to check this one out. Because let’s face it…this may be the Justice League comic, but this was definitely all about Cyborg.
My favorite part? The reunion of Cyborg and Raven. I know they’ve been part of the Teen Titans at one point. And for Cyborg to find her and free her was just awesome to read. The embrace brought warm fuzzies to my heart.
Still, by the end of the book, I found myself wondering what was the point of this 4-part story? I mean…wasn’t there an easier way to get Cyborg, Raven, and Flash together? (I assume they’ll be working on Cyborg’s plan in Dark Nights Metal #4) Also, considering how outnumbered the League was by the Dark Knights, I find it hard to believe they were able to triumph, even with the aid of the “bench”. I think if you avoid nitpicking too much, you’ll enjoy the story. Unfortunately, nitpicking is what I do best.
Final Thoughts: An enjoyable read, but I can only really recommend this if you’re either already reading Justice League (and, like me, too stubborn to put it down), a fan of all things Metal, or a fan of Cyborg. If you weren’t reading Justice League before now, this one probably won’t be enough to make you start.