In the world of Dark Nights: Metal an underworld is infecting the multiverse from beneath, a creeping evil that’s waited since the beginning of time for its opportunity. Now the breach has begun to defile DC’s primary universe via a mountain that’s appeared in Gotham, and The Resistance takes us around the DC superheroes, seeing how they’re coping with events.

This anthology compiles nine chapters, telling a single story originally across multiple serialised titles, involving an enormous variation in tone as incorporates the Teen Titans, the Justice League, Suicide Squad, Green Arrow, Robin, Nightwing, Green Lantern and others. The distorted Batman has arrived on Earth 0 and let loose the inhabitants of Arkham Asylum to confuse and distract over the first half of the book, and in the second it’s assorted Batmen with the powers of other Justice League members that come into play.

The fantastic sample spread is the work of Stjepan Šejić. It’s rare that there are artists his equal to any project he contributes to, but here we have Mirka Andolfo, Juan Ferreyra, Bryan Hitch, Mikel Janín, Doug Mahnke, Kevin Nowlan, Liam Sharp, Ethan Van Sciver and several more almost as good. For all the problems with Dark Nights: Metal it looks fantastic, and so does The Resistance.

Although his only contribution is a co-writing credit on a Batman chapter, Scott Snyder takes the lead cover credit due to his having conceived Metal, and the plot broadly follows the desperation and staging points he incorporates into the main story. There are failures and disappointments, but there are also discoveries and victories. The most astonishing discovery is that despite switching from one creative team to the next, and despite the primary objective being to run alongside the main feature there’s actually a greater coherence about The Resistance. The story can be followed from start to end without any characters dropping in for a few pages never to be seen again unless their story is concluded.

It’s a rare case that the tie-in is better than the main event, but The Resistance is one of those.