DC's next big event, Dark Nights: Metal, is promising to head to some strange places. How strange? "The Justice League clad in '90s action figure armour plating fighting in an alien combat arena" strange. And honestly, it sounds kind of great.
Image: DC Comics. Art by Greg Capullo
Scott Snyder, former Batman writer and part of the team behind Dark Nights: Metal, discussed the upcoming series with IGN today. While doing so, he revealed that the series has some seriously wild ties to the arcane world of DC's cosmology, linking Hawkman's own research into Nth Metal — a material that's been in existence in the DC universe since the origin of reality itself — to an experiment by Batman. It seemingly sees the Justice League discover a whole new multiverse, just hiding beneath the reality DC's heroes usually inhabit:
I can't say too much about it. I don't want to spoil too much, but ultimately, I got fascinated by this idea that our universe itself is comprised mostly of dark matter and dark energy. Things that we can't perceive at all, and we've only discovered that relatively recently. So it's almost as if our universe is the foam on the ocean of things that we can't see, or know, or perceive, and yet we feel the affects of those things right and left.
The Dark Multiverse is sort of a completely unexplored area of the DC cosmology that's new to it, but fits in with the cosmology that's been created by all of the writers and artists ahead of me. In terms of what Grant [Morrison] was able to do in Multiversity, with Geoff Johns in Infinite Crisis and all the way down to stories like Cosmic Odyssey. I had a great time re-reading all of that stuff.
Basically, stuff is going to get weird. And not just dark for the sake of it. Despite the name and the above art of the Justice League, which wouldn't look out of place painted onto the side of a van in the mid '90s, Snyder sees this event, something he'd been laying hints out for in his seminal run on Batman with Greg Capullo, as an exploration of new and exciting material for DC, while Rebirth focuses on restoring nostalgic vibes to the company's roster of heroes:
I would spoil so much if I answered that. What I'll say about the Dark Multiverse is that if Rebirth — which has been so good to us and Geoff Johns did such a great job with — is largely about bringing back classic, restoring legacy and honouring the great characters from the past and bringing them back in a way to set them up, then Metal gets to be the bad brother. The one that gets to create all kinds of new stuff. I can say that it affects, or at least the properties of dark energy, dark matter and begin to affect the DCU.
Teaser art by Andy Kubert for the new Challengers and Sideways series, debuted at C2E2 earlier this year.
While we don't know how this new universe will affect Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and the rest of DC's heroes quite yet, we do know it's bringing some familiar superteams and new characters with it in a new Dark Matter line that will spin out of Metal, featuring five new series in the form of The Silencer, Sideways, The Immortal Men, Damage, and New Challengers. But so far, Metal sounds like it's going to be experimenting with some truly out-there elements of the DC cosmic that I can't wait to see someone like Snyder tackle.
Dark Nights: Metal is set to begin later this year.