The past year has seen DC Comics go from strength to strength, with the successful launch of DC Rebirth: a tremendous, two-year-long arc that has powerfully restored hope to the comic book franchise. It's been a tremendous success, and last year even took comic book sales to a 20-year record. Now, in a fascinating twist, DC is preparing to reveal what fan-favorite writer Scott Snyder refers to as "the bad brother."
And, as part of that, we now know that Gotham City is about to come under attack — from no less than seven evil versions of Batman!
What Is 'Dark Nights: Metal'?
Scott Snyder is the mastermind behind the Dark Nights: Metal comic book event, which launches with a one-shot in August. It kicks off with the Justice League discovering a whole new side to the multiverse we know and love, but they clearly open a door to something quite evil. As Snyder explained:
"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."
DC's Rebirth has allowed the publisher to effectively relaunch the concept of the Multiverse, with the last event, The Button, even featuring the brief return of the Flashpoint reality. Now, though, it sounds as though Snyder is taking this to the next level, exploring sides of the multiverse concept that comics typically ignore.
According to scientists, 80% of matter in the universe is "dark matter" — invisible and undetectable, and yet exerting a force that can be seen by the movement of the stars themselves. Naturally, it seems Snyder is going to be exploring the concept with a comic book twist, unveiling twisted versions of our reality — and even more twisted versions of the heroes themselves. He's unveiling something he calls "the Dark Multiverse."
"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."
Seven Evil Versions Of Batman Invade Gotham
As part of Dark Nights: Metal, it seems we'll see some pretty formidable figures step out of the Dark Multiverse and into the DC universe we know and love. At #SDCC2017, DC Comics has given us our first glimpse of the seven characters; twisted versions of familiar characters, somehow united with the concept of Batman. "The Merciless," for example, is a twisted combination of Batman and Wonder Woman; "The Dawnbreaker" is an evil Batman who wields a Power Ring. Most exciting (or disturbing) of all, though, is a combination of Batman and his greatest enemy, the Joker — "The Batman Who Laughs." DC is yet to show us this deadly version of the Dark Knight, who's sure to be unforgettable.
Here are all the evil versions of Batman we're going to see:
- The Red Death — sporting a logo crossed with the Flash, presumably a Batman who's a speedster
- The Murder Machine — a Batman crossed with Cyborg
- The Dawnbreaker — a Batman with a Power Ring
- The Drowned — a Batman who seems crossed with Aquaman
- The Merciless — a Batman whose logo hints at ties to Wonder Woman
- The Devastator — the logo appears to hint at a link to the Martian Manhunter
- The Batman Who Laughs — a Batman crossed with the Joker
Of course, there's no need to fear, DC fans! Gotham's champions will stand in the city's defence. Things will kick off with one-shots featuring each Batman (e.g. Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1), and we'll then focus on the "Gotham Resistance." The arc will cross over into Teen Titans, Nightwing, Suicide Squad, and Green Arrow, giving a sense of just how wide-ranging this event is going to be.
We don't yet know much about Scott Snyder's Dark Nights: Metal event — but we know enough to be thrilled! He's one of the most dearly-loved writers in recent comic book history; his Batman run saw the comic achieve the impossible, with sales actually increasing month-by-month. Now, it seems, Scott Snyder is standing as the architect of this year's DC Summer Event — and Batman will be at the heart of it!