Beware of SPOILERS for Dark Nights: Metal #2, Ye Who Enter Here
The Time has Come
After months of Casting and Forging Scott Snyder has potentially revealed the mystery or villain(s) of his first DC Event book, Dark Nights: Metal.
The biggest clue was staring us in the face the entire time: Nights. Snyder has always been quite clever with his puns. Between his operatic book’s ends to his stories, and Bruce’s eye for marketing, there are many a Bat-puns and Bat-items laden throughout his Bat-World. It should come as no surprise then that Nights was a simple play on words.
The would-be Dark Knights referenced in the title are revealed on the final, splash page of Dark Nights: Metal #2. Brilliantly realized by the art team of Greg Capullo, Jonathon Glapion and FCO Plascencia these darkest of knights appear to be more than a match for their Justice League Counterparts.
Counterparts is the key word there. Thus far, Batman has been attempted to subvert the efforts of the Judas Tribe whose goal is to manipulate Batman into becoming a portal through which the monster, Barbatos, enters this world. While Snyder has always written Batman with a good deal of hubris, here he takes that to the next level.
Bruce takes it upon himself to fight Barbatos with the Warhammer of Carter Hall. Despite Kendra Saunders’ warning, Bruce leaps alone into the never to stop the impending wrath of an unimaginable power. This is only possible after Batman is imbued with the 5 necessary metals: electrum, dionesium, promethium, Nth, and finally batmanium.
That final metal is forcibly applied by Scott Snyder’s greatest addition to Batman’s Rogue Gallery, The Court of Owls. Unbeknownst to our Batman, the Judas Tribe has been aided by the Court of Owls. Manipulated into thinking he was in an alternate tomb, Batman is apparently ripped apart thus becoming the Dark Knights.
Where do we go from here?
It’s obvious these dastardly characters are meant to appear evil. But like the artist behind this comic, looks may yet be deceiving. Greg Capullo’s appearance and garb is that of a rocker, biker badass. Clad with studded bracelets and thick sunglasses, he is easily the coolest artist working today. But to say that he seems mean or surly is a misnomer. Unlike his biker appearance, Capullo is a teddy bear. Everyone in the industry is a fan or friend. This is as much a clue to the implications of Dark Nights: Metal #2 as anything: appearances can be deceiving.
The penultimate page of Snyder’s comic shows this isn’t simply the god Barbatos, as was prophesied. The Court of Owls aren’t met with glory, they’re met by ravenous Robins who literally eat them alive. With this comes the reveal of eight Batman-themed figures. Superman is represented by a Batman who’s taken Doomsday pills; Wonder Woman as a Batman-armored Ares.
Every one of DC’s current Justice League line-up has a BDSM-themed Batman opposite. Here, the true Heavy Metal behind this event is revealed. These characters, and their incredible designs, are the key players. At the forefront is a leather-soaked Batman with three Robins in tow. This is the character who is most closely-associated with Batman himself. However, therein lies a clue. With only three Robins, Snyder may be leaving us breadcrumbs to how these characters will be stopped. As we know, Bruce has had four Robins in current continuity. Whether it’s Damien or Dick that’s left out of the fun there’s something to be said for this oversight.
Why, whatever does this mean?
There are quite a few clues left by Snyder in Dark Nights: Metal #2. There’s a looming figure that towers over the Batman’d Justice League. We don’t know if this is Barbatos himself but this is clearly the figure pulling all the strings. What is being revealed is that Batman was more than simply a doorway. He is the means with which this world will be tested. Clearly, this Dark Universe that was mentioned in the previous issue has been ruled by a Dark God. Perhaps that Dark God is the Batman in that Universe.
Much in the way the Justice Lord and Injustice Superman have ruled their worlds with an iron fist, this Barbatos has seemingly ruled his with fear and chaos. Snyder has been hinting his entire career that the worlds and persona of Batman and Joker are intertwined. In this alternate Universe they are to be one in the same. With Superman and Wonder Woman incapacitated at the end of the issue, it’s left to the rest of Earth’s heroes to face the coming storm.
The first Dark Nights: Metal tie-in comes in the pages of Teen Titans #12. There, Benjamin Percy begins to lay the framework for the next 6 months in the rest of the DC Universe.
Thanks to Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and their Dark Knights there’s plenty of fun to go around.