The Road to Death Metal - Metal Round Up

by Wes Greer on May 16, 2020

Dark Nights Metal Round Up (Warning Spoiler Heavy...Metal!)

If you guys have been paying attention to the DC Comics world then you’ve probably seen all the hype around what is set to be this summers biggest comic event, Dark Nights Death Metal. If you are new to comics, or missed out on the original Metal series, you might have a ton of questions or be completely lost on what the event is all about but never fear as I have all the key info you need to know to have an understanding of what this universe includes and ill be guiding you through the original series as well as its tie ins and what has happened in between that has lead up to death Metal. Strap in, get your devil horns ready, and lets crank this thing all the way to 11!

Hal Jordan is summoned by Ganthet to investigate a dark presence that he senses on Earth, the location of which is revealed to be the Batcave. Upon his arrival, he meets Duke Thomas. As they investigate, they stumble upon a hidden room in the Batcave, where they hear a mysterious voice that lures them in. This leads them to a cell where Batman has imprisoned the Joker.

Meanwhile, Batman has been investigating random frequencies that have appeared across the Earth, which he believes are a part of a bigger mystery that he has been investigating for years regarding mysterious metals and dark energy. He enlists the help of Mister Terrific to collect more data from Earth-Two. After conferring with him, he realizes that he needs to use the Anti-Monitor tower at Superman's Fortress of Solitude to further his investigations

Batman continues his investigation by seeking Hephaestus, the Greek god of blacksmiths, in Athens, but learns from Wonder Woman that the Greek Gods have abandoned Earth. However, she has been given a weapon forged for Apollo called the Sunblade, that she has been instructed to give to Batman. This leads him to an encounter with Talia al Ghul, where he is able to trade the Sunblade for a dagger forged by the wizard Shazam. It is made of one of the metals Batman has been searching for.

Back in the Batcave, the Joker has escaped his cell and appears to have deeper knowledge of the unraveling mystery. He proceeds to smash a machine that Batman has built, claiming that it will herald the end of the world. A fight ensues, where it is revealed that Duke is a metahuman with the power to become luminescent and see light constructs of his surroundings. It ends when the Joker suddenly disappears. Batman returns and explains that he needed the machine to peer into the source of visions he had been seeing from the Dark Multiverse. Duke is able to use his newfound ability to see a blueprint of the machine. Hal gives him his power ring, so that he is able to reconstruct it. This ends with Batman receiving a vision of complete darkness, while a group of dark figures exclaim that the seal has been broken and that the Dark Knights are coming, implying that Batman opened up a door to the Dark Multiverse

The story is framed around the journals of Carter Hall, who reveals a mystery that spans centuries revolving around divine metals that have landed on Earth.[13] He gradually reveals a conflict that has existed since the beginning of time between four tribes: the wolf, the bear, the bird and the bat.[15]

After the Justice League defeats Mongul on his war moon, they return home to find Challengers Mountain, the headquarters of the superhero team Challengers of the Unknown, has mysteriously appeared in the middle of Gotham City. When they get into the mountain, they are met by Kendra Saunders, otherwise known as Hawkgirl, who warns them of a full-scale invasion. She explains the concept of a Dark Multiverse, a multiverse that exists beneath the DC Multiverse, that contains a dark beast named Barbatos. Through her investigations, she has discovered a connection between Barbatos and the Wayne family. Batman is revealed to be part of a prophecy in which he will be treated by five divine metals that will open a door to the Dark Multiverse and allow Barbatos to invade the Multiverse. It is further revealed that Barbatos first marked Batman when he was sent back in time by Darkseid's Omega Beams during the events of the Final Crisis storyline. Despite this, Batman steals Kendra's sample of Nth metal, which is one of the divine metals. In bringing it to the Batcave to study it, the metal leads him to the journal of Carter Hall, discovered to have been in Wayne Manor the whole time. The journal confirms Batman's suspicions regarding his role in the prophecy. He is then visited by Daniel Hall, who warns him that the "nightmare has only just begun.
The whole Justice League searches for Batman. When Superman finds him, he interrogates him. During this exchange, Batman reveals that he has already been exposed to the foretold divine metals in a process called mantling. It started when he faced the Court of Owls and was exposed to electrum. He was exposed to dionesium during the events of the Endgame story arc, when he fought to the death with the Joker. The machine that was subsequently used to resurrect him exposed him to promethium. Finally, when he used the machine that allowed him to peer into the Dark Multiverse (during the events of the lead-up), he exposed himself to the Nth metal. In an attempt to escape the last metal, Batman steals Darkseid, who has been reduced to a baby. He aims to use Darkseid's Omega Beams to go back in time again and prevent Barbatos from meeting him. Unfortunately, he is tricked by the Court of Owls and subsequently exposed to the last divine metal: batmanium. This causes him to exchange places with Barbatos and seven dark versions of himself from the Dark Multiverse.

Superman flies to the Fortress of Solitude where he encounters the dark versions of Batman for the first time as they introduce themselves as the Dark Knights. They all come from the Dark Multiverse—temporary negative realities created by the fears of people from their respective counterpart positive universes—and were recruited by Barbatos with the promise of preventing the end of their worlds. The Batman Who Laughs from Earth-22, who lost his sanity due to his world's Joker, gathered the six other Dark Multiverse Batmen after they each had altered themselves to gain superhuman abilities. The Dark Knights' membership includes the speedster fusion of Flash and Batman called The Red Death, a female amphibious Batman (Bryce Wayne) called The Drowned, a corrupted, teenaged Green Lantern Batman named The Dawnbreaker, a cyborg Batman named The Murder Machine, a Batman known as The Merciless who wears the helmet of Ares, and the Doomsday-infected Batman called The Devastator. Superman is overwhelmed as he is spirited away from danger by the Flash and Doctor Fate.

Superman meets the people who are left of the resistance, including those who are connected to the Nth metal such as Doctor Fate, Steel, and Plastic Man's egg. Nightwing explains how major cities around the world have fallen to the dark versions of Batman: The Red Death attacks Central City, The Drowned attacks Amnesty Bay, The Dawnbreaker attacks Coast City, the Murder Machine attacks Detroit, the Merciless attacks Langley, the Devastator attacks Metropolis, and the Batman Who Laughs takes Gotham City. Suddenly, Mister Terrific interprets vibrations coming from Plastic Man's egg which indicate the coordinates of four locations that need to be investigated. Wonder Woman, Doctor Fate and Kendra Saunders go to investigate the Rock of Eternity. Green Lantern and Mister Terrific head to the remains of Thanagar. Aquaman and Deathstroke go to Atlantis. Finally, Superman has Steel and the Flash create a path into the Dark Multiverse for him through the Phantom Zone. Once he arrives, Superman realizes that it was a trap set by the Dark Knights so that they can harness the energy from his cells to power their doomsday device which would unleash their reality into the Multiverse.

While searching for the Nth Metal at the Rock of Eternity, Wonder Woman, Doctor Fate and Kendra Saunders face the personification of the Seven Sins. Kendra, entrusted with the mission given by the Council of Immortals, tries to fire the Anti-Monitor's astral brain in the center of the Multiverse as an attempt to stop the Dark Multiverse but is interrupted by Barbatos, who transforms her into a dark-hawk version of herself named Lady Blackhawk. Meanwhile, Dr. Fate is confronted by Black Adam, who alongside Vandal Savage, have brokered a deal with Barbatos. At the outskirts of Atlantis, Aquaman and Deathstroke enter the sacred/forbidden burial ground of Atlantis' first king, Arion. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan and Mr. Terrific reach Thanagar Prime where they find long-time Thangarian enemy Onimar Synn has conquered the planet with the help of JLA villain Starro. They have known of the Dark Multiverse's existence for eons and have prepared to “raze the Earth” with a doomsday device called The Phoenix Cannon. Starro neutralizes Lantern and Terrific and the two are incarcerated.

Meanwhile, in the Dark Multiverse, Superman wakes Bruce from an unending nightmare. Overwhelmed by dark Supermen, the World's Finest are saved by Daniel Hall. Taken to Lucien's library in the Dreaming, Daniel proceeds to explain the history of the Multiverse, revealing that alongside the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor, there is a third being: a “Forger” tasked to watch over what had yet to come. Within the Dark Multiverse is a “World Forge” which hammered out universes from the hopes and fears of all living beings (the most stable forming the Orrery of Worlds). Barbatos himself is a great dragon that the Forger kept to destroy unstable worlds. Knowing only destruction, Barbartos killed his creator and the Forge began to darken (as twisted worlds survived). Convinced that there is still hope, Superman has him and Batman head for the Forge of Worlds. However, they find the Forge has gone dark, and are confronted by the Dragon of Barbatos—a corrupted Carter Hall.[18][full citation needed] Superman and Batman evade Carter Hall's attack as they struggle to search for a spark in the darkened core of Forge.

Exiting a portal in Arion's grave, Arthur and Deathstroke find themselves in the Earth's core. Remembering a legend of how Arion saved Atlantis by using magic from the Earth's core, they begin extracting Nth Metal, only to come under attack from Black Manta, who is allied with the Dark Knights.

On Thanagar Prime, Hal and Terrific are rescued from their cells by Martian Manhunter (who has been exploring Thanagar Prime to learn about the secret Nth Metal deposits) and the trio proceed to rescue Plastic Man from Synn and Starro. However, they soon learn several Dark Knights have seized control of the Phoenix Cannon, reversing its polarity to make Earth sink further into the Dark Multiverse.

In the Rock of Eternity, Kendra regains control of her body after Wonder Woman uses her golden lasso on her, restoring Kendra's memories, although she is still in her dark-hawk form. Kendra decides to operate under her original alias, Hawkgirl, and arms herself with Carter's mace. However, even after defeating Black Adam, both are beaten by the Batman Who Laughs, who explains that all the heroes have done is help accelerate Barbatos’ plans; Earth is now low enough for Barbatos' army to claim the world. Refusing to give up, Diana and Kendra proceed to use the Rock of Eternity's core to reach Barbatos and are confronted by the Dark Army of Barbatos.

Clashing their metals together (Diana's bracelets and Kendra's mace), the two heroines succeed in helping Green Lantern, Mr. Terrific, Aquaman, and Deathstroke fight back against the Dark Knights. Mr. Terrific convinces Plastic Man to awaken, turning the tide of battle. Reaching the Dark Forge, Kendra manages to break Carter out of Barbatos’ corruption (reigniting the Forge in the process), Diana reaches Batman and Superman (donned in Tenth Metal, the prime constitute of the World Forge), and Barbatos is confronted by Flash and Cyborg, who have gathered reinforcements from other realities (including the “53rd Earth”).

Refusing to lose, Barbatos reveals his last resort; using the combined power of the positive energy of his prisoner the Over-Monitor, the Anti-Monitor's brain's negative energy, and the Batman Who Laughs' dark energy, he plans to destroy all of creation and leave nothing but darkness in his wake. However, an unexpected team-up of Batman and the Joker halts this plan, the Justice League defeat the remaining Dark Knights, and Hawkgirl subdues Barbatos. After the Over-Monitor explains that all living things have trace amounts of Tenth Metal, the League proceed to use this power to pull Earth out of the Dark Multiverse (it also results in the Source Wall shattering). After the battle, the Over-Monitor chains Barbatos down at the bottom of the Dark Multiverse with Tenth Metal chains, forcing him to watch the World Forge burn bright once more as it creates new worlds.

The Justice League, with the inclusion of Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl, are invited to a gala dinner at Wayne Manor. They speak of their victory against Barbatos, Hawkman recovering on Blackhawk Island and having written about mysterious glimpses of what is to come. Most importantly, they address cracking the Source Wall, which means their Multiverse just got much bigger. This is a matter of utmost importance, but for the night the League decides to enjoy themselves and start preparing the next day.

During the after-dinner party, Bruce, Diana, and Clark talk more about the possible incoming threats now that the Multiverse has been expanded, including a hidden threat they have not yet told anyone else about. Bruce tells his friends not to worry, as he has a plan. On the desk of his study lay a number of blueprints for a Hall of Justice.

List of issues and Tie-in Issues

*Dark days: The Forge #1 – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee,Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr

*Dark days: The casting #1 - Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee,Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr

*Dark Knights Metal #1-#6 – Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia

*Batman The red Death – Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico

*Batman The Murder Machine – Frank Tieri, Ricardo federici

*Batman The Dawnbreaker – Sam Humphries, Ethan Van Sciver

*Batman The Drowned – Dan Abnett, Phillip Tan

*Batman The Merciless – Peter J Tomasi, Francis Manapul

*Batman The Devastator – Frank Tieri, Tony S Daniel

*The Batman Who Laughs – James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo

*Batman Lost – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Doug Mahnke,  Jorge Jimenez, Yanick Paquette

*Batman Found – Jeff Lemire, Kevin Nowlan, Bryan Hitch

*Dark Nights Rising The Wild Hunt – Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke

*Teen Titans #12 – Benjamin Percy, Mirka Andollo

*Nightwing #29 – Tim Seeley, Paul Pelltier

*Suicide Squad #26 – Rob Williams, Stjepan Sejic

*Green Arrow #32 – Benjamin Percy, Otto Schmidt

*The Flash #33 – Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter

*Justice League #32 - #33 – Robert Venditti, Joshua Williamson, Liam Sharp, Tyler Kirkham, Mikel Janin

*Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corp #32 – Robert Venditti, Ethan Van Sciver

So I know this is a lot of stuff to take in and this series was huge but hopefully with all of this information you now have a little bit better of a understanding of Metal and have enough knowledge going in to Death Metal. According to Scott Snyder himself though, readers are going to be able to go into Death Metal fresh without having read anything and be able to read along. Snyder also said that long time DC fans are going to get a lot more out of the story however as it will bring up events of DC past such as the crises, Flashpoint, and Doomsday  Clock and Snyder says it will be a celebration of DC’s past, present, and future and we cant wait to jump in and see where its going to take us!

If you guys want even more Metal, you can also check out the official Dark Nights Metal soundtrack, That’s right, Metal was such a huge event that it even has its own bad ass soundtrack you can shre along to while getting pumped for the encore!

If you guys have any questions or comments or want to share your excitement for Death Metal, feel free to let me know down below in the comments!