Nowadays, when you mention comic-book events, most people think they’re reboots, or course corrections, for publishers. These events need to have a rippling effect throughout the universe in order to leave a lasting impact, so it’s easy to see why publishers go in that direction. That said, do we really want a whole bunch of #1s every few years?
On the other side of the coin, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and a host of other talents have created an epic that’s something we’ve never seen before. Dark Nights: Metal isn’t a reboot, or retcon; it’s an original event that introduces the concept of the Dark Multiverse and evil Batmen, and adds much-needed emphasis (and importance) to the legendary Nth metal.
Late last year, Snyder explained to CBR what he sees as the outcome of this event. “So Metal will be self-contained, but there are a lot of story engines here that we’re trying to rev up. You can read Metal as an isolated thing and I promise we’re not going to leave you hanging, but at the same time – everything in it, we wanted to lead to more mystery and more story.”
Rather than serve as a catalyst for another rebirth (pardon the pun), it’s acting as a springboard for the next phase of Rebirth – which makes sense since Rebirth is now two years old. It’s establishing new teams (The Terrifics), reintroducing fan-favourite characters (Martian Manhunter and Starro), and closing the loop on Snyder and Capullo’s Batman run. We’re receiving an evolution and progression to the DC Universe (DCU), thanks to the event, and not a complete restart.
More importantly, it’s bringing together the whole DCU. While Batman was the one who caused the trouble in the first place by messing with things he shouldn’t have, it’s now up to an entire roster of characters to solve the problem and save their universe. The sheer scale of the storytelling and number of cast members could’ve resulted in a narrative cacophony here, but it’s all gelling in the best way possible.
Sure, there are many doubters who’ve criticised the concept of another Multiverse and aren’t fans of the horror-themed aspect of this event. And it’s understandable since it does move away from the traditional superhero structure and into another genre. However, if that’s what’s stopping you from picking up this event, you’re missing out on a monumental tale. There’s a lot of heart and originality in this series, and it’s setting itself up to become a classic.