The Batman lore is no stranger to terror. His legacy is forged upon the gritty anvil of horror archetypes. But this year in Dark Nights Metal, a new kind of horror story consumes Gotham as Batman contends with his worst nightmares. Prepare yourselves for a very dark adventure into fresh terror.
Something very sinister looms in the soft afterglow of DC’s Rebirth lineup. Something that will test the merit of the Dark Knight of Gotham more than any other challenge he’s faced in his lifetime – and for those familiar with the Batman’s legend, that’s saying a lot.
This year Scott Snyder is revealing a universe behind the multiverse, one from the blackest recesses of perpetual nightmares, an undiscovered dimension of insidious possibilities and a brand new doorway into nothing short of purest horror. This is the already critically acclaimed Dark Nights Metal
The Batman has had a very dark and grueling legacy, one fraught with peril and the cruelest challenges. The Bat was born the very moment gun fire thundered in the back alleyways of Gotham City, leaving a scared child kneeling numbly in the warm crimson mirror spreading from Thomas and Martha Wayne – his parents. Turning that tragedy – his tragedy – into a vow to protect the innocent, he wrapped himself in darkness and became the face of terror to those who would use fear against the fearful.
The pale man who laughs has always been by his side, pursing him like a laughing curse, relentlessly wanting to push him over the edge. The Bat has so far proven resilient to all of Joker’s evil schemes. Even Scarecrow has tried to use Batman’s own fears against him to shatter the stability lingering in the hero’s mind. And yet, not even when confronted with his own fears has the Bat buckled.
Scott Snyder – the mind behind Dark Nights Metal – says that Batman is the great hero of the human spirit. That “no matter how awful the outcome seems like it’s going to be, you have to get through it to the other side.” That’s what the character stands for.
Well, for the first time – in Dark Nights Metal – this is the one case Batman dreads to solve. That’s right, after all he’s been through with Joker, Scarecrow and every other rogue he’s encountered, the Bat is finally scared. And he’ll need all the help from his friends – the Justice League – to get through this one.
Let’s appreciate the weightiness of that. Batman has gone up against some insane challenges. The Killing Joke, A Death in the Family, Death of the Family, Endgame, Court of Owls, Emperor Joker, Red Hood, Knightfall, The Long Halloween – these are some classic examples of what he’s had to face. He’s watched friends and loved ones maimed or killed because of their association with him. He’s outwitted countless snares, he’s even fought Superman and won. He brazenly walked into the heart of Apokolips to kick Darkseid’s ass! And Apokolips might as well be Hell, but he went in with a smirk, because of course he did. He’s the goddam Batman!
He’s stared death and destruction in the face multiple times, even witnessed his own death on occasion, and seems overall indomitable to fear. So what can actually scare the Dark Knight?
In all of those occasions – in some fashion or another – Bruce was in control. Or he knew he could work his way out of whatever tragedy befell him or his loved ones.
But what happens if the Batman had lost control? What if Batman went too far? For example, what if he just couldn’t let go and strove to resurrect his parents from the grave?
What if he sought power by any means possible, and experimented on Doomsday’s cells after Superman was buried in the cold earth?
What if he wanted to rule Atlantis, charge against the God Ares, or master the power of the Speedsters?
What if he was willing to crush each member of the Justice League at any cost?
That’s what Dark Nights Metal explores with insidious flare. You see, this is a new Crisis story – Eeeeeeee! I love Crisis stories! – and this time around we’re not having a clash within the familiar multiverse. We’re being introduced to something far older, larger, and much more lethal – the dimension of Dark Matter, the dark-multiverse.
Snyder has described it as an ocean of nightmares and evil. And out there in that obsidian chaos are the Nightmare Batmen – the Dark Knights. They exist, they’re very real; they are the manifestation of all the times Batman could have gone terribly wrong.
In a universe built on Dark Matter, Batman has indeed gone wrong in every way possible, and is represented as a ghoulish version of the Justice League. And a door to that chaos has been opened to bring them here.
The Nightmare Batmen are led by Batman’s worst nightmare come to hideous life – the hellish Batman Who Laughs. A twisted manifestation inspired by the Bat’s immortal enemy – the Joker.
This is a thing that walks straight out nightmares. It is the atrocious combination of the Bat and Joker, united by a cowl and a smile that never fades.
This abomination seems more befitting to Clive Barker’s imagination, and naturally I love it already.
So, horror fans, Batman fans, fellow comic geeks – the story of Metal is happening right now. Issue 2 releases today. For your convenience I’ve provided a time table of future releases.
If you’ve never really read DC comics and you’re looking for a new horror fix, this is one I do highly recommend. With subterranean cults, mysterious metals with occult powers linking back to the ancient days of Egypt, and plenty of demons, this story-line is truly METAL and lives up to its name.
For more information on Dark Nights Metal be sure to check out DC’s website.
“Some mysteries are best unsolved. Some doors best left unopened because through them, all you find is horror.” – Dark Days Forge Prelude to Metal