With several new series already spinning out of Dark Nights: Metal, it should come as no surprise to fans that there are also big plans for characters like Hawkman and Shazam after their role in the DC event that launches in August.
Then again, Snyder called the Shazam character "Captain Marvel" and his friends the "Marvel family" (a title stopped being referred to as in the "New 52").
Metal, which reunites writer Scott Snyder with his Batman co-creator Greg Capullo, launches in August and features characters from throughout the DCU as they fight against the evil forces from the Dark Multiverse.
In this second half of our discussion with Snyder, Newsarama talked to the writer about what happens with the Marvels, how he came up with the idea for Metal, and how this all ties into the larger plans for "Rebirth."
Newsarama: Scott, how important was the success of "Rebirth" to the development of not only Dark Nights: Metal, but also the impetus to spin off the "Dark Matter" books and titles like Batman: The Signal? Do Metal and these other new titles kind of build on the good feelings your fans have about "Rebirth?"
Scott Snyder: Oh yeah… [we've] really been working on taking advantage of the goodwill that we've had and making a plan. This weekend alone, we've cemented plans - me and Dan DiDio and a bunch of other writers – for stuff that we're going to do right after Metal that spins out, really, through most of the end of 2018 and into 2019.
We're really trying to create a design that will allow us to keep things exciting.
We want people to feel like DC understands the kind of goodwill and sees it, from "Rebirth." And our way of saying thanks is to say, "We just want to up the ante and do more comics that, in the same spirit of 'Rebirth,' push forward and do stuff that's not only celebrating classic and reconnecting you to the comics and the characters and storylines you loved before, but giving you brand new ones that have that same sensibility carrying forward that Kirby-esque, out-of-control, bonkers fun that DC is so good at doing."
Nrama: I know you developed some of the ideas that are part of Metal back during your Batman run. But at what point did it become this big, universe-spanning story?
Snyder: I started thinking about it, in general, when we were doing "Endgame" - like, can I do a big Batman mystery in continuity where Batman picked up a case that had been investigated through centuries by Hawkman, who's kind of our detective in the past. And then picks it up in the present and decides it's all about things that are too close to home for him, and he doesn't want to solve it because he's afraid of what he's going to find.
And then it would spin us into this new territory.
So the seeds of that story became pretty viable for me all the way back when I was working with Greg.
There are lines and terms that you'll see - if you go back and look at Batman #51 and stuff like that - that are literally describing stuff that comes in Metal #1 and Metal #2.
And by the time we were doing "Rebirth," I knew we were going to do Metal and what it was.
So we've been planning it a long time.
I hope it will get people excited to go back and look at some of the stuff that we did in Batman, but also it has a lot of Easter eggs that openly tie to Final Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and some of the other runs going on around the DCU.
There are ties to what Tom [King, current Batman writer] is doing in fun ways, so I hope people will go back and check out his stuff.
But also, there are little things that tie to Aquaman, which I think is an incredible book right now. Wonder Woman, which is obviously a real shining point. And it ties hugely to Detective Comics also, where James Tynion IV and Eddy Barrows have just been doing an incredible job.
And there are Easter eggs all through our run on All-Star Batman - with the Blackhawks, with Duke, with Metal itself.
Nrama: And now Duke's getting his own book.
Snyder: Yeah. And I couldn't be prouder of Tony Patrick, who's writing with me, and the ideas he's brought to it.
That series is going to be something really special, and all credit to the other people involved. I was just able to guide it a little bit.
But yeah, Duke was planned - we knew we were going to make him "hero by day," and all this stuff. And that was a great contribution also by Geoff Johns, some of that idea.
Nrama: We've also gotten hints that the search for Hawkman will be part of the story of Metal.
Snyder: Yeah, that's part of the story, that he's been missing for a bit. I mean, it's not too much of a mystery, because there's an issue by Jeff Lemire and Bryan Hitch called Hawkman Found in the middle of the story, so he will likely be reappearing.
Nrama: And sticking around? Does this give new life to Hawkman?
Snyder: We have big plans for him. He's a character that I've had designs on for a long time, since I started thinking about this story. There was even a point where I thought about writing him after Batman.
Then with all the stuff we were planning, it didn't quite work out.
But in terms of the DNA of what we're doing for that character and the stories that are going to spin out of it for him, I couldn't be more excited in the directions that the people who are going to work on him are taking. They're better than anything that I could have done. It's really impressive.
Nrama: OK, now that we've got confirmation of Hawkman's future, are we going to see some kind of Shazam book or Shazam stories spinning out of this?
Snyder: I'm not allowed to say. But we have tremendous enthusiasm and interest for that character, and I think you'll start to see clues of a lot of stuff coming with him in different ways in the future in Metal.
I can say that there are definitely big plans at DC for Shazam and for Captain Marvel and the whole Marvel family.
Nrama: The two prologue issues also used the word "crisis" a lot, and you just said these tie into DC's previous "Crisis" events. I guess you're trying to make it clear that this is a big deal for the DCU? Or rather, I guess, James, since I think he scripted it?
Snyder: Yeah, James is amazing, man. When you have somebody who was your student who then is writing better than you could, it's like…a very, very special feeling. And to see him celebrated this year in particular with the work he's been able to do on Detective Comics is fantastic.
We're partners for life. I've been working with that guy since before I got into comics. And you know, we'll be brothers forever. I can't say enough about the work he put into the The Casting and The Forge.
A lot of the stuff that people liked best about those two issues were his doing.
As for the "Crisis" stuff? We go back and forth - there are days where we're pushing it there. And James will be like, that's too far. Then just yesterday, I was correcting letters on Metal #1, which goes out the door today - I'm really excited - and I was looking at it. I'm like a nervous wreck, always, the day before an issue goes out the door. And we were talking late last night, and there were a couple things where he was like, go for it! And I was like, it's too much.
So we go back and forth. There are days where I feel like he's saying "let's just go there." We push each other.
That's true of all the creators I work with. People at Marvel and DC, we're rooting for each other. And when we're friends, like me and Jeff Lemire, or Charles Soule, or even Dan Slott - it doesn't matter if you're Marvel or DC. You'll talk story with each other, and there's like an agreement that you're just helping each other out.
It's been a terrific two years, I think, in terms of making friends with the people at DC right now. I really believe we couldn't have a better stable of creators who are just so inventive and creative and daring, but also good people.
That was one thing about the con, was getting to go out there and see everybody. Sorry, I feel like I'm getting all mushy and nostalgic about everything.
But today is literally the day that Metal goes to press, so I'm a little extra soft around the edges.
Nrama: The DC booth at the convention was really focused on Metal. I know you've always talked about feeling nervous about the comic books that come out. Did the attention in San Diego make you more nervous? Or did it make you feel better about it?
Snyder: The con was a huge, just a huge relief, honestly - it was one of the highlights of my life to see people that supportive of it.
I'm a difficult person, sometimes, to work with because I'm so intense about this stuff sometimes, and I get focused in ways that I think can be overwhelming for me and also the people I work with, where I'll get so about every little bug in the thing, every little line. And sometimes that can be, I think, a helpful thing. And other times, it can just be over-obsessive about the stuff.
To be able to go there and just celebrate and say, "We made something fun together – all of us." Every layer of support shown to me and Greg at this event really meant the world.
I really believe in this one. When you see the first issue, it's got a real sensibility and tone - it's meant to say, "Let's make comics fun in a different way than we've tried." In "Rebirth," it's been that way, but can we take that to the next level and say, in dark times or spooky times, like now, regardless of what kind of side you're on politically, I think everybody is stressed out all day by the news, regardless of your affiliation.
And so, there's sort of, at least to me, in the air, a real need for comics to remind us of that kid-joy that we felt when we were immersed in a story.
That doesn't mean the story can't be pertinent to right now either, and Metal certainly is personal and has connections to things that Greg and I talk about that are in the air a lot. But we want to lead with the sense of dinosaurs and Land of the Lost and laser dragons and all that kind of stuff.
We want readers to dive into this incredible, crazy, imaginative world, created for us by all these amazing people who put these comic characters together - and then make some our own new stuff.