With Dark Nights: Metal taking a short break last month to make room Doomsday Clock and Batman Lost, it's time for the series to get back on track with this month's issue #4.
Metal is the blockbuster event by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo that has introduced the "Dark Multiverse." In the last chapter, October's issue #3, the evil bat-god Barbatos was taking over the Earth and trying to plunge it into the darkness of the Dark Multiverse.
For the latest in our series of "Dark Nights 101" articles, we take a look at Five Story Promises Yet to Come in Dark Nights: Metal.
Dark Monitor's Astral Brain
In Dark Nights: Metal #2, when Kendra was visiting the immortals, Morgaine le Fey tells her they came up with a plan: "You will take the Anti-Monitor's astral brain and you will fire it through the core of the Multiverse, at the Rock of Eternity, and destroy the Dark Multiverse once and for all."
And sure enough, the Anti-Monitor's astral brain was floating in the middle of the room, ready to be utilized for this mind-blowing scheme. Kendra wasn't so sure about the idea, however, and warned about the dangers of mixing anti-matter and dark matter.
Although that plan hasn't been mentioned since, Snyder promised Newsarama readers that it would really happen at some point in the series. "That's the real plan the immortals have," he said. "And when that comes to fruition, it's one of the most painful moments in the series. I just wrote it. It's in issue #5."
Cosmology and Creation
And as long as we're talking about the Anti-Monitor's brain, let's talk about the other part of that sentence: the core of the Multiverse.
At the beginning of Dark Nights: Metal #1, readers were told about the core of the Multiverse, meaning this is an important part of the story. Yet this element of Metal hasn't been revisited.
And when Newsarama talked to Snyder after Batman Lost, he mentioned these ideas would be further explored.
"Without giving too much away," Snyder said, "we actually add to some of the creation myths of the DCU in really big ways.
"We really wanted to make the Dark Multiverse something that fits with the mythologies that we love — you know, with the Anti-Monitor, the Monitor, Krona, the birth of the Multiverse, all of that stuff — but we wanted it to have its own deep mythos with characters and with giant beings that shape it.
"So you're going to learn some huge secrets about the history of the DC Universe and the cosmology."
Where is Hawkman?
Readers have also been promised that Hawkman will play a part in the story. Although his journal has narrated several issues and the character has been seen in flashbacks, the character himself isn't actually in the story — at least not so far.
That will change when this month sees the release of Hawkman Found, a story by Jeff Lemire and Bryan Hitch.
And Snyder has teased more stories about the Hawks. "There are plans rolling forward for Hawkman that kind of play off a lot of [the Hawkman Found] material and the Geoff Johns run on Hawkman and all of that. So that's all being set up as a kind of launchpad for a lot of Hawkman story coming after Metal.
Dream of the Endless
In both Dark Nights: Metal #1 and #2, Batman was visited by Dream of the Endless. Although he said he couldn't tell Batman if he was on the right track, he said, "I've done what I can for you in this realm.
"If the nightmare army succeeds, if the world goes dark," Dream said, "call to me in the place of the black sun."
Snyder has again teased Dream's return, specifically in the next issue of Metal: "Issue #4 is our big Dream issue. So Superman and Batman, without giving too much away, must somehow find a way out of the predicament we leave them in in #3 — and in Batman Lost — and find their way to the Dreaming."
It's possible that the Dark Multiverse has some type of black sun — or perhaps the Earth itself will soon have a black sun. And at that moment, if Batman remembers what Daniel said, we'll see if Dream's advice pays off.
Metal and Plastic Man
Readers have been told in Metal about the five heavy metals that prepared Batman to be the "wagon" that allowed Barbatos to come to Earth. Specifically, the five metals are Electrum, Dionesium, Promethium, Nth Metal and Batmanium.
But there's still a lot about these metals that aren't explained. For example, Thanagar was said to be aware of the metals. And characters like Dr. Fate, Steel and Plastic Man supposedly have some type of mysterious connection to the Nth Metal.
And then there's the still-unanswered question about how Plastic Man is still shaped like an egg. What's his connection to these metals? When will he emerge from that egg and straighten all these metal secrets out?