According to Scott Snyder, this week's Dark Nights: Metal #5 - and the surprise character who shows up in the issue - will introduce story threads that continue into the writer's Justice League work post-Metal.
Newsarama talked to Snyder about this week's Metal #5 and - warning, there's a spoiler ahead - we found out the issue includes an appearance by Martian Manhunter, who's been missing from the DCU since "Rebirth" began in 2016.
As DC announced this week, Snyder will co-write a weekly series in May titled Justice League: No Justice, then will take over writing duties on the ongoing Justice League title.
Snyder already announced via DC that he'll make Martian Manhunter fans "happy" in the various Justice League series that spin out of Metal.
The current Metal mini-series, which features art by Greg Capullo, has already spotlighted several Justice League members as the team goes in different directions to search for Nth Metal.
Newsarama talked to Snyder and found out that Dark Nights: Metal #5 serves as an "emotional connective issue" while introducing readers to story beats that continue post-Metal for J'onn J'onzz and other members of the Justice League.
Newsarama: Scott, what can readers expect from this week's Dark Nights: Metal #5? It looks like we're going to see more about the sort of side-plots involving the Justice League characters.
Scott Snyder: Yeah, every issue has been about "how can we ratchet it up," but I think we're sort of right at the end of Act II, where everything gets really dark right before the final push and the climax of the story.
So this is when [the Justice League characters] really see the impact of the things that they've tried, the things that have failed, what it means to be in the position they're in, the way things hang in the balance.
This is kind of the emotional connective issue.
At the same time, there are big surprises. There are character returns that I think will get people excited, hopefully. There are repercussions for characters that will last a long time. There are plot reveals.
We're trying to bring Metal crazy, definitely, but it's also an issue that gives you a moment to see where all the characters are emotionally - that they're separated and they're all facing things that take them out of their comfort zone and make them question whether it was ever worth coming out of that zone in the first place.
Nrama: That's not the first time you've mentioned this idea of "coming out of your comfort zone." That's important to the story?
Snyder: It's what Metal is about, ultimately.
Barbatos says you never step out of your safety zone. All you'll find are answers that make you feel that you should never have done that, which is - to me - the scary thing about when you're feeling really dark and down. When you explore, you just find versions of yourself that you hate, you find answers that you hate, and that's what their Multiverse is providing, at least at this moment, for Batman and everybody that kind of ventures out to try to stop its ruler.
Nrama: You've already announced that you're going to be making Martian Manhunter fans happy in your upcoming stories about the Justice League. And DC is OK'ing the spoiler that he shows up in this issue. Is this the first seed of what you'll be exploring with him?
Snyder: Yeah, he's been on a mission that will be picked up at the end of Metal, in terms of why he was on it.
But also, his status and where he is psychologically, emotionally, is a huge part of what rolls out of Metal.
Nrama: Then the stuff we're seeing now, with all of these Justice League characters, continues into the post-Metal stuff that you're doing with the Justice League and that other writers are doing after this series ends?
Snyder: Everything that you start to see at this point, in terms of where Hawkman lands, where Hawkgirl lands, where Martian Manhunter lands, where the Justice League lands in particular, where the villains land - all of that stuff is going to continue into the DCU post-Metal.
So this issue is really key in getting the hints, or the close, as to what the tenor, I think, of a lot of the characters involved in this story are going to follow forward with.
Nrama: Does that include the hints we saw in issue #4 about this secret history of Atlantis - that Aquaman and Deathstroke are dealing with? These story elements will be explored more as well?
Snyder: The history of Atlantis and the mystery that he begins to explore in issue #5 has tremendous repercussions in Aquaman, the book, but also in the Justice League series that are rolling out from this.