This week's Dark Nights: Metal #6 - the conclusion of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's DCU-spanning event - elevates Wonder Woman to a key figure of the story while also tying into the creative team's Batman #1 from all the way back in 2011.
[Editor's Note: You can check out a preview of Dark Nights: Metal #6 here.]
Talking to Snyder at this weekend's WonderCon, Newsarama confirmed that a scene in Dark Nights: Metal #6 specifically mirrors the opening sequence in Batman #1.
"I told Greg over a year ago that at the end [of Dark Nights: Metal], we’re going to have Joker and Batman fight the Batman Who Laughs," Snyder said, adding that the Batman #1 echo was "planned from the very beginning. 100%. That was one of my pitches to Greg. Greg asked if he could draw it in the same panelling, even back when I told him two summers ago."
Dark Nights: Metal has covered a huge swath of time in the DCU and involved a wide variety of characters over its six issues, but Batman has played a central role. Yet Snyder admitted that the finale gives Wonder Woman some extra weight because of her connection to "truth."
"[Metal] is about moments where you wake up, and you’ve tried something that you didn’t really expect to be challenged with, but you decided you were going to do it, and you see kind of the worst versions of yourself," Snyder said. "And all you see is failure, and there’s no way out. All roads lead back to dark, and that’s it. And Batman, never having really kind of suffered that, and Superman saying 'I’m going to come get you,' and Wonder Woman saying 'I’m going to force you to see the truth.'”
"And the reason Wonder Woman is so elevated in this last issues is that those moments, for me at least in my life, when I’ve felt deeply, deeply dark - the problem really is you can’t really objectively see what’s real anymore," he said. "All you see is that voice in your head, that Barbatos is telling you, 'No, it’s all going to fail no matter what you do, you might as well get back in bed, you might as well end it, because there’s nothing good coming.' And Wonder Woman says, 'Here is the Lasso - this is the truth. It’s going to be hard, it might be challenging, but there is a way out.'"
Snyder said that Wonder Woman is about seeing the truth, no matter how hard ugly it is - a concept that contrast with Barbatos and the Dark Multiverse. "It's all about illusion, it’s about saying there’s only darkness," Snyder said.
The writer, who has often stated in interviews that his stories come from his own personal anxieties and fears, said Dark Nights: Metal is a story about conquering depression and anxiety - and specifically honoring the comic book stories that got Snyder himself through tough times.
"When I started pitching it to DC, and I was like, 'It’s about this connective, periodic table about metals,' they were like, 'Yeah, great - take a year to build it up while you’re working on All-Star Batman, but make it emotional,'" Snyder said.
"So I went back and re-read Infinity Gauntlet, and I re-read every single event that’s been done for DC and Marvel - Secret Invasion, Identity Crisis, just everything," he said. "I was just like, what sorts of things inspire you as a kid, and the kinds of things that inspire you then - and now - are the stories that approach the darkest material, use the craziest means to get you through it, but are emotionally viable."
Snyder said that for him as a kid, the stories that got him through tough times were the ones that allowed him to escape "into that cosmic nuttiness of comics."
"And what I didn’t realize at the time when I was a kid was that they were talking about the kinds of things that I was dealing with," he said, "because they sort of trick you into being like, 'this is about Thanos and Death,' but what it is really about is the sorts of things you’re worried about on a primal level."
"And that was Metal was - it’s about saying, 'it’s the evil Batmen, and Plastic Man, and Thanagar!' But what it's really about," Snyder said, "is saying these are the things we think are helping us escape, but deep down, the reason they’re enduring is because they make you brave in the face of things you don’t know they’re addressing. But they are, in Metal."
Snyder said the story's connection to the power of comic book stories is what makes Metal mean so much to him as a writer.
"I’m very, very proud of it for that reason," he said. "I can sort of say it is deeply about what comics means to me."
And although readers have noticed the writer pulling from past concepts for the story of Metal, Snyder said even more stories get touched upon as the story continues. "I talked a lot with Grant [Morrison], I talked to Neal [Adams], I even talked to Frank Miller - you’ll see some permissions he gave us which were just crazy and fun," Snyder said. "I wanted it to feel like it was a tour of the nuttiest, most fun, epic stuff in the DCU."