With The Immortal Men #1 by James Tynion IV and Jim Lee, readers are introduced to the immortal characters who were teased many months ago in the earliest scenes from Dark Nights: Metal. But the debut issue also features a brand new teen character who's powerful enough to save the world.
The Immortal Men #1 also revealed that the Batman Who Laughs lands support to the forces of evil in the issue, egging on the villains to take over the world from heroes who have connections to DC's Dark Nights: Metal event.
So how does the story connect to Metal, who's the "potential" new teen hero and who are these Immortal Men? Let's take a look at the issue...
The story begins with a teenaged boy named Caden Park, who has a recurring dream of being hunted for a "secret coursing through his veins."
(The "secret" is probably the metal that also "courses" through the veins of the Signal/Duke Thomas, as explained in several Bat-family appearances and the prequel issues for DC's Dark Nights: Metal event. The powerful metals from the Metal events are all associated with immortality and possess unique power.)
In Caden's latest dream, which readers are shown at the beginning of the Immortal Men issue, Caden and other teens with "special abilities" are running toward a place he calls the "Campus," which appears to be some type of underground haven for people with superpowers.
But these powered beings are hunted and killed as they run toward the Campus.
At the end of the dream, Caden survives the hunt and sees a glowing green man in a mask and other seemingly powerful characters, including the Immortal Man, who is beckoning him to "go deeper" toward a mission.
Crazy Like a Fox
Unfortunately, this latest dream didn't happen in Caden's comfortable bed like usual. This time, Caden was walking through Grand Central Station and passed out when the vision began. And when he woke up, he saw some of those powerful characters right there in the train station.
Sound crazy? Yeah, Caden's therapist thinks so too. Dr. Calendar believes the Campus is just a refuge in the boy's mind.
And when Caden claims that he can touch people and experience visions about them, Dr. Calendar doesn't believe him. She tests him. She holds his hand.
And … no vision. "See?" the doc says. All in his mind.
Dr. Calendar tells Caden's parents not to worry. And they apparently don't, allowing the boy to go out that night with a couple friends to see a concert at some converted warehouse.
His mom drops a hint about the subway being dangerous, that trains are breaking down and overheating lately in the subway. And the scene changes to…
So yeah, Caden's vision wasn't crazy after all.
We're told that the Campus is one mile beneath Philadelphia, and it was established in 1732. And the area of the Campus in this scene is called the "Domain of Action - The Fifth House of the Immortals."
(OK, just to remind folks, this secret lair underneath Philadelphia was seen during Dark Days: The Forge, when a character called "the great and powerful Immortal Man" was briefly shown talking about Duke Thomas' mom being offered membership in their immortal club.)
OK, so another one of Caden's visions is true. A character called "The Hunt" is killing people down in the Campus.
The Hunt's narration speaks of an "eternal battle" and reveals that his abilities and extended life are maintained by the taking of blood.
But wait! There's another villain in charge here. The Hunt serves a creepy character named the Infinite Woman, the "oldest living human founder of Conquest, the First House of the Immortals." She is fighting a battle against her brother (who is apparently the Immortal Man).
So…. it's a family thing.
Infinite Woman and the Hunt have just attacked the good guys down in the Campus. And it looks like they won.
But wait! Another villain! And this one is from Dark Nights: Metal.
The Batman Who Laughs shows up with his crazy "crow crow" Robins and lends some words of evil encouragement.
Take over the world, he says.
The Hunt replies that there's only one thing left they need to do:
The Hunt says that after invading the Immortal Man's lair, they discovered that Caden's got a "potential" that needs extinguished.
And at the order of the Infinite Woman, they make their plans to attack Caden in New York City.
OK, so the villains attacked the Campus, but did they kill all the good-guy immortals who work with the Immortal Man?
Nope. Four of them retreated from the battle. And now they're in a subway tunnel in New York.
The first one to be revealed is the glowing green guy from Caden's vision. His name is Ghost Fist, and he's able to teleport people. (In fact, he teleports away a couple mortal humans who were in the tunnel and saw too much.)
Ghost Fist is surrounded by the other Immortal Men, including a cape-clad gunman named Reload, a toothy creature named Stray, and an axe-wielding woman named Timber who wears a costume reminiscent of indigenous Americans.
(Fans saw these characters' designs when The Immortal Men comic book was first announced.)
Readers are told that hundreds of soldiers died in the battle from which these four characters escaped. They are the only ones who made it out of the Campus alive, all because Reload told them to retreat and brought them to New York City.
And Reload was following the orders of the Immortal Man, who's apparently the "boss."
Don't Ride the Subway
So why did the four Immortal Men retreat to New York City?
You guessed it. To save Caden Park. "The boss says he's going to save the world," Reload reports.
Meanwhile, Caden's riding the subway with a couple friends. And his mom's foreshadowing turns out to be right. The subway is messed up.
Caden's sees one of the dudes from his dream, so he follows the guy.
Only it's not the the guy he thought it was. It's a hologram created by Infinite Woman.
Uh oh. It's a trap.
She and her minions (called "the Bloodless") have isolated Caden. They attack.
But who enters the scene to save the day? The four Immortal Men we met moments ago.
Reload tells Caden, "Now get up and fight."
The story continued in Immortal Men #2, which is scheduled to be released May 9.