As Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reunite for the Dark Nights: Death Metal limited series this summer, they’re bringing along a slew of other creators - from Warren Ellis to Christopher Priest - with the release of two August tie-in books that highlight characters and concepts from what Snyder calls the “Metalverse.”
Dark Nights: Death Metal, which DC announced is now seven issues and will skip September, portrays a world where Batman Who Laughs rules the world. The tie-ins explore the details of that newly-reshaped world and feature a surprisingly diverse list of talent.
Releasing on August 18, Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook includes work by Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Becky Cloonan, Chip Zdarsky, Doug Mahnke, Vita Ayala, Priest, Dan Panosian, Eduardo Risso, and Khary Randolph.
Then coming on August 25, Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1 features stories by Snyder, Tynion, Williamson, Ellis, Peter J. Tomasi, Garth Ennis, Daniel Warren Johnson, Frank Tieri, Tony S. Daniel, Jim Cheung, Joëlle Jones, Riley Rossmo, and Francesco Francavilla.
According to Snyder, readers will learn about the new geography of the Metalverse - including which heroes and villains rule which territories - and will discover concepts like the new Bats Out of Hell, Castle Bat, the sentient Batmobile, and a new character named Robin King.
The Legends book will also have a framing story that details a “big transformation” undergone by the Batman Who Laughs.
Following up on our last interview with the writer about the details of Death Metal, Newsarama talked to Snyder to find out more about the tie-in books coming in August.
Newsarama: Scott, just to clarify, you’ve got seven issues for Death Metal now, and there are tie-ins. Do readers have to read the tie-ins? Or are they truly extras?
Scott Snyder: Yeah, just like the first Metal - we didn’t want something that was going to completely overwhelm people with, like, tie-ins and all of that stuff.
This is similar. We absolutely are going to have some special tie-ins, and we have some really special oversized books that add to the story in a really big way.
But we don’t want you to feel that you have to read Death Metal across dozens and dozens of books. Everything is designed so you can read the mini-series and get the full story, or if you like it and you want to branch out and read other things, you can.
Nrama: OK, let’s get into the details of these books.
Snyder: The first two books are like guidebooks to the world of Metal. So essentially, it’s a guide to the “Metalverse.” And in this world, the Batman Who Laughs has clearly reshaped the Earth so that the continents almost look like a deformed bat.
So it’s really, really crazy and out there and extreme fun. So you have places that are like, the Wasteland, and then you have places that different characters rule. Different areas are given to different evil Batmen to control. There’s a land of the dead. There’s all kinds of crazy stuff and tons of Easter eggs for everybody.
Nrama: There’s a huge list of talent for this thing. What’s the format like?
Snyder: It’s an anthology, where Joshua Williamson and James Tynion and me write the framing story with art by Doug Mahnke. In the story, a mysterious character gives you a tour of the world.
But the stories inside of it are full of some of the talent I can’t even believe agreed to do it. Friends, but also real idols of mine.
So you have people in the Guidebook from Becky Cloonan to Chip Zdarsky, and then the other book is a guidebook to all the Dark Knights. It’s a guidebook to all the evil Batmen in the Metalverse.
Again, it has a framing story by me, Josh, and James that tells you about the new status of the Batman Who Laughs as he undergoes a big transformation. Spoilers. So this story also gives you a new status of the Batman Who Laughs.
And then we have Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Pete Tomasi, Frank Tieri and a bunch of other people. I can’t believe the people we got. We really lucked out. It’s just full of great talent. We’re really blown away by everybody who agreed to write some of these.
Garth Ennis actually has an evil baby Batman story, which I love. And Warren Ellis did the evil T-Rex Batman. So it is a joy to read.
Nrama: You said these are the “first two.” I get the sense that means there are more. But was it a conscious decision, to make both these first two tie-ins anthologies?
Snyder: Yeah, these are the first two. We wanted them both to be anthologies. One of the ideas was to try to bring in as many of our friends and mentors and idols as we could to be part of the Metal family.
Nrama: You and Greg are getting really good at these events. I heard that you didn’t have plans to return to Batman. Are you too going to do these kind of events from now on? Or is this more of a big finale and you’ll move on to other things?
Snyder: No. We aren’t looking to be doing events and giant DC stories forever - Greg and I have things we want to do for ourselves in the Indie world. Mostly our own stuff. He wants to go back to The Creech. And I have two books that I have in mind to do with him. So we want to really leave it on the table so that if we don’t do a superhero story for awhile together as a team, then this one really lays it all out - the same way we did with Last Knight with Batman. It’s like that, but even more out there.
Because we wanted to be like, if we’re going to do it, let’s just make it the best thing we’ve done in the biggest way possible. And then just say we left it all out on the field.