The Justice League gets metal.
DC’s epic Dark Nights: Metal storyline wrapped up today, and it’s causing some major changes to the DC Universe.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Dark Nights: Metal #6!
Unsurprisingly, the series ends with the Justice League rallying its numbers, defeating Barbatos and his Dark Knights and lifting Earth back out of the Dark Multiverse. But the big surprise is Batman’s choice of ally for his final showdown with the Batman Who Laughs. Who better to help Batman defeat a twisted, Joker-ized version of himself than the actual Joker?
It’s hard to say what made Joker happier with this team-up – the fact that Batman finally admitted to needing him or the fact that he got to attempt to murder another Batman. Joker did manage to slice off the Batman Who Laughs’ fingers, but there’s no evidence that either character actually died in the fight. Only the Drowned is specifically shown to have died in this issue, suggesting the rest of the Dark Knights could resurface in a future story.
While most of the damage caused by Barbatos is repaired by the end of this issue, there’s been one fundamental change to the structure of the DC multiverse as a result of this conflict. The Source Wall, a barrier that surrounds the multiverse and holds back an energy field called The Source, has now been breached. That Source energy is now spilling into the DCU and leaving spontaneous creation in its wake. New enemies, new worlds and new celestial beings have suddenly sprung into existence. To respond to this fundamental change in the structure of the multiverse, Batman gathers his fellow Justice Leaguers at Wayne Manor to announce that he’s expanding the League, adding new members and creating a new Hall of Justice.
All of this plays into the weekly Justice League: No Justice miniseries in May, which will see the League join forces with villains like Lex Luthor, Deathstroke and the Suicide Squad to investigate the Source breach. That in turns sets the stage for writer Scott Snyder’s relaunched Justice League comic in June.
The epilogue sequence in this issue hints at a number of other big changes coming down the pipeline:
- Hawkman Carter Hall has been freed from his duties at the Forge of Worlds. It seems all of his past lives and reincarnations have somehow been unified, which will hopefully make his backstory a little easier to follow going forward.
- The Source breach seems to be directly responsible for the rise of the new characters seen in the New Age of DC Heroes line – the Silencer, Sideways, Damage, etc.
- Atlantis has now risen from the ocean floor.
- Challengers Mountain (headquarters of the previously defunct Challengers of the Unknown) now exists as part of the Rocky Mountains.
- The Metal Men and the Darkstars have both returned.
- This issue teases the rise of a “Dark Pantheon” that may be tied to Wonder Woman’s mythology.
- The events of Metal are somehow responsible for the impending rift between Barry Allen and Wally West in “Flash War.”
- There’s a book missing from Lucien’s library in the Dreaming, a plot point that sets the stage for DC’s upcoming Sandman imprint.
Let us know what you think of the Metal finale and these teases for the future of the DCU in the comments below.