What You Need to Know About Dark Days Before Tomorrow

What is it?

Dark Days is a set of two comic books written by Scott Snyder which will be the start of a much larger “Dark Universe” within DC Comics. The first comic, Dark Days: The Forge, comes out on June 14 with Dark Days: The Casting to follow one month later. These will feature Batman finding “a mystery that he does not want to solve past a certain point, because he’s afraid of what he’s going to find.” While the exact details on this are still pretty vague, an interview with Snyder from Newsarama suggests that this mystery is related to things like Nth metal, Hawkman, and the existence of a “Dark Multiverse.”

These two comics will serve as the prelude to a DC Comics event series titled Dark Nights: Metal. This series will reportedly continue the story started in the two Dark Days comics. In fact, they are so closely related that Scott Snyder confirmed on Twitter that they are “essentially Metal #0. Dark Nights: Metal will be written by Scott Snyder and with art by Greg Capullo.

Dark Nights: Metal will also serve as the starting point for five new comic book series. These include The Silencer, written by Dan Abnett with art by John Romita Jr., Sideways, written by Dan DiDio and Justin Jordan with art by Kenneth Rocafort, Immortal Men, written by James Tynion IV with art by Jim Lee, Damage, written by Robert Venditti with art by Tony S. Daniel, and New Challengers, written by Scott Snyder with art by Andy Kubert. Most of these new series revolve around brand new characters to the DC Universe with origins to be introduced through the Dark Nights: Metal series. For a more in depth look at each of these new series, check the official press release by DC Comics here.

Tone and Message

The recent history of both DC and Marvel Comics has revolved heavily around event comics, many of which serve to retcon or rewrite continuity. Comics like Flashpoint, Secret Wars, Convergence, and even DC Universe: Rebirth all revolve around continuity. In an interview with PopnComics, Scott Snyder confirmed that this event will not be doing that.

Instead, it is designed to simply “celebrate superheroes and have it be additive.” The focus is mostly on telling an action heavy superhero story that is not mired in continuity retcons.

Timeline

June 14: Dark Days: The Forge released
July 12: Dark Days: The Casting released
August: Dark Nights: Metal starts
September: The Silencer and Sideways start
October Immortal Men and Damage start
December New Challengers starts

Suggested Reading

With the general design of Dark Days and Dark Nights laid out above, we will now take a quick look at specific titles which will, most likely, play a part in this epic event. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

All Star Batman

(spoilers for All-Star Batman #9 start here)

If you have been following recent Batman comics, you will know that Batman recently started training a boy named Duke Thomas. It was believed that Duke was just another ordinary human, much like most of Batman’s sidekicks have been. However, the backup issue of All-Star Batman #9 (Review) revealed that he clearly has some sort of hidden power within him. Besides allowing him to heal several broken bones instantly, it is unclear exactly what this power is or how it works. However, with Duke appearing in promo images for Dark Days, it is clear that it will be a factor in this upcoming event.

(spoilers for All-Star Batman #9 end here)

Hawkman

(spoilers for the Death of Hawkman start here)

Speculation for this series has often revolved around the use of the word “metal” and the most famous metal in DC Comics: Nth metal. Nth metal is a mysterious substance with near mythical properties. It can cause flight, affect magic and ghosts, bond with the user to enhance their abilities, regenerate the dead, morph into any shape or form, and is nearly indestructible. Its power seems to be only limited by those who are able to control it.

The most famous instance of controlling Nth metal comes from Hawkman and, more recently, Despero. Hawkman’s powers have almost always been based on his connection to Nth metal. However, in the recent Death of Hawkman storyline, Despero gained control of a large amount of Nth metal. He used the power gained from this to kill Hawkman and send Adam Strange somewhere deep into the outer dimensions of space, though this left him lost in space as well. With Hawkman/Carter Hall returning in Dark Days: The Forge, there is a strong indication that the events of the Death of Hawkman story will play a part in this new “Dark Universe”.

(spoilers for the Death of Hawkman end here)

Batman

(spoilers for the Scott Snyder’s run on Batman start here)

Snyder has confirmed multiple times that this event will revolve around various metals in the DC Universe. He has also confirmed that he started placing hints for this event throughout his run on Batman. Looking back into this run, readers can find several references to unique elements and metals.

  • Electrum- First referenced in the “Court of Owls” storyline (Review). Electrum is the element that allows the Court to bring their undead soldiers back from the grave.
  • Dionesium- First referenced in the “Endgame” storyline. Dionesium is the element that allows Joker, and eventually Batman, to come back from the dead. It has strange healing properties that can apparently heal any injury. It was seemingly destroyed at the conclusion of Endgame but could always be brought back.

(spoilers for the Scott Snyder’s run on Batman end here)

Rebirth

(no spoilers)

Snyder has confirmed that Dark Days and Dark Nights will not have much of anything to do with the mystery of DC Rebirth. He has said that Batman and Flash will talk about the events of “The Button“, however this seems to be more of a small reference rather than anything actually building upon the plot. Therefore, if you are looking for the answers to Rebirth mysteries, it is not likely that you will find them here. Meaning this in not necessarily “Suggested Reading” but is worth noting either way.

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