Comic book super-mega-crossover events are, by nature, not the easiest things in the world to understand. For DC's upcoming Dark Nights: Metal event, despite a wealth of promotional materials, the whole concept is still a little bit difficult to grasp. Even the book's publishing schedule is arcane, but we've taken a crack at explaining it in the past:
In any case, Dark Nights: Metal is the upcoming event comic by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, which will lead into Dark Matter, in which an (all-male) Master Class of DC artists will team with seasoned writers to deliver the New Age of DC Heroes. DC decided on this progression after unearthing a centuries-old prophecy from the renowned prophet Danstrodidimos, which said, "First Comes The Dark Days, Which Gives Way To The Dark Nights, Which Gives Birth To The Dark Matter." Close adherence to the publishing ritual will result in increased sales for DC and continued public relations mishaps for their competitors at Marvel.
Scott Snyder shed a little bit of light on that in an interview with Newsarama today when he explained that Dark Days would have been called #0 issues for Metal, but since Metal hadn't been announced yet, they had to call it something different. But in a much appreciated gesture, Snyder also took time to explain what the storyline of the book is about too, whereas previously we've had to rely solely on Greg Capullo's drawings of the Justice League wearing badass armor.
To understand Dark Nights: Metal, the first thing you'll need is a primer on theoretical physics, according to Snyder:
I think I told you before, my five-year-old, he loves the show Cosmos. He thinks Neil deGrasse Tyson's name is "Cosmo." And we watch together all the time.
I became really fascinated though. I got really into this idea – it was pretty terrifying to me, this notion that in the last 10 years, we've discovered that essentially everything we see and perceive in the universe – all matter, positive and negative, anti-matter and positive matter – comprises less than, like, 15 percent of the actual matter and energy in our universe.
And what they've discovered is that there's dark matter and dark energy which we literally cannot perceive around us. We don't know what it is, but we can see its effects in holding galaxies and star clusters together and all these kinds of strange things.
So I started thinking, what if the Multiverse is that way? What if the Multiverse essentially has these 52 universes, but has almost this ocean of possibility, this ocean of almost reactive matter beneath it that's like a Dark Multiverse.
As to how this Dark Multiverse would actually function:
The Dark Multiverse essentially exists as this ocean that our Multiverse floats on, the same way our universe essentially is, like, foam floating on an ocean of dark Matter and dark Energy.
The mystery is largely about the need to explore. Metal is about the ways in which our characters are sort of emblematic of the kind of human drive to be better and to explore both their own nature and also the physical world around them – the cosmos itself – and to push to the very corners of exploration that way.
The story speaks to all of those things.
Well, that clears all that up now, doesn't it? Don't you feel stupid for not getting it before?
If you're still unclear (dummy), you can read the full interview here.