DC's next Crisis begins in earnest today with the release of Dark Nights: Metal #1, the first issue in a miniseries that will pit the heroes of the DC Universe against an army of evil Batmen from the Dark Multiverse.
The big bad, though, won't be the Anti-Monitor or Superboy-Prime. Instead, it appears as though the biggest foe the DC Universe will face is a demon known as Barbatos.
"One of my favorite stories is Dark Knight, Dark City by Peter Milligan," Metal writer Scott Snyder told ComicBook.com. "It imagines that many years ago, in colonial times, a group of Gothamites try to summon a bat demon called Barbatos. The mystery in the present involves the Riddler, who runs Batman through a gauntlet of weird cases, all to secretly treat him with the substances and ritualistic materials needed to open a gateway to let Barbatos in again. In the end we’re left unsure whether Barbatos was a real force in Gotham’s history and in Batman's own construction. Recently, Grant [Morrison] touched on this story with his creation of Dr. Hurt and the journey of the hyper-adapter... all things we’ll be building on in Metal to make Barbados a villain like nothing you've ever seen."
In Dark Nights: Metal, evil versions of the Dark Knight are coming to terrorize Earth. Seven one-shot comics that tie into the event are on the horizon, each spotlighting a different, corrupted version of Batman spawned from the Dark Multiverse.
"I wanted to create something that would remind you of the kid joy you felt when you went to the comic shop and you picked up something that was your summer event, right?" Snyder said. "It's stressful times, regardless of what side you're on, regardless of your political beliefs, I think that right now, we are exhausted by the news every day and I wanted to make something that would be pretty earth-shaking in his consequences and have big effects and change the DCU in important ways and be in-continuity, but also felt like when you pick it up, it's so immersive and crazy and reminds you of all the things you love about our characters, why they're aspirational, and also introduces you to brand new concepts, brand new territories, brand new characters, all that stuff. That was the goal. So I wanted you to pick it up and be like 'I am unleashing my inner rock god this summer and just going to the best rock-out concert I have ever gone to with the characters I love the most."
Dark Nights: Metal #1 is on the stands today. You can get a digital copy here.