Snyder told ComicBook.com that after the pair ended their Batman run, they were advised against making their big comeback as an event title. "Nobody likes event titles," they were told, and the challenges presented by innumerable tie-ins make turning the story into a genuinely enjoyable read. Snyder was not deterred, and Capullo loved the giant, widescreen scope of the story that would become Metal.
"I've done my homework on summer events," Snyder told ComicBook.com. "I really spent a year looking at every single comic event that I could, trying to see what I loved about them from Invasion to Fear Itself to Blackest Night, and asking what are the things that made them great and what are the things that bogged them down? I see the calculus, but the calculus is nothing if you don't bring a spirit to it that says 'This means something to me. This is what this is about.' It's time to remind each other how much fun and how ridiculous comics can be, but why by being fun and ridiculous, they can be intensely personal and mean a tremendous amount and affect us in ways we wouldn't expect."
Snyder often says that he wants to insert the personal and psychological into his stories; superhero comics may be escapism, but Snyder elevates that to something more, crafting tales that use escapism as a kind of catharsis and turning stress and nightmares into something that the readers can be delivered from by the right hero. In 2017, Snyder says, everyone is stressed and Americans continue to be at each others' throats following a contentious 2016 election.
"It's a story about this moment and it's a story about very intimate sorts of issues that Greg and I can discuss," Snyder told ComicBook.com "I've seen him at a very low point and he's seen me at a very low point and the story is about the ways in which comics have helped us through. Not working in comics, but reading comics, both as children and adults. I'm really proud of it in that regard and so it's a huge relief to see the support that people have thrown behind it."
Snyder also explained that the nature of Metal allows for everyone to get a little bit of what they like out of their event stories: besides the core miniseries that builds the mythology, the story includes a number of one-shots and a pair of crossover/tie-in stories that will run through ongoing monthly DC titles.
The one shots tell the stories of the Dark Knights (evil Batmen from the Dark Multiverse), how they became who they are and what their plans are in the DC Universe. "The Gotham Resistance," which began with this week's issue of Teen Titans, shows how Gotham is taken over by The Batman Who Laughs and how the city's heroes fight back against that. Snyder describes the story as "Game of Thrones meets Dungeons and Dragons on crack." Coming later in the fall, the "Bats Out of Hell" story features a series of knock-down, drag-out fights in evil Batcaves between the Justice League and these Dark Knights.
"I wanted it to be exploratory. It's about each character going someplace that's uncomfortable for them, or unknown," Snyder explained. "Go someplace where they discover not just something about their own mythology, but something about the universe itself that's overwhelming and spooky and scary, and then saying 'Do I turn back, or do I go forward?' That's the fun of it: an event that has the things that I hope that people would want; it has the total WTF moments at the end, where you're like 'how did this spin into such crazy territory?' It's got the knock-down, drag-out fights, it's got the returns of characters that you love."
Dark Nights: Metal is in comic shops now, but has sold out at the distribution level, so get it soon. If you can't get a copy at your local comic shop, a second printing should be along soon, or you can buy a digital copy here.