Each year, DC Comics and Marvel Comics offers its readers one big event, and in the madness of 2020, Scott Snyder is leading said spectacle for DC. Dark Nights: Death Metal is the sequel to another event dubbed Metal, and it kicked off earlier this year to some rave reviews. We even wrote a guide to get you ready for it. Hell, it even got a music video from Marilyn Manson.
I recently had the chance to check in with Snyder about Dark Nights: Death Metal; specifically, issue #4 and what it all means. And since we’re knee-deep in spooky vibes for Halloween, we also discuss how scary the story goes. Plus, Snyder shares his thoughts on the book as a whole, especially as it represents one his final mainline titles for DC.
Before we dig into the interview, lets review Snyder’s checklist to see where we’re at in Death Metal.
AIPT: Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 is out October 13. I know it was delayed a bit due to the pandemic, but would one say it’s particularly well-tuned for Halloween?
Scott Snyder: Death Metal #4 is more contemplative than the other issues. It’s dreamier. It happens in the worlds of the crises. So basically, the heroes have traveled down to re-enter the three main DC crises past and when they get there, they discover that they’ve been altered. And so that these are the versions of the crises where they lost. And so these crises are really unfamiliar and scary the way that they’ve been transformed. So there’s definitely elements of horror in it.
It’s one of the most emotional issues that we’ve done where Wonder Woman really has to talk to Super Boy Prime and sort of understanding why, why anyone would ever want to do what he’s doing and what the villains do with these crises about starting stuff, over rebooting, clinging to something from the past. And it’s the first issue where I think you’ll really get a sense of what we’re going for, with what the whole story is kind of leaning towards and what it’s about.
AIPT: What is Death Metal about to you personally?
SS: For me, it’s very much about the hero’s realizing ultimately, the way that they’ve been fighting the villains and the way that they’ve been operating for years isn’t quite right. And instead, what they need to do is, instead of trying to get this power to be able to restart the multiverse in a bright way, according to what they think is going to be hopeful and bright and joyful. They need to actually accept that their history, their past reckon with their mistakes, understand that by connecting to all of it, they might become obsolete, all of these different things that they do by unknotting, the unknotting the DC history in a way and allowing it all to kind of become relevant is where we’re headed.
The story is, at the end of the day, the story is really about letting go. It’s about welcoming change, even when you don’t know what that change is going to bring. Understanding that you live on through your actions. And that whatever heroism is in you is about doing something good today so that it reverberates through time. Not being the biggest hero out there, but staying on top of being present and everything all the time. That’s the best way to describe that.
AIPT: Does it feel bittersweet at all this is one of your last mainline DC Comics?
SS: Yeah, it always does. You know, but it feels really good. I mean, I love the story. I really do. And I believe deeply in what it’s saying. I never thought it would sell as well as it is. So I’m blown away by the fact that it’s out doing our first Metal but especially in these times. I always proceeded with it with Greg [Capullo] and with everybody involved that I love what it says about comics and what it’s about for this moment and it’s about the notion of comics are for everyone and very it’s a very personal message to me what the books about and therefore I can I feel comfortable allowing it to be as elastically insane as it is because I know what the heart is, you know? So it is bittersweet because so much about DC has changed and there’s so much I’m excited about as well.
I feel as though it’s time for me to really do more of my own stuff but seeing like James [Tynion] doing such amazing stuff there. Batman and all of that. But yeah, it’s super bittersweet, you know, but I honestly I feel like someone who’s graduating and I’m very proud of what we did, but I’m also even prouder of what’s to come from people that I really love that are still working there. And, you know, I was lucky enough to be part of the talent workshop and see so many people doing such great things in comics, even though I learned more from them than they learned from me.
I’m very inspired by the next generation of creators and I think I just hope there’s a big embrace from them at Marvel and DC and that you know, I can’t wait to see what they have to do so that for me, this is a fun way of getting to say goodbye in our own way.