Dark Nights: Death Metal, the big summer superhero event from DC Comics, will expand in August with a pair of new short story anthologies, the publisher announced Thursday. These anthologies will essentially be guidebooks for the world of Dark Nights: Death Metal, conveyed via a series of short stories told by a wide range of creators.

The first is literally called the Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1, and it’s due on August 18, featuring work by the following creators: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Becky Cloonan, Vita Ayala, Chip Zdarsky, Christopher Priest, Doug Mahnke, Dan Panosian, Eduardo Risso, and Khary Randolph. The concept for this comic, according to DC publicity, is to “showcase the new factions of Earth and explore the mystery of what happened to the Justice League after their battle with Perpetua.” As you may recall, that battle ended with a cliffhanger on the final page of Justice League #39.

Here is the official solicit text:

As Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and other heroes fight to survive in the strange new landscape of an Earth turned upside down and shrouded in a realm of darkness, one cloaked figure has been observing from the sidelines, creating a guidebook to this new world and its evil leaders. Find out how Wonder Woman became the queen of Hell! Discover how Batman finds the Black Lantern ring! And see what happens when Harley Quinn takes charge of the Wasteland, finding love in the process! All this and more in this jam-packed issue exploring the new world order.

The cover for that one is by Yasmine Putri, and you can check it out below…

Death Metal

The second anthology is called Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1. It hits stores on August 25, featuring work by the following creators: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Peter J. Tomasi, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Daniel Warren Johnson, Frank Tieri, Tony S. Daniel, Jim Cheung, Joëlle Jones, Riley Rossmo, and Francesco Francavilla. The concept for that one is to explore the stories of the alternate Bat-men being dredged up from the Dark Multiverse. Here’s the solicit text:

In this collection of short tales where demons dwell and reality is overrun by monstrous versions of the Dark Knight, learn the terrifying secrets of the new Bats Out of Hell and other creatures of the night like Robin King, whose origin is unimaginable! Plus, read about the secret buried beneath Castle Bat, the sentient Batmobile, and…how did Batman turn into a killer robot dinosaur?

That comic will feature a cover by Tony S. Daniel. Again, you can check out that cover below:

Death Metal

In a recent conversation with The Beat, writer Scott Snyder (the Dark Nights: Death Metal architect), noted that the event was now expanding to seven issues, and that part of the benefit of also adding these anthologies was to give the involved creators more work during the COVID-19 crisis, which stopped new comics distribution for weeks and led to a pause in some projects throughout the industry.

Snyder also noted that the expanded project is now slated to have a significant bearing on the future of DC Comics’ superhero line.

“We wound up having more room,” Snyder told The Beat. “We have seven issues instead of six, and more tie-ins and specials than we had before. It’s really become something that instead of being sort of detached from what was coming after it, now it’s setting stuff up after it. It become a much bigger and better and more important project to the line than it was before.”

The current schedule for the event is as follows:

  • Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 – June 16
  • Dark Nights: Death Metal #2 July 14
  • Dark Nights: Death Metal #3 – August 11
  • Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 – August 18
  • Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1 – August 25

That’s a whole lot of metal coming this summer.

DC publicity also announced this week that the event would be taking a skip month in September before returning to stands in October. Finally, anyone who has read this far probably already knows this, but Dark Nights: Death Metal is a sequel to the Dark Nights: Metal event from 2017. Like that story, the main book here will be written by Snyder, with artwork from Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia. Snyder has previously said that the goal for the sequel is to “sort out DC continuity.”

1 COMMENT

  1. All sounds fun except for the “sort out continuity” part. Just. Write. Stories. That don’t trample over everyone else’s stories. Snyder included.

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