Tenacious D said it best: You can’t kill the metal. While they may have been referring to the best genre of music, that’s a term which can easily be thrown at Batman and his latest multi-series event, Dark Knights: Metal. Batman writer Scott Snyder hasn’t been shy with details on his Dark Multiverse epic, an odyssey to a twisted reality that finds the dark knight tangling with a mystery threat that is linked to some of his earlier adventures since the New 52 began.
If Snyder and artist Greg Capullo really did lay some clues at the beginning of their Batman run, maybe they can be found right in front of us. After all, where better to hide a secret than in your face? Thanks to Dark Days: The Forge, we’ve already received one massive clue as to the focus of the mystery metal that plays so pivotal a role in the series: Immortality. Spoilers below.
Right, so rewind back to The Forge. Inside that book, it was revealed that the Joker has been a prisoner inside the Batcave for a while now. At least one of the three Jokers that is:
What’s the Joker talking about? The metal that has apparently gifted him with immortality over the years, known as Dionesium. Provided that you were willing to do some gene-tinkering, Dionesium is capable of repairing the body at a cellular level from any damage. It’s how Batman survived a fatal battle with the Joker, having fallen into a pit of the stuff that rebuilt him, albeit at the cost of his memory for several months. Years of damage and injuries wiped away in an instant by the element.
Which also explains how one of the Jokers was able to survive so many near-death experiences over the years. Dionesium was also a material that the immortal Vandal Savage discovered in its rawest form, while Rhas Al Ghul used it in his Lazarus Pits across the globe. The stuff had been around long before Gotham was built, with the Court of Owls refining it and creating:
Here’s where the first clues were laid for Dark Days. The secret society known as the Court of Owls used the Dionesium-based Electrum (along with silver, gold and traces of other metals) to create Electrum. Used primarily to resurrect the dead and use them as their personal guard of Talons, the Electrum implant made these lethal warriors immortal bodyguards.
Only a small amount was needed, around one fake tooth’s worth to make the metal bond with the host and make them almost unkillable by conventional means. “The Court is using a special compound that these bodies have been treated with,” Snyder said to Newsarama way back in 2012 as the Court of Owls storyline was heating up.
It’s this material that’s been imbedded into their tooth and seeps into their bloodstream in life and allows them to be preserved in a particular way so that they could be brought back to life, through this compound that they’ve been struggling to make over the years.
Electrum makes a further appearance in the Forge, described as a “strange substance he had never seen before, a metal that science couldn’t explain,” which is then further linked to iconic weapons and armour of the DC Universe: Wonder Woman’s bracelets, Aquaman’s trident and Wonder Woman’s armbands. Items which are then further linked to an even older material in the DCU:
EYES OF THE HAWK…Hawk…hawk. Nth Metal isn’t exactly an unfamiliar concept in the DCU. It’s been a mainstay in the Hawkman mythos and usually thought to have been native to the planet of Thanagar. It’s fantastic stuff, a lightweight substance that can be used for just about anything. Imagine if the carbon fibre craze of the 2000s was used to create energy-spitting maces and trans-dimensional spaceships to get the gist of how useful the stuff is. Even a thousand years into the future, the Legion of Super-Heroes used a Valorous alloy to create their Legion flight-rings.
Hawkman refers to Nth Metal as a “clue to the greatest mystery in the history of mankind,” as he further investigated the origins of his metal. That’s all of the clues present for now, as The Forge hammers out new issues for the Dark Days and Metal events. There’s a mystery at play here, one that Snyder and Capullo genuinely did lay the foundation for five years ago. A tasty one at that.
Last Updated: June 22, 2017