The Road to DC Future State Starts With An Epic End to Another Event
“It all matters.” Scott Snyder used this phrase repeatedly during Dark Nights: Death Metal. Finally, in issue #7, along with Generations Shattered, the last two comics on the road to DC Future State, we find out what that means. Actually, we’ve known for a while what “it all matters” means. Ever since G5, the brainchild of now-fired DC Publisher Dan Didio, we knew that the different timelines of the DC Universe were going to collide. But since Didio’s firing, DC swore that there was no reboot coming.
And, in certain ways, they are telling the truth and lying to us. “It all matters,” is a statement to the fans, especially those tired of the reboots (there were, what, 4 in the past 20 years?). So how can all timelines matter, from before Crisis on Infinite Earths to Rebirth? By inverting the past reboots into one massive reboot that undoes all reboots by streamlining said reboots into one linear non-reboot.
W. T. F? How is this going to work? Well, while we get some answers on the road to DC Future State, we’re a long way from knowing what the DC Universe will look like come March. But, let’s look at what we got this week.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, a Climatic Ending Leading to the Final Step on the Road to DC Future State
The Batman Who Shreds! This is canon now. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, DC Comics)
Death Metal started as a mini-series, not an event, but after DC canceled 5G, Snyder’s sequel to Dark Nights: Metal exploded into something massive. We had huge (and expensive) tie-ins to go along with the core series. Some of those were excellent, like Secret Origin. Others were just okay, like The Multiverse Who Laughs. However, in this final issue, you could really feel the editorial reigns. But that doesn’t mean Snyder and Capullo didn’t deliver. Death Metal was always Wonder Woman’s story, and though things got convoluted in the process, it ended as Wonder Woman’s story. There are a hundred amazing moments in just this issue alone, but we’ll focus on what makes it important to Future State. (Serious spoilers to follow)
The Batman Who Laughs Was Right
End of a (very short) era. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, DC Comics)
Wonder Woman becomes the embodiment of truth in the final battle, representing all timelines and all memory. She’s become as god-like as The Batman Who Laughs, now the Darkest Knight. Well, almost. They battle each other through time and space, literally from the beginning to the end. In one brilliant moment, while the Darkest Knight and Diana debate with the literal Hand of Creation between them, Diana kicks the hand, making it slap the Darkest Knight back into the far future. But why did he take Diana to the beginning of time, to begin with?
The Batman Who Laughs wanted to kill the creators of the universe, who are about to erase all existence after he killed Perpetua. Diana thinks she can convince them otherwise, but, as Wonder Woman is pushing him into an exploding sun (epic!), he tells her to look into the future if she does win. And what does she find? The creators end the multiverse anyway. Knowing that she’ll fail either way, does she side with the Batman Who Laughs? Nope—she pushes him the rest of the way into the sun, finally bringing an end to the worst of the Nightmare Batmen.
Wonder Woman Ascends On the Road to DC Future State
In or out of context, this is beautiful. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, DC Comics)
After she kills the Batman Who Laughs, the creators of the universe are perplexed. She knew they would destroy everything, and yet she still killed the only thing that could stop them. So, they change their minds. They are going to stitch the multiverse back together, but they will make all timelines matter. They also require one last thing of Wonder Woman. Not her life—far from it. She needs to ascend to their level, which means she has to leave Earth regardless. She accepts this, the heroes and villain of Earth “rawk!”, and all timelines are flawlessly brought together.
Just kidding. The creators really didn’t plan this margining of timelines well, which brings us to the final comic on the road to DC Future State…
Generations Shattered Shows The Terrifying Results of “Everything Matters”
This team…not the best stuff. (Image: Generations Shattered #1, DC Comics)
In Generations Shattered, we see the effects of Wonder Woman and the Creators’ decision to “make everything matter.” Remember the white death wave in Crisis on Infinite Earths? Well, it’s back. Turns out, to combine several timelines and universes, you have to cut up a lot of it too. Old Man Booster Gold needs to recruit specific heroes from different eras and timelines in order to fight back against the annihilation wave.
But pretty much everything goes wrong in Generations Shattered, which—though we aren’t sure yet—is probably how this “Future State” came to be. Booster dies, giving Skeets to Kamandi, who immediately screws up and saves the wrong member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. They go to save Superman and instead save a younger Booster Gold. Running out of time, Kamandi’s told to take the most powerful member of the Teen Titans, Judas Contract era, so he takes Starfire (probably a mistake too). And so on, all the way to the 1939 Batman. The only one who definitely should be there is Doctor Light (we googled her for you).
By the end of the issue, this team who are supposed to work together and stop the end of everything—1939 Batman, Starfire, Green Lantern Sinestro, Kamandi, Superboy, Booster Gold, Steel, and Doctor Light—are scattered across time. We don’t even know if they’re in the same timelines either. Of course, this is just hitting on what seems important on the road to DC Future State, so keep in mind that there’s a lot more in this issue.
The Road to DC Future State is Part of the Road to DC Infinite Frontier
This is a very impractical design. But it looks cool. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, DC Comics)
Once DC Future State ends, with Generations Forged, we head into Infinite Frontier. We already know some bits and pieces about this upcoming era. And the first real part of the new status quo. At the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, Barry Allen takes Wally West to a new base on the other side of the moon called “The Totality.” In it, they can see the forming of not just a new multiverse but a new omniverse. And, for the first time, Earth-0 is no longer the only center. So, we have a new team of heroes and villains, both Justice and Doom, who are the new watchers on the wall. Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, Mister Terrific, Tahlia Al Ghul, Vandal Savage, Lex Luther, and, now, Wally West. Of all of them, Wally’s recent experiences put him in the middle of good and evil.
We know that Brian Michael Bendis will be the next Justice League writer and that the team looks mostly traditional. However, we’re only at the end of the road for DC Future State—we have a long way to go before we know how DC will feature this team—but it’s going to make a great series.
Wonder Slap. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, DC Comics)
(Featured Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, DC Comics)
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.