SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Dark Days: The Forge #1, on sale now.
Dark days are no longer coming to the DC Universe — they’re already here.
Dark Days: The Forge #1 officially kicks off the road to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Dark Nights: Metal, and it did so in the form of a number of shocking revelations. But perhaps the biggest to come at the hands of Snyder, James Tynion IV and Jim Lee was the revelation that Batman has been keeping The Joker a prisoner, held deep beneath the Batcave in a secret cell.
That’s right — the Dark Knight has been holding his archenemy captive, which leaves readers (not to mention the heroes who discovered him, Duke Thomas and Hal Jordan) asking how, when and perhaps most importantly, why? In an interview with CBR (live on the site later today), Snyder remained tight-lipped as to the details regarding the Clown Prince of Crime’s imprisonment, but he was happy to pull back the curtain a little bit on the role the iconic villain will play in Dark Nights: Metal. In short: the Joker knows what’s coming, even if Batman has yet to sort all the pieces of the impending Dark Multiverse puzzle together.
“[The Joker] featured in one way or another in every story that I did with Batman. He even made an appearance at the beginning of ‘The Court of Owls,’ and haunts the Court of Owls in different ways. He’s always lurking, in one way or another,” Snyder told CBR. “In that way, we felt there was nobody better to be the person that has more answers than anybody. Because The Joker has been there through all of it, and because he discovered bits of the mystery along with Batman that has to do with Metal about different sorts of metal across the DCU that radiate energy beyond any analysis, including the dionesium that we’ve used in our run. He would be the one who would sit there and I say, ‘I know what’s coming. I know the answers and you don’t want to go down this road.’ He provides an incredible source of information for Duke and Hal and yet, at the same time, because he’s The Joker, he’s lying!”
As opaque as Snyder is regarding exactly how the Joker will ultimately play into his Dark Nights: Metal plans, it’s clear that he’s poised to play a crucial role. The writer is also crystal clear regarding whether any of what readers see in The Forge or Metal is tied to Rebirth’s long-simmering “Three Jokers” subplot, first introduced in last year’s DC Universe: Rebirth one-shot. In short, they’re 100 percent separate from each other.
“Geoff [Johns] was great about walking us through what the plan is for upcoming ‘Three Jokers’ storyline and giving us the breathing room for what we wanted to do. Just to be clear to readers, this is not going to answer the ‘Three Jokers’ question” Snyder said. “That’s really for Geoff — he has a big story planned for that — but what it will do is show us the way that The Joker, like he did during my entire time on Batman, is always there as the Greek chorus of the book, saying to Batman, in one way or another, ‘You’re doing it wrong,’ or, ‘You’re doing it right. This is what needs to happen. This is who you are.”
CBR’s in-depth, spoiler-riffic interview with Scott Snyder about the major developments in Dark Days: The Forge will be published later today.