WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Dark Nights: Metal #2, by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
In addition to teasing out a secret history of the DC Universe, and peeling back the corner of a Dark Multiverse, Dark Days and Dark Nights: Metal have reintroduced such classic elements Nth Metal, Plastic Man, Blackhawk Island, Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders to Rebirth continuity. With Metal #2, on sale this week, we can add another old favorite to the list: the Hall of Doom.
Although it’s not named in the story, the iconic design — like an early Ralph McQuarrie concept for Darth Vader’s helmet — is unmistakable. Emerging from “the Antarctic lava pits,” it’s under construction by Vandal Savage for “another purpose,” but used for a clandestine gathering of the DCU’s immortals to address the danger posed by the Dark Multiverse.
Of course, the Hall of Doom is better known not as the temporary meeting place of the immortals, but rather as the sinister-looking headquarters of the Legion of Doom on the 1978 animated series Challenge of the SuperFriends. It’s somewhat appropriate that the hall makes its rebirth debut in Antarctica, as Captain Cold had suggested it be hidden “under the ice of the polar cap” in the weirdly apocalyptic series finale “History of Doom,” which recounted the Legion’s origin. (Black Manta argued for the bottom of the ocean, Gorilla Grodd for the jungle; as a compromise, Lex Luthor selected beneath the murky waters of a swamp.)
Touted as an impenetrable fortress “equipped with the most deadly devices in the universe,” the Hall of Doom was fitted with rocket boosters, which not only enabled it to emerge from the swamp’s waters whenever the 13 members of the Legion of Doom gathered in its central meeting room (recreated in Metal #2), but also to fly through the air.
Challenge of the SuperFriends gave way in 1979 to The World’s Greatest Super Friends, but neither the Legion of Doom nor its memorable headquarters remained out of sight for long. Perhaps because some of the young viewers of the Saturday-morning cartoon grew up to be writers, artists and producers, the Hall of Doom has appeared again and again over the past four decades, across comic books, animated and live-action television, and video games.
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