SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Dark Nights: Metal #4 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, on sale now.
Dark Nights: Metal returned from its month-long hiatus with issue #4 this week, and the already insanely massive event series managed to end with perhaps the biggest bang yet. Sure, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo gave us a history lesson about the Dark Multiverse, but most shocking of all was the fate of Carter Hall. What the heck has DC done to Hawkman?
In the latest issue, Dream gave Batman and Superman a history lesson detailing the creation of the Dark Multiverse, long, long ago. We learn that when the universe created matter and anti-matter, as well as the Monitor and Anti-Monitor, it also brought a third, previously unknown entity into existence.
This new entity, simply referred to as the Forger, was tasked with the creation of new worlds inside the Dark Multiverse with the help of the World Forge. The best ideas would become part of the known DC Multiverse, while the darkest and most unstable of worlds would remain in the dark, to be consumed and destroyed by the Forger's dragon, Barbatos.
Given the nature of Barbatos, the Destroyer of Worlds betrayed his master, usurped his role, and corrupted the World Forge. Now, instead of these Dark Multiverse worlds ceasing to exist like they are supposed to, they're lingering around, long enough for them to possibly replace the current Multiverse.
With Barbatos having taken up the role of his former master, there is no one to serve as the dragon, Destroyer of Worlds -- until now, that is!
The Final Fate of Carter Hall, Revealed
Batman has been chasing the ghost of Carter Hall since it was revealed he was in possession of the winged Justice Leaguer's journals in Dark Days: The Forge. Ever the good detective, Bruce Wayne followed the mystery of the metals that Hawkman left behind in his notes. The entire series has shown just how bad learning the truth of the DC Universe can be, and issue #4 hits on that point -- hard.
Sent deep within the Dark Multiverse, Superman and Batman have been tasked by Dream to halt the corruption of the World Forge before it is too late. What they find there, though, is far worse than they could have ever expected. It also proves that, after all this time, the mystery Batman has been chasing may all be a lie.
Carter Hall is revealed to transformed into a monstrous Hawk-Man who serves Barbatos and the darkness. Needing a new dragon to serve under him, Barbatos presumably lured Carter Hall into the Dark Multiverse and corrupted the hero. Now, Carter serves as the Keeper of the Dark Forge, equipped with giant metal wings, like the Forger, and holding the same hammer the entity once wielded.
The Forger was once a being of creation, and the World Forge a symbol of new beginnings. However, Batman and Superman have seemingly arrived to late to stop the infection of darkness. The trail Batman had followed only led to a dead end, as Carter tells him "there are only endings here." All seems hopeless now with only two more issues remaining in the series.
This revelation gives us some idea of what to expect from the forthcoming Hawkman Found one-shot slated to hit stands on December 27. Liam Sharpe's variant cover depicts a battle between Hawkman and a giant Hawk-Monster, which has now been revealed to be Carter Hall's new form. Expect that issue to detail the journey he took through the Dark Multiverse in order to take on the role he now serves.