On a more serious note, we get a really touching and emotional moment in this issue with Bruce -- there's a lot going on here about a Batman who is very open with his struggle to see himself as a hopeful hero. Is that something you built into Metal specifically, or is this a natural outcropping of your work with the character over the years?
It was absolutely what I came to believe about him over time, while we were writing him. When I started with "Court of Owls," he was very much a conduit for me to be brave in the face of things that I was feeling. That arc was largely about going home and suddenly seeing that nobody you know is there anymore, that everything has changed, you've gotten older. That story really hooks into a lot of that feeling. As I got older and worked on him more, over the following, like, six years, a lot changed. We had a second kid -- I had developed "Court of Owls" when my first son was very young, and now he's ten, so, you know...
The idea, really, was that Bruce came to be less about what he means to me, and more about what he means to my kids, and what I want him to sort of make them brave in the face of. That development, when he became less a figure of intimidation or just a badass fun detective and more somebody who is inspiring and instead of just scaring bad people into the shadows, actually inspires good people to go out into the light in the face of these monstrous challenges. Things that I think my kids are afraid of these days. That became really important for me.
So this moment was great for me to write, y'know, just for myself. Just as a sort of crystallization of how I see Bruce. It's how I hope he sees himself one day, because he never slows down. This event is largely about Bruce being forced to slow down and to look at all the ways he might fail -- all the terrible versions of him that are possible. That's something that Clark needs to be there to remind him of, really, because Clark is always looking at all the ways he can fail. Clark is a character who is very sensitive to the ways in which things can go wrong, where Bruce is just strategic.
That's why I love having them together. Wonder Woman, I love too, just because she cuts through all their bullshit. [Laughs] She's sensitive, but she's also just like the tough sister to them. She's always saying, "We gotta move, save the talk for later."
When we get to issue six, which is full of just about every crazy moment I can muster -- Batman riding Joker dragons, everything. Literally like a Vegas buffet of crazy, a rock show finale. Diana has some of those moments there, which are some of my favorites in the series.
There are a lot of irons in the fire in this particular issue with all the different teams on all the different missions. Can you tease a bit of what we should expect -- or maybe even the things we should already be paying attention to -- with the different threads that are wrapping around each other here?
Oh man, well, the stuff with Aquaman and Deathstroke is going to continue both here and in Aquaman itself. The stuff with Flash and Cyborg is going to be headed for the thing I'm co-writing with Grant Morrison -- The Wild Hunt -- that's going to have big, big consequences after everything too. So Metal will be self contained, but there are a lot of story engines here that we're trying to rev up. You can read Metal as an isolated thing and I promise we're not going to leave you hanging, but at the same time -- everything in it, we wanted to lead to more mystery and more story.