WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Dark Nights: Metal #2 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia and Steve Wands, on sale now from DC Comics.
This week’s issue of Dark Nights: Metal is packed full of surprises and deep dives into DC Universe continuity, but its most surprising moment comes in the form of a nod to a much more recent story. With the Justice League on his tail and the fate of the Multiverse in his hands, Batman wields a secret weapon that could change the complexion of the entire event... so long as it doesn’t fall into enemy hands.
Bat Out Of Hell
The bulk of the issue focuses on Batman’s attempts to flee from the Justice League, as the dark energy from the Dark Multiverse builds up around the world and the arrival of Barbatos and the Dark Knights draws closer. Batman has misdirected most of the Justice League to various locations around the world, sending them on numerous wild goose chases in their attempt to stop him from using a dangerous weapon that — according to Green Lantern — is far too deadly for any one being in the universe to possess
In an attempt to stop their arrival, Batman heads to what he believes to be the resting chambers of Prince Khufu — Hawkman’s original incarnation — where he is confronted by Superman and Wonder Woman, who want him to hand over the dangerous weapon he is harboring. That weapon is, in fact, one of the most dangerous beings in the DC Universe. The weapon is none other than Darkseid himself, who is also at this point in time, a baby.
Be My Baby
Darkseid hasn’t been seen since the conclusion of last year’s "Darkseid War." The self-contained event unfolded within the pages of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s Justice League, and saw the God of All Evil clash with The Anti-Monitor on Earth with the fate of the multiverse once again at stake. Johns reached back into an earlier story, Forever Evil, to bring back the Crime Syndicate of America — the evil Justice League from Earth-3 — and more specifically bring back the plot point of Superwoman’s pregnancy, which iswasprophesied to result in the birth of a dark messiah.
The father of the baby was Earth-3’s Alexander Luthor, AKA the villain known as Mazahs. Unline Earth-0’s Shazam who gets is granted the powers of six ancient gods and heroes when he says his magic word, Mazahs steals the power of other heroes when he says his. Shortly after giving birth to the baby, Superwoman is killed by Darkseid’s daughter Grail, who uses the baby’s magic lightning to steal powers from Superman, Lex Luthor and Steve Trevor, who at the time of the story had become the New Gods of Power, Apokolips and Anti-Life. What happens when you mix those three ingredients together into a new-born baby? You get Darkseid.
Originally, the reincarnated Darkseid regained his hulking stature and intimidating presence, but none of his intelligence or cognitive functions. Instead, the reincarnated Darkseid followed the commands of his daughter who instructed him to destroy the Justice League, but Grail’s mother sacrificed herself by taking a blast of Omega Beams from her own daughter, tricking her into position so they would also hit Darkseid himself. This resulted in a massive explosion which seemingly destroyed all three of them, but Grail was later shown to be harboring Darkseid in a hidden cave, preparing to raise him to be even more evil and powerful than he was previously.