DC Comics regularly has “company-wide” events, but it's the publisher's Crises that it seems to put the most behind. Each one tries to be bigger and better than the last, which sometimes works and sometimes... not so much. These Crises are always written and illustrated by DC’s very best writers and artists of any given year, so it makes sense that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo were given the reins for the latest event that is shaking the very foundations of the Multiverse: Dark Nights: Metal.
“I’ve been planning Metal for as long as I’ve been writing Batman,” Snyder has said, so it's no surprise he and Capullo have been delighting fans with every twist and turn. Metal's huge overarching plot retcons all kinds of comic book continuity and ties together a bunch of seemingly disparate elements, though, as the title suggests, cosmic metals, namely Nth metal, are at the heart of the story. Well, that and Batman.
As with any big event, DC is using the buzz created by Metal to introduce new characters, and reimagine and relaunch old ones. That brings us to New Age of DC Heroes, eight new comic titles that spin out of Metal: The Silencer, Damage, Sideways, The Terrifics, The Immortal Men, The Curse of Brimstone, New Challengers and The Unexpected. Even if some of these characters (or their aliases) existed before this event, Metal is pretty much changing everything you knew about them. Thus, we thought it would be helpful to detail how all of these titles are connected to Snyder and Capullo’s Dark Multiverse.
Damage was the superhero alias used by Grant Emerson, the son of the original Atom (aka Al Pratt), who was a member of the Justice Society of America. However, since Emerson’s death in 2009's Blackest Night event, the name has gone unused. Here, writer Robert Venditti and artist Tony Daniel have introduced a brand new character that resurrects the codename.
Much like Emerson, the new Damage got his powers as the result of government experimentation. Ethan Avery signed up for the military hoping to help his country, but instead was turned into a monster. He can transform into a huge, invulnerable, well, hulk. He's basically DC’s version of Marvel's jade giant, except he can only hulk out for an hour at a time.
Where he ties into Metal is when the behemoth is mentioned in Dark Days: The Casting #1 (2017) by Dubbilex of Cadmus. He tells Batman that Project DNA had been tracking people with cosmic metals in their blood, inferring the project took a dark turn and they began activating them with Nth metal. He then shows Bats a psychic projection of Damage breaking free from a government facility. The first two issues of the Damage title have not broached the cosmic metal in his blood, but it's surely just a matter of time before it becomes a significant plot point.
This is the name of an old Shazam villain, but that character is even more obscure than Emerson’s Damage. There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the original and the new Silencer created by writer Dan Abnett and artist John Romita Jr. The fresh take on the moniker is an ex-assassin named Honor Guest. She was formerly employed by Talia Al Ghul when she was in charge of Leviathan. Guest is a meta and has the ability to create a sound-proof bubble. It is suggested that she was the most deadly hired gun in the world before retiring.
As for her tie to Metal, she is mentioned by Batman and Talia in Dark Days: The Casting #1. Bats is searching for Nth metal and runs into Talia, who has already found the Wizard Shazam’s dagger. He tells her he knows there is a war going on within Leviathan and that she has reactivated The Silencer. Bruce then trades her his recently acquired Sunblade, which is made of 8th metal, for the dagger, which is 9th metal (or Nth metal). Like Avery from our first entry, Guest also likely has cosmic metal in her veins.