DC Comics' Dark Nights: Metal event is still having ramifications upon the multiverse to this day. Arguably the most important element introduced in the story was that of the Dark Multiverse. This itself gave birth to the New Age of DC Heroes line, which saw the introduction of the teen hero, Sideways.
Tempus Fuginaut, a prominent character from Sideways' book, has made an appearance in Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Knightfall, bringing with him a foreboding warning of the next Crisis. Who is this enigmatic, godlike being, and what could his dire message mean for the future of the DC Universe?
Who Is Tempus Fuginaut?
Tempus Fuginaut first appeared appeared at the end of 2018's Sideways #1. Introduced as the protagonist's first potential villain, he was, as shown in his name, a member of the cosmic race known as the Fuginauts. The Fuginauts can travel effortlessly throughout the myriad dimensions, and are tasked with policing outside intrusions into these dimensions. The very nature of Sideways' Dark Multiverse-powered, dimension-hopping abilities pose a threat to this mission.
Given the Fuginauts' particular distaste for the Dark Multiverse, this meant that Sideways, and any others like him, simply had to die. Tempus, however, wished to assert himself among the drone-like order of Fuginauts, and rebelled by choosing to instead train the young hero in the use of his powers. He even went further by protecting citizens of the Dark Multiverse who had found their way into the main DC Universe, due to their association with Sideways.
His role in guarding time and space, especially against threats from the Multiverse, make his order very similar to pre-existing DC characters such as The Monitor. He is also very similar to Marvel's The Watcher. This resemblance is driven further in that The Watcher was the narrator for Marvel's What If? series of stories that gave specific divergences to classic stories. The Tales From the Dark Multiverse series functions in much the same way, but for iconic DC stories.
The DC Watcher and Infinite Crises
Tempus Fuginaut's narration at the beginning of Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Knightfall reveals his new mission. The character reveals a coming "crisis," the like of which are unparalleled. Thus, he seeks strong universes worthy of aiding him in the coming fight with the unknown threat. The first of these worlds is one in which the conclusion of the events of Knightfall took a far darker turn. Given the Fuginauts' general reluctance in dealing with/interacting with the denizens of the Dark Multiverse, the threat must be extreme for Tempus to seek help from there.
A new Crisis for DC Comics has been teased as the big event of 2020, and while the official banner of DC Rebirth is over, there are still a few loose ends to draw to a close. This is exacerbated by other recent stories, such as Dark Nights: Metal, Doomsday Clock, and arguably Heroes In Crisis. A new Crisis could be used to shut the narrative door on these stories, and finish the restorative job that Rebirth started.
The timing would also be ideal, what with the CW soon to begin its adaptation of the first Crisis storyline. Much as the original Crisis on Infinite Earths resolved by uniting the various Earths of the DC Multiverse into one, perhaps the coming "Dark Crisis" would unite the normal DC Multiverse and the Dark Multiverse. It could also cast Tempus in the role that The Monitor had in the original story. Instead of the Anti-Monitor, perhaps the villain would be an evil Fuginaut, or even a Dark Multiverse version of Tempus. Time, and space, will only tell, as the Dark Multiverse is visited further in the coming months.
Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Knightfall is available now.