WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Unexpected #6 by Steve Orlando, Roman Cliquet, and Jeromy Cox, on sale now!
The DC Universe is filled with all kinds of cosmic horrors these days. The Batman Who Laughs is on the loose, the Totality (aka, the building blocks of the Multiverse) has come to Earth, and Barbatos, the evil god from Dark Nights: Metal, is still imprisoned at the bottom of the Dark Multiverse.
Both the Justice League and Justice League Dark are also dealing with invasions of godlike beings, so the universe doesn't exactly need another cosmic threat. So it imply makes sense, then, that The Unexpected #6 has brought back one of the most terrifying villains the DC Universe has ever faced: Mandrakk, the Dark Monitor. It feels like something big is on the horizon.
Learn to Expect the Unexpected
Readers of The Unexpected have followed Neon the Unknown and Firebrand's unexpected journey through the DCU over the last few months. An unstable isotope of Nth Metal has brought them into harm's way over and over, but the truth finally stands revealed when Neon, Firebrand and Hawkman travel between dimensions to a land long-time DC fans never thought they'd see again: the world of Nil, the former homeworld of the Monitors.
Last seen in Grant Morrison, J.G. Jones, and Doug Mahnke's Final Crisis, Nil was left desolate following the elimination of the Monitor race. As we discover here, it looks like the world is exactly how it was left a decade ago, a place of ruins and overgrown plant life. But one key point of interest is still left standing.
Neon and company discover a tombstone with the words "To Be Continued" inscribed on it, but what does it mean? Readers of Final Crisis will remember that this is what Superman chose to write on his grave following his battle with Mandrakk, the Dark Monitor. While the Monitor race may be long gone, it turns out that some things don't go away so easily.
One of the Tempus Fuginauts—the successors of the Monitors—then confronts the party and tells them the truth about the isotope. It turns out it's not Nth Metal at all, but actually a concentrated piece of Bleed, the membrane between alternate universes. It is then that everything comes together, because who do we know that feeds on Bleed? Mandrakk, the ultimate evil, has returned.