SPOILER WARNING: The following interview contains major spoilers for Dark Nights: Metal #5 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, on sale now.
This week sees the release of Dark Nights: Metal #5, the penultimate issue of the bombastic, guitar-squealing epic that’s been careening it’s way through the DC Universe for the better part of a year. We sat down with writer Scott Snyder to talk, not just about this weeks issue, but the spirit his and artist Greg Capullo’s event hopes to inject straight into the core of the multiverse.
CBR: This past week included Colorist Appreciation Day, so I wanted to start off by getting some perspective on your collaborators — not just Greg Capullo, but your inker Jonathan Glapion and your colorist FCO Plascencia. When you approach these guys with a concept like, “Okay, I need a giant laser that can fire a beam into the center of the universe…” What does the design process look like?
Scott Snyder: [Laughs] I have a few relationships with people — with those guys and people like Jock, Raphael Albuquerque, Sean Murphy — where I can be like, “Look, dude, I’m going for this, this is the feeling of it, this is the energy, but I’m gonna leave it completely to you design wise.” And then, as a team, these people come back with something that’s so far beyond what you could imagine.
The first time we ever really took that risk, that veered away not just in story but in complete artistic vision was back in Zero Year — so as a Colorist Appreciation Day nod specifically, FCO was so key with that one. I went to him one-on-one and said, “Look, we need this to look so not like anything that’s ever happened in a Batman comic.” And he came back and was like, “What if I eliminate browns, greys…” All those kinds of traditional “Batman” colors. So we wound up going with pinks, greens — and it was great. I loved it. The spirit of arc, the whole lexicon of the thing, it’s all translated by color.
Now, especially when you get to Metal #5 and #6, the crazy’s like, dialed up to like 11-plus, you really need people like this for your team. #5 sets the stage but #6 is the real finale — you’ve got Plastic Man coming out of his egg, becoming like the craziest permutation of himself, you’ve got Joker dragons, the person in the bandages is unwrapped — all kinds of crazy. So you really need people FCO, Jonathan and Greg to trust.
Speaking a little bit about Plastic Man, here we get some more info about exactly why his situation is as weird as it’s been throughout Metal. And not to spoil too much or say that I don’t think Eel is a hero, but it’s a pretty surprisingly altruistic turn for him. Can you talk a bit about what inspired this Rebirth for him?
The idea was to keep his origin kind of as it was, he’s kind of a neerdowell and a thief, but the vat that he falls into is this cosmic material that’s beyond his comprehension. For a while, he’s just excited to change his form, even if it drives him a little crazy — but what we wanted to do was keep him in that anti-hero mode but then give him a very heroic motivation. So, all this dark energy is rising, everyone’s fears are running through Plastic Man’s head, and he’s now comprised of this material that’s attuned to the multiverse so — imagine that you’re able to change your shape and you’re tuned in like a radio to everyone’s worst nightmares. It would be driving you insane. So his thought is “I can’t control my form anymore, so let me compress myself into this — [Laughs] — this egg, so I can block everything out as best I can.”
Now, he’s afraid to come out of that safety zone because he’s afraid he might become somebody’s worst nightmare. So, spoilers, but in the next issue he has to decide what to do — make a gigantic play for himself and be this sort of huge hero in this giant moment, or he needs to stay in the egg and… [Laughs] You can probably guess which one it is, but it’s one of my favorite pages in the whole thing.
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