Yesterday, we promised you a few reports into the current politics behind the scenes at DC Comics. We’ve been talking to many people over the last few weeks and have learned a few things of note. Such as what actually went on with DC Comics Metal.
Bleeding Cool has been reporting on the Metal series for some time. Before it was even called Metal. And then at the end of January when we told you it would be. But what we haven’t really told you until now was about the internal battle at DC Comics into the nature of the event – and even then, the name wasn’t as fixed as we thought.
For a start, DC editorial didn’t want to call it Metal at all. We mentioned they weren’t happy about the Justice League “horns” first issue cover, but it goes far deeper than that. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo wanted to riff off of heavy metal iconography, and create something far more Frank Frazetta/Jack Kirbyish in their approach to the DC Universe — about “building on the old to make something crazy and new,” according to Snyder’s social media.
DC Editorial were really pushing for something darker, with “dark” more prominent in the title. Something that would have started perhaps with those evil Batmen taking over the world, rather than with the Justice League forming a joint giant robot to fight against Mongul. “Dark Crisis” was the favoured choice.
And while there are some of those “Dark Crisis” elements present in Metal, it’s far more about taking crazy ideas, throwing them against a wall and challenging reality to make them work. Voltron Justice League. Batman On A Dinosaur. A Mountain in Gotham. Dream. All of which received lukewarm reception internally at first. There was also massive resistance into their ideas about marketing the series. The imagery and playfulness to the approach was fought over as much as the plot points.
Plus, there are the politics. DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio was wanting Metal to introduce new characters and intellectual properties, while Geoff Johns didn’t want anything that might threaten to stomp all over the existing DC Rebirth titles and the Doomsday Clock DC Universe Vs Watchmen plotlines. More of that in another article I think.
But around the spring of 2017, as Scott and Greg made Bruce Willis-style attempts at persuasion, DC Editorial stopped trying to shoot the glass, something shifted and they began to lean in. But the big evidence was that you got the San Diego Comic-Con party which was full on Metal Madness, heavy metal playlist and themed drinks. Justice League Voltron was used as promotion in the official preview. And, yes, the crossover spinoff “Justice Insurgence” got its name changed to “Bats Out Of Hell”.
And their success in pushing it through means now that all of the DC Universe titles could get some Metal-injected craziness with every title allowed to make one big major crazy change as a result of the series. More on that to come too….