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Ten Moments that Mattered: Barbatos Invades the DC Universe

Ten Moments that Mattered: Barbatos Invades the DC Universe

By Meg Downey Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Has it been a year already? 2017 has reached its end, but before we dive into 2018, we’d like to take a moment and look back. For DC fans, 2017 was a remarkable year in comics, film and TV. Our characters reached new milestones and audiences, our writers and artists achieved remarkable new heights and our universe continued to grow in surprising new ways. And yet, within it all, several moments stood out for their importance and relevance. Some of them were groundbreaking, others were a welcome return. All of them are worthy of acknowledgement and celebration. In a year in which fans had much to talk about, these are the moments we’ll continue to talk about well beyond the new year. These are DCComics.com’s “Ten Moments that Mattered in 2017.”
 

Sometimes the most important questions to ask are also the simplest, and in the case of the DARK NIGHTS: METAL, the epic crossover event that's been shaking up the DCU all summer, the question couldn't be simpler.

Are you ready to rock?

Don't be fooled, in Metal's case, that's not even a hypothetical. Pulling from some of the deepest and most bombastic corners of DC's history and continuity, Metal has been legendary BATMAN creative duo Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's full-on rock opera. It's a tribute to all things super heroic, complete with its own playlist (curated by Snyder himself), soundtrack and all the over-the-top action you'd probably only ever dreamed of seeing in the pages of a comic book, from a Justice League Voltron-style suit of armor, to Darkseid as an infant shooting Omega Beams from a baby carrier deep within a forgotten crypt.

No, seriously.

But beyond just being a total no-holds-barred explosion of off-the-wall excellence, Metal has been doing some seriously fancy footwork in the Rebirth DCU, building and extrapolating on some of the core tenets of the Multiverse in never before seen ways, and it all comes from one sinister force at the heart of it all. His name might familiar to you if you're a Batman fan, and if it isn't it definitely will be soon: Barbatos, the ancient demonic Bat-God himself, has invaded, and brought with him the never-before-seen Dark Multiverse, an evil, polar opposite of the Multiverse we all know and love.

The Dark Multiverse is the place where every nightmare and fear you've ever had is capable of manifesting and becoming real, and it's been Barbatos's domain for centuries. Even worse? He's not alone. The Dark Multiverse is home to the twisted mirror images not just one, but all of the DCU's best and brightest, and Barbatos has gathered up an army of twisted, corrupted versions of Batman to act as his own personal invasion force. And if that wasn't terrifying enough, the evil Batmen army is led by the absolutely nightmarish Batman Who Laughs, a dark version of Bruce who has been terminally infected by Joker Toxin. You'll be able to pick him out of the lineup by his gnarly rictus grin and twisted, cannibalistic Robins.

Barbatos's plan was actually pretty simple: manipulate Bruce Wayne from the shadows into opening a gateway to the Dark Multiverse, and then switch places with him, pulling Bruce into the nightmare and himself into the light, while sending his team of nightmare Batmen after the Justice League to make sure no one would be able to stop him.

But of course, the League has other plans, and they definitely don't intend to go down without a fight, or leave anyone behind. That is, if they can help it...the jury is still out on that one, unfortunately.

The threat of Barbatos and the discovery of the Dark Multiverse has ushered in no shortage of shake-ups for the DC Universe at large. Beloved characters that we haven’t seen in a while, like Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Mr. Terrific and Plastic Man, have taken on all new Rebirth roles while brand new characters have been called to action. Even Dream of the Endless (yes, that Dream, from the iconic Vertigo SANDMAN series) has gotten involved.

After a brief hiatus, the series returned with this week’s DARK NIGHTS: METAL #4 (if you need a memory refresher, you can go back and reading DC All Access co-host Whitney Moore's breakdowns of each issue) and gets another spinoff next week with HAWKMAN: FOUND. But the true repercussions of the series won’t be known until Metal concludes early next year. We’ll know then what the ultimate effects of the Dark Multiverse’s attack are…but needless to say, the DC Universe will never be the same.
 

Be sure to check DCComics.com again on Monday for another Moment that Mattered in 2017.

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