Dark Days: The Forge

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Credit: Newsarama

Today’s the day. DC has just released the prelude to its next major event. And boy, it was quite the read. 

For starters we’re looking at a 40-page one shot that’s packing DC’s finest writers and artists including: Scott Snyder, James Tynion, Jim Lee, John Romita Jr, Andy Kubert, Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, Danny Miki, Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper. 

We probably haven’t seen an issue this big since DC Universe Rebirth, which came out on May 25th of last year. If any of you guys out there are comic collectors, this one is a must. Lots of stuff is happening at the moment and you do NOT want to miss out, especially with the reappearance of some stuff-- more on that later.

Now, let’s talk spoilers. Best turn back now if you haven’t read this issue. We’re talking big stuff; don’t let this article ruin the read for you.

In Dark Days: The Forge, we’re reading from three main perspectives: Hawkman, Batman, and Hal Jordan. The last time we’ve seen Carter Hall in the comics was when he gave up the Nth metal in his bones in attempt to kill Despero in the miniseries, Death of Hawkman. Honestly I’m not sure how that ties into Dark Days, but in some way, our favorite Thanagarian plays a big part in this story. 

The funny part about this is that there’s no indication of Hawkman actually being alive at the moment. Everything that you’ve read regarding Hawkman in this issue, was all a journal entry from Carter Hall. The journal basically warns those who read it to stay away from the metals which he was investigating (thus explaining the title for DC’s next event, Metal). So whatever Batman is doing at the moment, he, along with some other heroes, are about to get into some deep shit…

Speaking of Batman, sometimes I don’t understand how he does what he does. In this issue, there’s a lot of interaction going on between Bats and a few other characters. First, we got Aquaman, who questioned why Batman had a black-site that’s digging in the middle of the ocean. From what I understand, there’s something literally hidden underneath Atlantis. Whatever it is probably has to do with the metals which Carter was talking about.

Later, Batman goes to the Batcave. I’m not talking about the one underneath Wayne Manor-- I’m talking about the lunar one. Yes, the one on the moon. Batman teleports to the Batcave on the moon and meets with Mr. Terrific, who makes a debut to DC Rebirth. 

From the looks of it, Batman and Mr. Terrific are in the works of investigating a cosmic anomaly that’s present on their respective Earths. Whatever’s happening at the moment, neither of them understand what’s going on. In conclusion, the two decide turn to someone we haven’t seen in a long time. As it turns out, Batman has been keeping what seems to be Plastic Man dormant in an egg-like shape. 

It appears that Batman has a lot of stuff planned out and it’ll be interesting to see how Plastic Man plays a role in all of this.

However, it doesn’t stop at Plastic Man. Later in the issue, Batman travels to the Arctic Circle and meets with Superman in the Fortress of Solitude. Deep within the Fortress lays a room that Batman locked and kept hidden away for no one else to open until the time is right. Even Superman hasn’t seen what’s in it. 

Along with Batman is Mr. Miracle, who comes to help Batman reopen the door. Whatever was kept hidden, Mr. Miracle was appalled and warns Batman to keep away. He enters the room anyway, and from the looks of it we see something that any DC fan should be able to recognize-- the Anti-Monitor’s dimensional tower from Infinite Crisis and Crisis on Infinite Earths. 

Like, dude, what the hell is Batman thinking right now?!? Just by looking at this panel, fans can only expect DC to launch another Crisis that would bring together the entire DC Universe once again.

Lastly, we join Hal Jordan who meets with Ganthet of the Green Lantern Corp. Apparently, there’s some big threat on Earth, and Hal needs to investigate without telling the other GL’s of Earth or any other Justice League member. The coordinates Hal receives from Ganthet mysteriously leads him to Wayne Manor, so he goes in to check out the Batcave. 

GL meets Duke Thomas (Bats’ next protege), and together they discovered a new cave-- within the Batcave. As they enter the newly discovered cave, Hal and Duke find images of some relics including stuff from the Court of Owls, Wonder Woman’s bracers, and Aquaman’s trident. 

Another strange find was an image of what appears to be a new team that Batman has put together (not the JLA) including: Metamorpho, Black Lightning, Katana, and some other heroes. It seems to me that Batman has made a black-ops team to to help him prep for what’s to come later in the DC Universe. 

But that’s not even the weird part. A strange voice begins to speak to Duke and Hal and for some reason, Hal’s ring starts to have a negative reaction as they go further into the cave. As the voice continues to speak, Hal and Duke reach a closed room to discover that the voice was none other than the Joker himself (or at least one of the 3 Jokers). 

This version of the Joker is the one we’ve seen fight Batman last in Batman #40, back in the New 52, and also knows his identity. This raises even more questions regarding why Batman is keeping the Joker hidden and what the Joker knows, especially with all the random numbers written on the walls of his room.

In conclusion, after reading this week’s one shot, I was left with way more questions than I had coming in. DC has given us an issue that is loaded with teasers and is ready to reintroduce some old fan-favorite characters from the past. 

Dark Days: The Forge is an issue that all DC fans need to pick up, for it lays out the foundation for what DC has planned next in the overall DC Universe. Perhaps some of our questions will be answered in the next chapter of DC’s summer prelude. 

Keep an eye out for Dark Days: The Casting, coming out on July 12!

Have you read Dark Days: The Forge yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Kevin is a graphic design major at UCF with a huge passion for gaming and DC comics. When he's not studying, he likes to play basketball, get on League of Legends with friends, and binge on TV shows like Game of Thrones. But being the foodie that he is, he is always eating something good.
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