Interview: James Tynion IV Lights It Up for DARK DAYS

It wouldn’t be summer without a big event to follow, and thankfully, DC is providing. Starting next week with the first of two Dark Days specials, James Tynion IV is helping to usher in the return of the stellar team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo to the comic page. Only this time, it’s the entire DC Universe at their fingertips.

Tynion was on hand at this year’s C2E2 to start unraveling a little bit about what fans can expect from Batman, Aquaman, Hawkman (!), Duke Thomas, and many many more.

Cover art by Jim Lee

Matt Santori: We haven’t really heard a lot of details about the Dark Days event, but I want to talk a bit about the scope and feel of the story. Is it as dark a story as it initially appears?

James Tynion IV: I think the key word in all of the books — from Dark Days to Dark Nights — in terms of tone, the word that’s most crucial is “Metal.” It is supposed to be this kind of burning, crazy, awesome thing. Batman busts-in in a suit and saves someone from out of a volcano in the first few pages. It’s that kind of lunacy Scott [Snyder] and I love to talk about when it comes to Batman and dialing the Dark Knight’s energy up.

In terms of the story — and I can’t get too much into specifics — there’s a mystery that goes back years in Batman’s life. It actually goes back to the dawn of human civilization, but Batman discovered it a few years ago. Fans are going to start realizing that there are a few key threats from Greg [Capullo] and Scott’s entire Batman run that have been pointing to this, going all the way back to the Court of Owls.

In building this epic mystery, Batman has realized that the metals of the world are reverberating, picking up a signal from… somewhere. And he doesn’t know where. And he doesn’t know what it means. But all these metals have these strange qualities that he is slowly discovering.

Art by Andy Kubert

Things start happening across the entire DC Universe. This strange energy coming from this mysterious place is starting to activate things and put stuff in motion. Dark Days both sets up the past that leads into the Metal event, but also the present that sets up the Dark Matter books.

On top of that, part of this all connects to the reintroduction of Carter Hall into DCU history. The Hawkman who has been running around in the New 52 era is Katar Hol, the Thanagarian alien. We haven’t touched base with Carter since Brightest Day in 2010. It’s been awhile since he’s been around.

So, we’ve been playing with that mythology and Batman’s mythology. It’s the idea of detectives and archeologists all piecing together this strange history of the DC Universe and how it ties to these strange, impossible metals of infinite possibility. Metals that are so undefined that they can only be called “Nth Metal.”

Art by Andy Kubert

MS: You haven’t had a chance to write Hawkman before now, correct? What are your immediate thoughts about the character and how he blends with the DC Universe?

JTIV: I like characters that have an epic perspective. You know, sort of like Ra’s al Ghul, who I have written a lot in the last five years, someone who’s been around for over 700 years.

But you think of all of the different lifetimes of Carter Hall and the kind of experiences he’s had. The man they’ve turned him into. There’s something deeply powerful in that idea, that reincarnating Indiana Jones character. It’s awesome. That was one of the pieces Scott and I wanted to play with early on.

Carter is a great character and one we’re really excited to be bringing back.

Art by Andy Kubert

MS: From early art, it also appears that you’re bringing Duke Thomas even closer into the fold. What’s his role?

JTIV: In one of the recent issues of All-Star Batman, there’s a hint of something strange in Duke that the character Darrell Gutierrez unlocks in him. We’re going to be learning a bit more about that. And honestly, Dark Days sets up the next stage in Duke’s journey. Duke is very much involved in this mystery that Batman has been uncovering for the last few years. There’s a reason Duke has been in the mix going all the way back to “Zero Year.”

This is the next step for Duke and set him firmly on his path — and how he works into some of the themes we’re working with.

Art by Jim Lee

MS: You’re working with Jim Lee, John Romita Jr., and Andy Kubert on the two specials. How is it writing for each of them or for all of them as a group?

JTIV: The real challenge is making sure we’re doing something where every single page is awesome and worthwhile for those artists. I don’t want just a boring dialogue scene for a few pages. You need to dial everything up to 10 for these guys.

Plus, I know all of the awesome things that are coming up in Metal, so I need to compete with these two one-shots. Scott and I are duking it out to see who has the most awesome comic book of the year!

The beginning of DC’s Summer Event hits shops next Wednesday with Dark Days: The Forge #1, written by James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder, with art by Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr., and many more.

Want to see a preview? Click here.

And then come back next Wednesday for the low-down on James Tynion’s collaboration with Jim Lee for Dark Matter — The Immortal Men!



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