"Dark Days: The Forge": From the Memories of Carter Hall
- This is a mystery that stretches back to the dawn of time. It's bigger than all of us. And it sure as hell is bigger than you. You don't understand. All that was just a cruel joke. You're just another couple of pieces in Batman's puzzle. Just like me.
Dark Days: The Forge #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of August, 2017. It was published on June 14, 2017.
Synopsis for "Dark Days: The Forge"
From the Memories of Carter Hall
Carter writes his final journal, remembering the origins of his odyssey, and also of one of the biggest mysteries of the whole universe. As a boy saw something falling from the sky, Carter and his princess, in their first life, headed out of their palace, to find out a Thanagarian ship was falling. A ship made of a material which was key to understand the very universe they lived in. A ship made of Metal.
He did not know that the Metal was a special one, but he soon found out: it was Nth Metal, something that made him, his wife, and their enemy Hath-Set eternal, living a cycle of multiple existences, reincarnating in every era to continue their battle. But in the moments in-between, when he was passing from one life to the other, Carter remembers seeing flashes of a far greater mystery than the one of his eternal quest. The mystery he saw never came in the form of a dream, but of a nightmare, echoing from metal. And until now, he never shared anything about what he discovered.
Carter discovered that Nth Metal was a conductor of energy from another dimension, a place Carter wanted to know more about. He also connected his knowledge with the dawn of men, and four tribes. And the mystery pulled at him, with every single clue: he could not get away from it, and had to get to the truth, no matter the cost. But right now he repents his stubbornness: he's writing these words because he wants whoever who reads them to stop before following in his footsteps. As the only thing they'll find if they keep on is pure, true horror.
But it seems someone decided to follow in Carter's footsteps after all...
Present Day. The Bermuda Triangle
A Wayne Enterprises dark site is in trouble: a volcano is erupting, and will destroy the structure. Its director, Dr. Madison, is registering a last message, telling that there's something not working in the Earth's core, a bizarre behaviour caused by some of the metal inside it. As the volcano is about to destroy the place, Batman, with a special robotic suit, breaks in and saves the life of the doctor, also with the help of Aquaman, even managing to save the data the site retrieved. Arthur would like to know why Bruce kept a secret base inside his dominion, the sea, but Batman answers him he should trust him. He's looking for something hidden. While talking with Aquaman, a woman, calling herself Lady Blackhawk, reports to his base, telling Batman did not find what he was searching.
The Batcave. Wayne Manor. Gotham City.
Hal Jordan was assigned to a secret mission from Ganthet, regarding the potential threat of a dark universal force freeing herself. This force will have the opportunity to do it on Hal's planet, Earth, and more precisely the coordinates to check correspond to Wayne Manor, home of Batman. Hal gets to the Batcave, looking for what's originating the problem while Bruce is away, but he's attacked by Duke Thomas, who has one mission: to allow no one inside the cave, even family. Hal dismisses Duke easily, and then finds a secret way inside a hidden part of the cave.
As Hal steps inside this secret cave, his ring starts having malfunctions. Someone talks to him and Duke, telling them what this is all about: it started with a metal, Electrum, that was inside a tooth of a Talon. This metal was able to bring the assassins of the Court of Owls back from death, but it was impossible: there was no alloy of gold and silver able to do anything like that. Of course, Batman investigated, and pulled the thread he found: he created a black-ops team to investigate about a mysterious material composing Electrum, a team called the Outsiders. And he found out that this material is part of many great artifacts of power on Earth. Once he did this, he also found out that this material was in another metal who involved him closely as well: Dionesium. And not only Batman discovered it, but the man talking did, too. After this revelation, Duke realizes who is talking with them, and tells Hal to keep on going, even if Green Lantern wanted to turn back and call in the League.
The man who is talking is an imprisoned Joker, and he tells them that everything is just a big joke, and all of them, including him, Duke and Hal, are just another couple of pieces in Batman's puzzle.
The Campus. One mile beneath Philadelphia
Immortal Man is letting a man see footage of a woman called Elaine Thomas: she was a normal person before the Joker made her one of his victims, exposing her to his toxins and making her a maniac. Elaine's son, Duke, is now under Batman's wing, and the Dark Knight made a prison for his mother inside the Batcave. He did this not only to help Duke, but also because in the past, Immortal Man offered Elaine the secret of eternal life, and the opportunity to battle the one fight he's still fighting himself. Batman wants to know the Council of Immortals' secret, but Elaine will never share what she knows with him.
Lunar Batcave. The Moon
Batman communicates to the computer, ordering to send a message to Lucius Fox about site 14 being down. The Dark Knight wants site 15 running and far away from the oceans. As he's sending the message, Batman senses something wrong and throws a Batarang, hitting Mr. Terrific's T-Spheres. Dr. Holt is just back from an alternative version of Earth, and is assisting Bruce in his analysis, retrieving parallel data from the other Earth. But even Michael, with his incredible brain, can make sense of what they detected: it's like a random phenomena, like a compass spinning wildly out of control. This last quote inspires Batman, who also confirms to Michael they will need to act on a cosmic scale to understand anything about what's happening. He also tells him he's about to embark in a deep exploration, and that Michael will need another man to do what's necessary: they imprisoned him because of his instability, but now it's time to release him. And Terrific is grateful for it: Plastic Man will finally be free.
The Arctic Circle. The Fortress of Solitude
Batman asks Superman to allow him entrance, not too politely as Clark underlines. But Superman quickly perceives his friend is tense, due to his heartbeat. Bruce tells him if he remembers a request he made to him years before: he wanted a room inside the Fortress, locked, with no one ever allowed to enter it, Superman included. Clark tells him he remembers, and that he kept the promise. Well, now Batman needs to enter, the problem is that he threw the key inside the sun, and no human could unlock the door. But that's wy Bruce called for the help of Mister Miracle, who manages to open the door, only to be shocked in seeing what's inside of the room: he tells Bruce he cannot believe he's been stupid enough to keep that inside for all these years, but Batman does not want him to interfere further, and tells him to get away.
Inside the room stands a huge tower, functioning as a tuning fork. And Batman wants to run inside it the frequency he and Mr. Terrific studied: it's finally time to see what hides in the depths of the dark.
Appearing in "Dark Days: The Forge"
- Duke Thomas
- Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
- Hawkman (Carter Hall) (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Hath-Set (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- The Immortals (First appearance)
- Immortal Man (First appearance)
- Barbatos (behind the scenes)
- Cinnamon (Flashback only)
- Dr. Madison (First appearance)
- Elaine Thomas
- Immortal Men (First appearance)
- Lady Blackhawk (First appearance)
- Nighthawk (Flashback only)
- The Outsiders (Hologram)
- Chay-Ara (Flashback only)
- Khufu (Flashback only)
- Shiera Hall (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- Plastic Man
- Silent Knight (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Mentioned only)
- Dick Grayson (Mentioned only)
- Justice League (Mentioned only)
- Lucius Fox (Mentioned only)
- Lunar Batcave
- Thanagarian Ship
- Batman's Lava Behemoth
- Batman has what looks very similar to one of the Monitor's "tuning forks" used during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.