DC Comics’ Dark Nights: Metal #2 is crammed with big moments, but the biggest is reserved in the final pages with the arrival of the evil Batmen from the Dark Multiverse.
The Dark Knights are corrupted versions of Batman from that shadow dimension. These evil Batmen are summoned into DCU by the Court of Owls and Strigydae through the “mantling,” first referenced in Batman #51.
The Caped Crusader disappears, and this opens a portal to the Dark Multiverse, through which a trio of cannibalistic green-haired Robins, seven Batmen, and bat-god Barbatos comes in.
But who, or what, are these evil Batmen? Here is an in-depth look at these creatures:
1. The Drowned
The Drowned seems to be the only female figure among the evil Batmen. She is a combination of Batman and DC’s Sea King, Aquaman. The Drowned is featured in her one-shot, by writer Dan Abnett and artist Philip Tan, arriving Oct. 18.
2. The Devastator
This is a combination of Batman and Doomsday, the genetically engineered Kryptonian monster that killed Superman. He will get his moment in the sun and a post-apocalyptic haze, on Nov. 1 in Batman: The Devastator #1 by writer Frank Tieri and artist Tony S. Daniel.
3. The Murder Machine
“Murder Machine is looking at a world where Alfred passed away, so Bruce asks Cyborg to upload his consciousness into the Alfred Protocol,” Snyder explained, “and the first thing the Alfred Protocol does when it comes online is kill every villain in Gotham like, ‘You’re welcome, sir!’ When the superheroes try and stop it, it kills them too, and absorbs Batman into it as an extension.”
4. The Batman Who Laughs
The Batman Who Laughs appears in Metal #2 and Teen Titans #12, the first part of “Gotham Resistance” crossover. There, he distributes metal playing cards that grant Gotham’s rogues ability to “reshape reality.”
“The Batman Who Laughs was actually one of the earliest elements in Metal,” Snyder told CBR, adding that the creature is “Bruce asking, ‘What if I killed the Joker and I found out that he has a toxin in his heart that essentially made whoever kills him the next Joker, and that’s why he’s always tried to get Batman to kill him?’
The one-shot by James Tynion IV and Riley Rossmo goes on sale on Nov. 15.
5. The Merciless
The Merciless is reminiscent of DC Comics depiction of the Greek god Ares, and that is because he is some combination of Batman and Wonder Woman, and judging from the preview of his one-shot, he has no love for the Olympians, or for Amanda Waller, for that matter.
6. The Red Death
The Red Death brings together Batman and Flash in one fast-moving figure.
According to Snyder, The Red Death is Batman asking, “What if there was a catastrophe in Gotham that I wasn’t fast enough to stop and I started experimenting with the Speed Force, and it all went to hell?”
The speedster races with his own special Sept. 20 in Batman: The Red Death #1, by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico.
7. The Dawnbreaker
In the 1994 Elseworlds story, Batman: In Darkest Night, fans were given an alternative universe in which Bruce Wayne is chosen by Abin Sur’s power ring. But in Dark Multiverse, an enraged young Bruce is bestowed with the ring moments after his parents die.