If Batman fans did wonder what may change if Bruce Wayne’s parents had a daughter, they have an answer: an evil version of Aquaman is the answer. That is the alternate reality that will be explored in BATMAN: THE DROWNED, just one of the comics focused on the nightmares that Bruce Wayne could have become.
It is part of DC’s larger METAL event, bringing a prophecy millennia in the making to fruition. A prophecy that has become Batman in a doorway to Hell itself: the Dark Multiverse of DC Comics, where horrifying ‘What If?’ scenarios are brought to life. This result is an army of 7 evil Batmen who never became real until now.
When seven nightmare Batmen revealed as dark reflections of the Justice League, it was tough to determine which was the most shocking. Was it Batman who stole Flash’s speed? Or the who used a Green Lantern ring? Or the one who merged his DNA with Doomsday? Or the team’s twisted leader: the Batman who became Joker?
All are worthy of speculation, but the version twisting the lore of Aquaman stood out. Aqua-Batman known as “The Drowned” was not a man. That was a mystery, with DC keeping all details under wraps. We have a double-page spread to shed light on the story, from Dan Abnett and Philip Tan :
A teased artwork had shown Aquaman and Mera battling with the villainess, and it was unclear if that was meant to hint that they will stand against her in DCU. The artwork shows powers fans can expect the villain, spewing what appears to be a blast of purple water towards a lighthouse.
The car appearing to be submerged teased The Drowned’s destruction through waves, but bigger questions are left. Is a single chromosome what separates the Batman from this nightmare? How did she get powers over ‘The Drowned’? And what exactly is her purpose?