Warning! Spoilers for Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 below.
DC’s Dark Nights: Death Metal features a handful of evil versions of Batman who rule Earth under the guidance of the Batman Who Laughs. But, when DC’s biggest villain dies, a new Batman will emerge and there’s reason to believe he’s the most powerful version of Bruce Wayne ever.
In the new event book, Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia, Perpetua has successfully enveloped the Earth in darkness, as the world has been engulfed by the Dark Multiverse. The Batman Who Laughs rules the planet with an army of Batmen on his side – including a Cthulu Batman, a dinosaur Batman and a Darkseid/Batman combination called Dark Father. Earth’s remaining heroes are scattered, as Wonder Woman rules the prison on the new Hell, Themyiscra, Superman is on the prison planet of New Apokolips, and Batman has gotten his own Black Lantern ring and is able to summon the dead.
In the first issue, the book is capped with Wally West (still merged with the powers of Doctor Manhattan) showing up in Themiscyra alongside Wonder Woman and telling her about crisis energy, the multiverse’s role in their current situation, and how Perpetua is being fed by the endless Crises in the Dark Multiverse. That’s when the Batman Who Laughs interrupts them and says if she continues to play her part in Perpetua’s plans, he’ll give her and the trapped heroes their own safe planet. But, if she chooses to fight him, he’ll hurt them “in ways you can’t even imagine.” That’s when Wonder Woman surprises the Batman Who Laughs and kills him with the Chainsaw of Truth. This springs the evil Batmen in motion, who decide to initiate the laughing Batman’s true plan. They press a frowny face button (a play on the Watchmen’s iconic logo) and release the “Final Bruce Wayne.” This Bruce Wayne appears to be a combination of Batman and Dr. Manhattan.
If this evil Batman has the powers of Doctor Manhattan, the remaining heroes on Earth are in massive trouble. With Wally’s powers dwindling it will be hard to counter someone so powerful. It will be fascinating to see how this version of Batman came to be and just how powerful he is – because, on the surface, the Dr. Manhattan/Batman hybrid should be the most powerful Bryce Wayne ever made. Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 is in stores now.
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