The righteous cosmic insanity of Dark Nights: Metal delivered one of the best DC events of all time, and also defined the existence of a Dark Multiverse in the DC cosmos. This nightmare realm is host to worlds that never should be, including the fears, regrets, and doubts of DC heroes like Batman, Superman, and the rest of the Justice League. There’s undeniably a perverse thrill in seeing just how wrong things can go for the Justice League and the earths they’re supposed to protect.
The focus in “Metal” is on the literal Dark Knights aligned with the destructive force known as Barbatos. In addition to these perversions of Bruce Wayne’s ideals, there are glimpses into dark mirror images of other Justice Leaguers. Or in many cases, glimpses into the New 52’s core seven Justice League members fused with sinister Bruce Wayne’s from the nightmare realms. Their backstories range from tragic to harrowing. Conceptually, the Dark Multiverse offers wonderful “Elseworlds” potential woven directly into the fabric of DC Rebirth era comics. Since many of these Dark Multiverse villains are likely only getting started, below you’ll get a primer on the most powerful, and how they can overpower the more familiar heroes of the DCU.
15. THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS
The most twisted Dark Multiverse version of Batman, The Batman Who Laughs is Joker’s sick last laugh taken to extremes. Following the discovery that he’s dying, Joker resigns himself to the worst, most malicious killing spree he’s ever undertaken. The act of lining up children to relive their very own crime alley formative experience (with a Joker toxin twist) finally drives Batman to snap the Joker’s neck once and for all.
Even in death, the Joker gets the last laugh, releasing a toxin that injects his personality onto Batman’s. Once fully transformed, the Batman Who Laughs commits unspeakable atrocities. After wiping out the Justice League, it’s not enough for The Batman Who Laughs to merely kill Superman and his family. Instead he forces black kryptonite on the family, leaving Superman to lose his mind and devour his loved ones.