Here’s a Rundown of All 7 Nightmare Batmen in Dark Nights: Metal
Dark Nights: Metal has brought to light several evil versions of Batman from all across the Dark Multiverse, each of them more horrible than the last. Now, after the recent events of Dark Nights: Metal #2, those seven Nightmare Batmen have finally made their way to the mainline DC universe thanks to the supernatural “Bat God” Barbatos. The mysterious entity and his formidable dark legion have seemingly no one to stop their terrifying takeover, so why not welcome our new Dark Knight overlords in a quick character rundown?
The Red Death
The first of the Nightmare Batmen, The Red Death, is an Earth -52 version of Batman that merged himself with The Flash. In this universe, it’s revealed that Bruce Wayne’s extended family of sidekicks have all been killed. Overcome with grief, Batman seeks out the Flash to use his speed to set things right, but the hero ultimately refuses. This response sets Batman on a vengeful quest to steal Flash’s powers for himself.
To accomplish this complicated task, Batman hunts down all of Flash’s Rogues and makes use of their weapons to take the speedster down. Once captured, Batman calibrates the Batmobile’s engine to run as if it were the Flash’s reality-manipulating cosmic treadmill. After a leisurely drive into the Speed Force, the two emerge as one being, calling themselves The Red Death.
The full one-shot, Batman: The Red Death is out now. It’s written by Joshua Williamson with art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, and a cover by Jason Fabok.
The Murder Machine
In another world exists The Murder Machine, a mechanized member of the Nightmare Batmen. This version of the Bat also experiences tragedy when his loving mentor and butler Alfred passes away. Bruce reacts in a similar way mentioned above, letting his grief get the better of him. He uploads his fallen friend’s consciousness into the Bat-computer to become part of an AI he calls the Alfred Protocol.
Things do not go as planned, as the robo-butler decides to provide his services by going on a killing spree of Gotham’s villains. When other superheroes attempt to shut down the Murder Machine, it takes them out as well, all in the name of protecting Bruce. The psychotic cyborg eventually goes as far as to absorb Batman into itself, so it can serve its master that much more efficiently.
The Batman: The Murder Machine one-shot is out now. It’s written by Frank Tieri with art by Ricardo Federici, and a cover by Jason Fabok.
In DC, power rings are among the most powerful weapons in the universe, but this power is only as good as its user. One of these mighty pieces of jewelry winds up on a Green Lantern variant of the Nightmare Batmen called The Dawnbreaker, and he’s not what one would call a good user.
Though this rendition of Bruce does see his parents killed as a boy, he never becomes the caped crusader of Gotham. Rather than stay with his dying parents, young Bruce immediately sprints after the gunman with vengeance on his mind. During the chase, Bruce is confronted by a floating green power ring, the sentient weapon drawn to the immense willpower within him.
While most Green Lantern recruits would use the force for justice, Bruce’s unwavering anger would lead him to darkness, using the ring to horrifically murder the gunman. The great power alters his life drastically, leading him to become The Dawnbreaker we see in Dark Knights: Metal.
More about his exploits will be made known when Batman: The Dawnbreaker hits stores on October 4th. The one-shot is written by Sam Humphries with art by Ethan Van Sciver and a cover by Jason Fabok.
Batman’s aquatic counterpart, The Drowned, is the only female of the Nightmare Batmen. Outside of only two total comic book appearances, the character is largely a complete mystery. While more will be revealed in an upcoming one-shot, it can’t stop us from putting on our speculation hats in the meantime. Could she be an version of Batgirl Barbara Gordon or Batwoman Kate Kane? Maybe she could be a female Bruce or perhaps a half-Atlantean sibling of the billionaire?
All is expected to be revealed in the Batman: The Drowned one-shot, which hits stores on October 18th. The story is written by Dan Abnett with art by Phillip Tan, and a cover by Jason Fabok.
The sword-wielding Merciless is also a complete unknown, but a few conclusions can be drawn based on the appearance of the armored Knight. The character’s chest emblem suggests that this version of Batman has taken control of Wonder Woman‘s mantle, while his Spartan-esque armor points to the villainous Greek god Ares. Perhaps after getting rid of Wonder Woman, Ares turns this evil Batman into The Merciless? Or maybe the ultimate Bat-strategist takes out both of them single-handedly, later adopting their deity-tier armor?
The real story will be unveiled when the Batman: The Merciless one-shot hits stores on October 25th. The issue is written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Francis Manapul and a cover by Jason Fabok.
The most devastating member of the Dark Knights, the fittingly-named Devastator, is the result of the Bat combining with the hulking abomination Doomsday. The creature’s origins take place in an alternate timeline following the well-known Death of Superman story, where the Man of Steel meets his end defeating the powerful Kryptonian beast.
In the fight’s aftermath, Batman is overwhelmed with guilt, swearing to never let something like this happen again. As these Nightmare Batmen tend to do, he goes about doing something noble, but in the wrong way. Batman begins to experiment with Doomsday’s alien DNA, but things predictably go too far, leading the creation of the Batman-Doomsday hybrid called The Devastator.
More will be explored in the Batman: The Devastator one-shot written by Frank Tieri with art by Tony Daniel and a cover by Jason Fabok. The comic will hit stores on November 1st.
The Batman Who Laughs
The final evil Batman in Barbatos’ army may be the most dastardly of all: The Batman Who Laughs. This what-if version of the black-suited vigilante sees himself combined with his most dangerous foe, The Joker.
This incarnation of the Bat is pushed too far and breaks his no-killing rule to end the killer clown for good. The final joke was on Batman, as Joker’s heart was rigged to release a toxin at the moment of death, turning whoever killed the villain into the next Joker. One can only imagine what mayhem a Bat-Joker could spread.
The worst of the Nightmare Batmen is also set to have the biggest role in DC’s Metal storyline. We’ll know the extent of that when The Batman Who Laughs one-shot hits November 15th. The story is written by James Tynion IV with art by Riley Rossmo, and a cover by Jason Fabok.
What do you think? Does the Justice League stand a chance against the Dark Knights, or will the Nightmare Batmen win the day “because they’re Batman”? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter to be informed of gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! If more Batman is what you want, see these next few news stories:
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.