By AZRIEL OLMEDO
Photo made using FlamingText, a logo design and name generator (Azriel Olmedo / Ethic News).
Note: The main source of evidence for this edition will come directly from the “Dark Nights: Metal” comic book series, published by DC Comics. This edition uses descriptions that some may find extreme.
In the world of superheroes, many names come to mind. However, there is only one that strikes fear into the hearts of heroes and villains alike: Batman.
The caped crusader has been a fan-favorite since day one. Batman has been portrayed as a silent hero, a vigilante who will stop at nothing to ensure that Gotham is safe. As a founding member of the Justice League, Batman became aware of the dangers outside his world and took it upon himself to always be one step ahead.
In 2018, DC Comics introduced a new series called “Death Metal,” which revolves around the idea that where there is light, there is always darkness. This series introduces seven evil versions of Batman from the Dark Multiverse. In this edition of Friday Fight Night, we will be diving into their abilities and deciding which of them is worthy of holding the title of the “Darkest Knight.”
Seven evil versions of Batman have come together from the Dark Multiverse. Each version has been through an alternate history that has shaped the numerous Bruce Waynes into who they are now. (Gizmodo)
Round #1: Red Death
Bruce Wayne was desperate enough to consider using the Speed Force to travel back in time and save his parents. Barry Allen attempted to dissuade him from using the Speed Force so recklessly, as Allen himself was aware of the consequences of time travel. However, Batman had already made up his mind.
The caped crusader managed to steal the Speed Force from the Flash, ultimately fusing the two heroes into one hateful and vengeful being: the Red Death. With his newfound version of the Speed Force, Red Death can steal the life force of other speedsters. When he runs, a trail of crimson bats follow in his wake.
Round #2: Murder Machine
After witnessing the death of Alfred at the hands of Gotham’s worst villains, Batman lost a piece of himself. Full of grief, he begged Cyborg to help him activate the “Alfred Protocol.” It was meant to serve as “an artificial intelligence, created by a scan of Alfred’s mind,” that would outlast Alfred if needed.
With the Alfred Protocol online, Gotham’s worst villains were exterminated one after the other. The newly reborn Alfred was programmed to keep his master safe from harm, “to take away everything and everyone” that might hurt him. Batman could not see past his own desire to keep his father figure by his side and eventually, Alfred made Bruce “incapable of feeling fear” by taking away his “human flesh.” With an army of nanobots at his side, Batman became the Murder Machine, and easily disposed the Justice League from his world.
Round #3: Dawnbreaker
It was seconds before his parents were killed right in front of him. The young Bruce Wayne felt nothing but hatred for the criminal as he ran into the darkness of the alley. He “didn’t feel anything, not even fear.” It was at that moment that a green lantern ring fell into his hands.
The young Bruce chased after the criminal, wanting to dispose of him completely with his newfound abilities. However, the green lantern ring resisted, as the “first law of the Green Lantern Corps prohibited lethal force on another being.” Bruce’s hatred grew by the second, and he was able to overpower the ring, increasing his willpower beyond 100 percent. The ring malfunctioned and summoned a hellspawn.
Years later, he continued to protect Gotham City, only with much more violence towards criminals. He “killed without remorse, or boundaries,” and ultimately questioned “why some deserved to live when his parents didn’t.” This prompted the entire Green Lantern Corps to arrive, demanding he return the ring.
Dawnbreaker effortlessly defeated the Guardians, as well as the Green Lantern Corps, with the power of darkness. The most powerful weapon in the universe was his and his alone to wield.
Round #4: The Drowned
Bryce Wayne, the female version of Batman in this world, has fought long and hard against the Atlanteans. She knew that they were capable of drowning the world, even if they came in peace. She took it upon herself to destroy their Queen, Aquawoman. This led to a war with the Atlanteans, and Gotham City was drowned.
Bryce adapted herself and used “mutated hybrid DNA to alter her own.” She had “accelerated healing, and the ability to control water itself.” She created an army to fight by her side, known as Dead Water. She could use the Dead Water to turn her enemies into allies and “make even the most resistant fight for her.” The price of an all out war for the surface resulted in a drowned, water world. Bryce ruled as the new Queen, having destroyed the Atlanteans with her army, and became known as the Drowned.
Round #5: The Merciless
Ares, the God of War, had “created a new helmet that magnified his powers a hundredfold.” His army was grand and it created a war of two years. Many of the Justice League fell, and Batman held his dying friend, Wonder Woman, in his hands.
With no other choice, Batman put on the helmet of Ares, and easily disposed of him. Diana had warned him of its power, “its ability to corrupt.” Batman—now the Merciless—managed to destroy Olympus and the Earth, claiming “all that truly mattered was victory.”
Round #6: The Devastator
Batman’s greatest fear: Superman turning against the world and becoming evil. Batman fought until his last breath, before realizing he was just too weak to take on the Man of Steel on his own. Using an engineered serum from Doomsday’s own DNA, Batman was able to transform into a vicious beast that was just enough to defeat him.
Doomsday is considered one of Superman’s most deadliest foes. The beast was created using Kryptonian technology and DNA from the mind of Lex Luthor. With new Kryptonian blood infused with his body, Superman ultimately fell to the hands of the Devastator.
The cover for “Dark Nights: Metal #3 of 6 issues. This series has shown some of the most brutal and savage alternative versions of characters that still reside in the Dark Multiverse. (DC Comics)
Round #7: The Batman Who Laughs
Batman never wanted to kill. He always threw the criminals in Arkham Asylum until one day, the Joker went too far. He had turned the city upside down, turning everyone into Joker clowns. Forcing a little girl to transform into a Joker clown was enough to convince Batman finally put an end to the Joker. Unfortunately, that was exactly what he wanted.
Joker’s decorative flower began to spew Joker toxins, and Batman accidentally inhaled them. The following days, he was not himself, finding it funny that hundreds of children had been transformed by the Joker toxins. Batman went completely mad, and found that the world around him was one big joke.
Batman was always prepared to take down the Justice League. He did so with malice and no remorse. He killed everyone he ever loved, and it put a smile on his face. Soon, he was able to see the destiny of his world, the destiny of the Dark Multiverse. It was dying. He made it his goal to find others like him, which led him to finding the six other corrupted Batmans.
Now that some statistics have been given, the question can now be answered: Who do you think should be crowned the “Darkest Knight?” If all six decided they had enough of the carnage, who would win in an all-out battle? Who is your favorite evil version of Batman so far?