The Dark Knights
The Batman Who Laughs
The Batman Who Laughs
The Murder Machine
The Dawn Breaker
The DevastatorThe MercilessThe DrownedThe Murder MachineThe Dawn Breaker
- “ YOU WANT BRUCE WAYNE? LOOK AROUND.” “I’m right here. “
Reading: The Dark Knights
- ―Barbatos and all of the Knights [ src ]
The Dark Knights are an evil version of the Justice League composed of evil alternate-universe versions of Batman. All of the Batmen originate from the Dark Multiverse, a plane made up of realities reflecting nightmares and dark desires. They served Barbatos, the deity of the Dark Multiverse purportedly responsible for the creation of Batman himself .
The Dark Knights are nefarious versions of Batman who were taken moments before their origin Earths fell into inevitable end. During the events of Dark Nights: Metal, the Court of Owls have summoned them to the Prime Earth after ambushing Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. They summoned Barbatos and his Dark Knights via turning Batman into a doorway to the Prime universe. however, as the Court of Owls rejoiced into successfully summoning the doorway, they were besides viciously murdered by the Batman Who Laughs ‘ Rabid Robins. Afterwards, each of the Dark Nights were tasked in taking over the home cities of each of the Justice League members.
- The Batman Who Laughs: The team’s leader, Barbatos’ lieutenant and the equivalent of the Justice League’s Batman. The Batman Who Laughs is a version of Batman from Earth -22 who murdered the Joker only to be driven insane and adopt the Joker’s ideologies and sadism. By his side he has four feral and cannibalistic Robins, one of whom is his own son Damian Wayne.
- The Devastator: The Dark Knights’ Superman counterpart, the Devastator hails from the reality of Earth -1. On his Earth, Batman’s idolized superhero companion Superman went on a murderous rampage (for reasons unknown but stated to not truly matter) which even included violently killing his wife, Lois Lane. To combat his once ally, Batman exposed himself to the Doomsday Virus, a virus modelled after the DNA of the Kryptonian supervillain Doomsday who was Superman’s greatest physical opponent. The virus also dampened the empathetic chemicals in Bruce’s head to make him not hold back in fighting Superman. Batman successfully murdered Superman only to realize that countless were still dead at his hands, this was when he was approached by the Batman Who Laughs to join the Dark Knights and kill the Superman of Prime Earth to save them.
- The Merciless: The Dark Knights’ equivalent of Wonder Woman, this Bruce Wayne hails from Earth -12. On his Earth, Earth was thrown into mass war when he Olympian god of war Ares created a helm that amplified his own power. Batman and Wonder Woman fought side by side to defeat him and fell in love in the process. When they finally fought Ares, Ares seemingly killed Diana resulting in Bruce taking Ares’ helm and wearing it himself to murder the God. Following this, Batman was consumed by an addiction to the power of the helm and became a heartless killer due to its influence. When it turned out Diana wasn’t truly dead, she tried to remove the helm only for Batman to kill her as a means of keeping it. Following this, he murdered his fellow heroes and even the Greek Gods themselves before being recruited into the Dark Knights.
- Red Death: The Dark Knights’ analogue of the Flash, this Batman hails from Earth -52. On his Earth, all of his Robins were murdered by the criminals of Gotham City. Obsessed with taking extreme measures to prevent future crimes, Batman decided to try and steal the Flash’s superspeed and connection to the Speed Force as a means of being fast enough to save innocents. Believing that the Flash was unfit to wield the power of super-speed, Batman confiscated the weapons used by Flash’s rogues gallery and manipulated him into a trap where the two of them were bonded by a Batmobile modified with the Flash’s cosmic treadmill. The result dematerialized the Flash and gave Batman his powers with Barry Allen’s consciousness being imprisoned in Batman’s subconscious. As Red Death, Bruce went about murdering criminals before being enlisted in the Dark Knights.
- The Drowned
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: The team’s Aquaman counterpart and only Batwoman, Bryce Wayne hails from Earth -11. Bryce Wayne was romantically involved with a thief named Sylvester Kyle until he was murdered by rogue meta-humans, leaving Bryce with a murderous hatred for all meta-humans. The resulting genocide which Batwoman commit lead to a war with Aquawoman and Atlantis. The war resulted in Batwoman murdering Aquawoman with her own trident only for Gotham to be sunk into the ocean and the Atlanteans refusing to give up. Desperate, Bryce turned herself into an aquatic meta-human through mutations and surgeries along with creating an army of hybridized aquatic soldiers known as, “Dead Water”. Bryce used her powers and army to conquer Atlantis before being recruited by the Batman who Laughs.
- The Murder machine: The Dark Knights’ Cyborg, the Murder Machine is a robot/A.I. from Earth -44. On Earth -44, Alfred Pennyworth was murdered in a Batcave break-in by Bane, Joker, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, Man-Bat, Clayface and Killer Croc. In his memory, Batman and Alfred created the AI known as the Alfred Protocol which was designed to carry out Alfred’s old tasks. The protocol was integrated into the Batcomputer and Batsuit where it functioned like a rogue virus and even integrated itself into Batman’s brain. The new Murder Machine Batman would murder the inmates of Arkham, replace its body with machinery, and kill the Justice League as the Alfred Protocol percieved it as a threat to Batman.
- The Dawnbreaker: Dawnbreaker is the Dark Knights’ Green Lantern, coming from Earth -32. Unlike his fellow Dark Knights, this Bruce Wayne was never a Batman or Batwoman but was rather his reality’s Green Lantern. Following witnessing the murder of his parents at the hands of Joe Chill, a young Bruce Wayne exerted a burst of hatred and willpower which resulted in the Green Lantern ring of Abin Surr to be the new Green Lantern of Earth. Bruce overpowered the ring with corrupted hatred-infused-willpower to go rogue from the Green Lantern Corps and act as a murderous vigilante in Gotham. Bruce murdered Joe Chill, and the Penguin before being enlisted as a member of the Dark Knights.
- The Grim Knight: The Grim Knight is a Dark Knight from an unspecified Dark Multiverse. This Batman became obsessed in using guns and assisted the Batman Who Laughs in his plans. He became the Grim Knight after picking up the gun which Joe Chill foolishly drops in search of the Waynes’ jewelry. He shows a grudge towards James Gordon by kidnapping the Prime Earth counterpart, as the latter’s version from that Dark Multiverse tried to stop him with his ways of bringing justice towards crime by killing.
- Each of the Dark Knights are a literal representation of Batman’s worst fears and regret:
- The Batman Who Laughs represents Batman’s worst fear of the Joker, his neverending war with the Clown Prince of Crime, and what would he become if he kills the Joker.
- The Devastator represents Batman’s worst fear of Superman, his fears of losing hope, and how he isn’t able to fully trust the Man of Steel.
- The Merciless represents Batman’s worst fear of what would he become if break his rules or goes into a path of revenge and how Wonder Woman helps him see the good in others.
- The Red Death represents Batman’s worst fear of losing the Batman Family, his regrets of those he have failed, and how he is becoming slow as he grows older.
- The Drowned represents Batman’s worst fear of not being able to trust anyone and his love for Catwoman.
- The Murder Machine represents Batman’s worst fear of losing his own humanity, his relationship with Alfred Pennyworth, and how heavily reliant he was with technology for his crusade against crime.
- The Dawnbreaker represents Batman’s worst fear of his lack of adult discipline, his inability to overcome the deaths of his parents, and what would he become if he obtain superpowers.