The Batman Who Laughs stands out in the vast, dark multiverse of evil Batmen because of the way he embodies both Bruce Wayne and the Joker’s full potential for monstrousness. After breaking out of DC’s Dark Nights: Metal event, the Batman Who Laughs is wreaking havoc in the publisher’s imaginatively named Dark Nights: Death Metal follow-up, and he’s brought a special friend to help.
During the segment of DC’s virtual San Diego Comic-Con panel focused on Dark Nights: Death Metal, writer Scott Snyder, artist Greg Capullo, and book editor Marie Javins discussed some key details of the story thus far, and what to expect from issues in the future.
With the combined powers of literally hundreds of different villainous versions of Bruce at his disposal, the Batman Who Laughs is quickly able to remake the world in his own, Bat-shaped (literally and metaphorically) image. As one of the only remaining warriors left able to fight, Wonder Woman sets off on a mission seeking out anyone else with the resolve to take on the threat at hand, but as Snyder explained, things are about to become somewhat stranger and more perilous for Death Metal’s heroes.
As Wonder Woman steadily gains more allies by issue #3, the Batman Who Laughs introduces a wild card of his own: the Robin King, a character Snyder described as a deeply twisted, but very enthusiastic take on the Boy Wonder, whose personality is modelled after actor Burt Ward’s take on Dick Grayson. In one exchange Snyder described, the Robin King giddily explains to Barry Allen how he’s thought of different ways to terrorize and murder each member of the Justice Society of America.
“He’s not evil just to make something incredibly fun and dark. He is those things, but it’s also meant to be something you read and hits you in a way that’s poignant,” Snyder said. “Because he says, ‘All these different hopes and aspirations for us are nothing, and I’ll show you why.’ So he’s a very spooky kid.”
Dark Nights: Death Metal #3 drops on August 11.