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Page for the characters who made their first appearance in DC Comics events Dark Nights: Metal and Dark Nights: Death Metal, and tropes associated with them.

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    Barbatos 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/barbatos_dark_multiverse_0001.jpg
Yes. The truth is you are NOTHING without me. You are plain, less than plain. This place, my realm, it is full of worlds created from fears and failings. And you...you have MORE than any other hero, my son. Whole galaxies of worlds built by the unspoken terrors in your heart. I showed you three but there are thousands. Look around you. People think you are a great hero of humanity. Maybe even the greatest. They strive to be like you, all because I willed it. So when your nature was revealed, they would shrink back to the dark. Now look! Look!!! Because THIS is who you are without my help!

The main antagonist of Dark Nights: Metal, whose main goal is to drag the Multiverse into the Dark Multiverse.


  • Arc Words: "In the end, all roads lead back to darkness." Alternatively, "All roads lead to Barbatos."
  • Bat Out of Hell: Just look at him!
  • Bound and Gagged: His final fate. After the Justice League lifts their Earth out of the Dark Multiverse, Barbatos is left at the bottom of the Dark Multiverse, locked in chains made from Element X/Tenth Metal by the Over-Monitor. There, he is forced to watch the Forge of Worlds burn bright again, creating new worlds.
  • Call-Back: Barbatos is referenced way back in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth, but not by name. He is mentioned as a bat demon that was rumored to have driven Amadeus Arkham insane.
    • He makes his true appearance in Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City where a cult, two of its members being Thomas Jefferson and Dr. Simon Hurt, tries to summon him via human sacrifice.
    • His whole plot began when he witnessed Batman being sent back in time in Final Crisis and his return to the present in The Return of Bruce Wayne.
  • The Corrupter: Everything he touches becomes corrupted with darkness.
  • Destroyer Deity: One of the oldest beings in creation alongside the Over-Monitor and the Anti-Monitor, he once was tasked with destroying unstable worlds in order for them to be recycled and reused by the Forger of Worlds to make new, stable ones. Unfortunately, his lust for destruction turned him into a conqueror, and it led him to killing the Forger.
  • The Dragon: Both literal and metaphorical. He was a dragon who served under the Forger of Worlds until he turned on him and destroyed him. Later, he makes Carter Hall into this.
  • Eldritch Abomination: A demonic bat-like dragon monster capable of corrupting anything and draining the life force out of anyone just by touching them.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Perhaps his biggest flaw. Being a destroyer deity, Barbatos only knew one thing: destruction. In his eyes, he believed that all worlds are doomed to fall into darkness. To him, leaving the dark at all, to explore outside it, is the ultimate mortal sin. That is why he went through so much trouble to drag Earth Prime and its inhabitants into the Dark Multiverse.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: If what he says is true, Barbatos is responsible for creating Batman's entire life following his trip through time in The Return of Bruce Wayne.
  • I Let You Win: Says this word for word to Superman and Wonder Woman when they say they beat gods like him before.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kendra Saunders stabs him through the back and chest with Wonder Woman's Tenth Metal clawed gauntlet. It's not enough to kill him, but it gives the heroes enough time to trap him.
  • In the Hood: Wears his hood up constantly, showing nothing but a glowing purple mouth and pair of eyes underneath. The one time his face is revealed is when he transforms his appearance to that of Bruce Wayne's as he's torturing Batman.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Barbatos has pet dragons that resemble the Joker. Hell, Barbatos himself is a dragon that resembles a giant bat.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Nth metal is his only weakness. Tenth metal, or Element X, is even more effective against him and it's the metal used to shackle and imprison him in the Dark Multiverse.
  • Life Drain: He can reduce his victims to husks clinging to life just by touching them.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Claims to be the true father of Batman, having manipulated his entire life following his trip through time in The Return of Bruce Wayne. He built up Bruce Wayne's entire life so that when Bruce fell, so would everyone who believed in him.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Barbatos' shriek is the final push needed for him to drag the Earth into the Dark Multiverse and rule it forever. Carter Hall slams his hammer into his chest to prevent that from happening.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Barbatos claims to be the true father of Batman, having been there since his first case.
  • Meaningful Name: In demonology, Barbatos, whose name is derived from "barbatus", the Latin word for "bearded"; is an earl and duke of Hell, ruling thirty legions of demons and has four kings as his companions to command his legions. He can speak to animals, can tell the future, conciliates friends and rulers, and can lead men to treasure hidden by the enchantment of magicians.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Is it pronounced "Bar-Bat-Os", "Bar-Buh-Tos" or "Bar-Bei-Tus"? Not to be confused with Barbados.
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The Dark Knights

Twisted, corrupted versions of Batman from the Dark Multiverse, who teamed up to drag the Multiverse down with it. They were specifically handpicked by Barbatos because he considered them to be the worst out of all the evil Batmen in the Dark Multiverse.


    In General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_knights.png
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Of the Dark Judges.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Each of them takes over the hometowns of their Justice League counterparts, the Watchtower and the headquarters of various government agencies.
  • Ax-Crazy: All of them
  • Bat Out of Hell: Literally; they are all nightmarish versions of Batman who hail from the Dark Multiverse.
  • Body Horror: Each Dark Night has some level of deformity or disfigurement as a result of their own good intentions going sour. For example, the Batman Who Laughs has the Joker’s pale skin, green hair and grotesque grin and the Devastator is a hulking cross between Batman and Doomsday, a trait that made even Lobo VERY uncomfortable. Their corrupting abilities also have a rather nasty impact on those around them. For example, the Devastator’s very touch turns people into twisted parodies of Doomsday, with Lois being the first of his victims as she ends up slowly being mutated into one of them and the Drowned can turn people into aquatic zombie mutants.
  • The Chosen Many: The seven were selected by Barbatos because they, of all the evil Batmen in the Dark Multiverse, were the absolute worst available.
  • Composite Character: Each of them is a either a direct composite or an expy/loose composite of Batman and another Justice League founder or one of their villains, usually an already established evil counterpart of the hero they’re associated with. The Joker for The Batman Who Laughs, Doomsday for The Devastator, Ares for The Merciless, Sinestro (when he was still a Green Lantern) for The Dawnbreaker, Grid for The Murder Machine, Godspeed for The Red Death (when it comes to modus operandi and philosophy, anyway), Black Manta for The Drowned (when it comes to backstory, source of power and motivations, anyway) and Red Hood for The Grim Knight.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: They deliver them to pretty much everyone for most of the event.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Each one of them had some tragedy set them on their path.
  • Dark Is Evil: Each one of them bears a twisted, evil mockery of the original Batman’s Dark Is Not Evil theme and they are very evil.
  • Evil Counterpart: On multiple levels - each one of them is this to both Batman and one of the founding members of the Justice League and come from a universe that is reflecting some aspects of one of the worlds in The Multiverse. Since they’re all inspired by villains too and share several similarities with them (which makes most of them a three-way composite of Batman, A JLA member and one of their villains), both in terms of M.O. and backstory elements, this also makes them Eviler Counterparts to those villains whom they share similarities with (Joker, Doomsday, Ares, Green Lantern Sinestro, Black Manta, Grid, Pre-Heel–Face Turn Godspeed and Red Hood).
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Their disastrous choices seem to have given them an unfortunate makeover, whether it be from body modifications or a toxin which made them monstrous.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Deconstructed: each of their worlds has been doomed to die because they're not part of the proper Multiverse. They're not happy about it.
  • Expy: They share numerous parallels to the Dark Judges from Judge Dredd, with The Batman Who Laughs being outright stated to be based directly on Judge Death.
  • Fallen Hero: The majority of them were genuinely heroic before being pushed off the deep end.
  • For Want of a Nail: Each of their backstories has something happening to them that didn't happen in their positive universe counterparts or the main DC Universe.
  • Hero Killer: After killing the villains (or having some involvement in the deaths of their villains), the Dark Knights started killing their universes’ heroes.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Each one of them became corrupted in their pursuit to fight crime, ultimately becoming evil monstrosities in the end.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Considering how they killed the villains of their respective worlds, this could be seen as this.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Nth metal will kill these dark matter monsters. Tenth metal, or Element X, is even more effective against them.
  • Man of Kryptonite: They're made of dark matter, which apparently makes them resistant to Superman's punches - instead, every punch sucks up some of his own power. Furthermore, each of them act as this to their specific Justice Leaguer.
    • Devastator is essentially Doomsday, with all that implies to Superman, coupled with high intellect.
    • The Drowned controls corrupted water that neither Mera nor Aquaman can have an effect upon.
    • The Murder Machine can control technology near-effortlessly, on top of being able to be in multiple places at once, to battle Cyborg.
    • The Dawnbreaker can absorb the light cast by a Green Lantern Ring.
    • The Merciless's helm can counteract the divine powers of Wonder Woman.
    • The Red Death can release a corrupted Speed Force that can infect others with Rapid Aging.
  • Psycho Rangers: To the main seven members of the Justice League.
  • Shadow Archetype: They represent Batman's greatest fears, as well as his relationships with people important to him and his traits, all taken to a dark, horrifying extreme.
    • The Batman Who Laughs represents Batman's fear of becoming as bad as the Joker, how much he is defined by the never-ending war with the Clown Prince of Crime and his regret he cannot stop the Joker for good without killing him.
    • Dawnbreaker represents Batman's fear of how dangerous he would be with superpowers but lacking his adult discipline, his inner despair taken to its extreme and the regret over his inability to get over his parent's deaths.
    • The Devastator represents Batman's fear of losing hope, how important his friendship with Superman is and both the fear and regret that he cannot fully trust the Man of Steel.
    • The Drowned represents Batman's fear of going too far in the fight against superhumans, his love for Catwoman, and his inability to trust anyone but himself.
    • The Merciless represents Batman's fear of who he would become if he started killing, how Wonder Woman helps him see the good in people, and his regret that he really cannot end his crusade since his villains keep coming back.
    • The Murder Machine represents Batman's fear he isn't as self-sufficient as he thinks, his father-son relationship with Alfred and regret of cutting off other people.
    • The Red Death represents Batman's fear of losing members of the Batfamily, his love for them and regret for those he failed. Some of his dialogue and his Speed Force quirk imply he might also represent Batman's fear of old age slowing him down.
    • The Grim Knight represents Batman's relationship with firearms and weaponry as a whole, his friendship with Jim Gordon, his status among Gotham, and his fears of taking his war on crime too far or too literally.
  • Start of Darkness: Each of them gets a one-shot to show the reader how they become monsters.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Apart from The Batman Who Laughs, they try to take over the light Multiverse to escape the cycle of cosmic abuse in their home dimensions, and mostly join Barbatos out of desperation.

    The Batman Who Laughs/The Darkest Knight 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dcs_year_of_the_villain_special_vol_1_1_textless_batman_who_laughs_variant.jpg
To win you need to adapt, and to adapt, you need to be able to laugh away all the restraints. Everything holding you back. You see... A Batman who laughs... is a Batman who always wins. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

The leader of the Dark Knights, he hails from Earth -22 where Batman killed the Joker, only to be infected with a version of Joker Toxin which "rewired" his mind to adopt the Joker's personality and beliefs. He wiped out all of the heroes and villains of his world before being tapped by Barbatos to spread his brand of chaos to the Multiverse. His prime motivation is to eradicate every hero in existence.

After attaining godlike powers during Dark Nights: Death Metal, he redubs himself "The Darkest Knight".


  • All Your Powers Combined: As the Darkest Knight he already has all the power he wants but he supplements it further by using his multiversal awareness to assimilate the knowledge and skills of every Dark Multiverse Batman.
  • Arch-Enemy: To both Batman and The Joker. They’re usually this to each other but only Batman Who Laughs can get them to team up against him.
  • Ax-Crazy: Even more so than his inspiration, The Batman Who Laughs is an extremely chatty, emaciated, violence-prone mutant with a fixed grin and tendency to drool. His red text and black word bubbles also suggest he doesn't really speak like Bruce anymore, and more likely hisses his dialogue through clenched teeth.
  • Badass Longcoat: His tattered coat is vaguely reminiscent of a jester outfit.
  • Badass Normal: Outside from his tenacity and toughness, he still doesn't seem to have any powers apart from trinkets from the Dark Universe, including his visor (which is Made of Phlebotinum).
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: This version of Batman killed the Joker after the latter discovered he was dying and went on one last rampage. This inadvertently caused Batman to become the Joker's successor via a Psycho Serum gas released from his corpse.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Lex Luthor in Year of the Villain arc.
  • Book Ends: His Start of Darkness involves begging the Joker to stop before the latter dies at his hands. Come 2019, he finds himself begging a near-completely Jokerized Batman to stop as soon as he loses the upper hand in battle.
  • Bound and Gagged: After his brutal defeat, Batman has him bound in a special Tenth Metal cell underneath the Batcave.
  • Breakout Villain: The Batman Who Laughs has become incredibly popular among fans, making numerous appearances in recent comics and even receiving his own miniseries.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He's unapologetic about being the evilest man there is, likes being ultra-violent, and considers himself purer than either the conflicted Bruce Wayne or the Joker (an obsessive who couldn't see the big picture).
    "It felt right. There was no lower to sink. Or was there?"
  • Chained by Fashion: The Batman Who Laughs replaced Batman's light kevlar costume and cowl with fetish leather, chains, and a spiked metal helmet which he can't see out of normally and would weigh his head down significantly. On top of that he leads around a bunch of feral little kids all the time. In real life, The Batman Who Laughs would probably be tripping over obstacles and falling down stairs, let alone be halfway effective in combat.
  • Composite Character: Batman's sharp wits and combat training combined with the Joker's need for destruction.
  • Confusion Fu: He inherited the Joker's unpredictability. This doesn't seem to work on the Joker himself.
  • The Corrupter:
    • He seems to enjoy trying to demoralize and degrade anyone he can grab his claws on. He brags about driving his world's Damian to jokerize himself, trapping Alfred in the Batcave and feeding him scraps for a year until he became his Renfield-like servant again, and tried to make Raven unleash her Superpowered Evil Side on her own accord. He also poisoned his world's Superman, Superboy and Supergirl with a strain of Black Kryptonite, which turned each of them into mindless killers before he put them all down.
    • In DC Year of the Villain storyline, he weaponized this trait to destroy Superman and Batman's trust in other heroes. He revealed to them that he infected six superheroes with his brand of Joker Serum, forcing the two to suspect everyone in order to find them before they undergo the same transformation as he did. His victims are Shazam, Hawkman, Supergirl, Jaime Reyes, Donna Troy and Jim Gordon. Word of God says he wants to see everyone become the worst versions of themselves.
  • Costume Evolution: As seen in Dark Nights: Death Metal, the Batman Who Laughs's costume has changed to include a more crown-like visor, a Count Dracula-style cape with a High Collar of Doom, black clawed gloves, and an exchange of the leather buckles on the chest area for a four-winged bat emblem.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He still has Bruce Wayne's mind, or at least his memories. In the end, there is only one thing that he couldn't see coming: Batman and the Joker working together against him.
  • Darth Vader Clone: With his dark costume, Fallen Hero backstory, pale skin, tendency to recruit and/or corrupt others to his cause, and his status as The Dragon to gods like Barbatos and later Perpetua, he is this as much as he is Practically Joker.
  • Dead Man's Switch: A more-potent form of Joker Gas which was exhaled from the Joker's mouth after Batman killed him, which warped Batman's brain. Evidently the Joker was slowly dying from the chemicals that created him, hence the purified toxin clogging his heart. It provides an extra incentive for the original Batman to spare Joker.
  • Depending on the Artist: Sometimes, he's depicted in-line with his concept as a Jokerized Batman; other times, he looked rather inhuman with a seemingly-missing nose, an wider than humanly possible grin, and an Overly Long Tongue. Likewise, his teeth run the gamut from simply discolored, or fangs, or anything in-between. The only commonality is that it's not a natural-looking rictus.
  • Despair Event Horizon: At one point in the miniseries of the same name, he shares this type of flashback with the Jim Gordon of Earth Prime.
    The Batman Who Laughs: You, though, even then you were determined to bring him in by the book. So to be funny, Joker booby-trapped your notebook with this spring-loaded acid...Yes, you made a sound just like that. The thing I remember most was catching your glasses. I didn't understand what was happening yet, then I looked up and saw it was because you didn't have a nose anymore. But here you are, nose and all! Haa! Funny, because if it weren't for your death...Batman wouldn't have killed the Joker and there'd be no me. See, in a way, you're my best friend, too. Haha!
  • Dirty Coward: A Downplayed Trope here but still applicable. After becoming like the Joker, TBWL cared for nothing and no one. He no longer held himself to standards and valued himself above everything else. While he has nerves of steel for the most part, it's mostly because he's planned everything out. Given Batman's control freak tendencies amped Up to Eleven but also being a complete narcissist, he completely loses his shit when he's in a situation he has no control over and is getting beaten like when an almost Jokerized Batman is beating the tar out of him and about to kill him he begs for Batman to stop.
  • The Dragon:
    • While the Dark Knights serve Barbatos, the god relegates actual leadership to him. In fact, Barbatos even considers him to be his "favorite knight".
    • He later becomes this to Perpetua in the aftermath of the Year Of The Villain storyline.
  • Dragon Ascendant: As the only one to survive Barbatos' defeat he went on to become a threat in his own right.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He intends to use his newfound power obtained from Batmanhattan to create his own multiverse, dethrone Perpetua and eventually expand to the entire Omniverse until he's the only ruler of all existence.
  • The Dreaded: The Legion of Doom is absolutely terrified of him and for good reason. They have him chained up, put 3 different lines of otherwordly defense between themselves and the Batman Who Laughs and still quake in their boots when Luthor meets with him.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Filling the Bat-Family full of holes in the cave. Massacring the Justice League in the Watchtower and leaving their remains behind to taunt Superman, before killing him, too. Killing numerous versions of the JLA (including his own wives and biological children in some instances) on other worlds. They weren't able to adjust to 'their' Batman being a heartless villain with no clear motive, which is why they lost.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Joker may be a degenerate, but he's still human. The Batman Who Laughs has no trace of humanity at all. He's a ghoul who only cares about devising new ways to torture/defile the Justice League. Joker just thinks he's a creepy weirdo—plus he never liked being a straight man.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He is a Batman who accepted the Joker's ideology, the most like Prime Batman out of the Dark Knights, and an Eviler Than Thou counterpart to the Joker.
    • His world is a counterpart of Earth 22. On both Earths killing the Joker lead to more chaos and an outright apocalyptic scenario.
  • Evil Costume Switch: He added some green trimmings to his bat-suit sometime before killing Superman. Everything apart from the cowl was later abandoned in favor of a weird, Cenobite-style getup with a High Collar of Doom. He doesn't wear gloves anymore.
  • Evil Feels Good: Nearing the final stages of his infection, the Batman Who Laughs not only accepts his fate as a Jokerized version of himself, but actively embraces it. He claims to have had a lot of dark impulses (like killing off his rogues gallery, taking over the Justice League and seizing their confiscated weapons, and triumphing over Superman) that he never had the liberty to act on.
  • Eviler Than Thou: The Joker himself explains this point blank to Lex Luthor once the Batman Who Laughs is captured by the Legion of Doom. No matter how horrific the Joker's schemes are, they are nothing compared to whatever the Batman Who Laughs will do the instant he breaks out. Lex knows this, but says he needs the dark Batman for his own plans for Perpetua and the Multiverse. It's for this reason the Joker quits being in the Legion of Doom. He knows just what the Batman Who Laughs can do and he's leaving the team so Lex can face the consequences of his actions.
  • Expy:
    • Of Judge Death in both looks and goals.
    • He also bears some resemblance to Pinhead from Hellraiser with none of Pinhead’s redeeming qualities.
  • Fatal Flaw: Due to being a composite of Batman and the Joker, he's prepared for every eventuality... that Bruce's mind could come up with. He certainly didn't imagine Batman teaming up with the Joker at the last minute.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Joker is adamantly against striking deals with him. To paraphrase him, he prepared plans to humiliate Lex: constructing an entire museum dedicated to his failures, inescapable deathtraps for every member of the Legion of Doom with a final protocol to toss the entire HQ into the sun at the end, the absolute destruction of his empire, leaving him to the mercy of Batman and Superman, and for the piece de resistance, a supertoxin tailored to corrode Lex's brain while leaving him in absolute agony and complete awareness as his mind slowly dies. And at the end, the Joker drops everything and leaves Lex with the final warning: whatever the Batman Who Laughs has prepared for him, it's going to be hellishly worse than that.
  • For the Evulz: He's just a maniac who kills for fun, not for any real reason. Best summarized when he killed his Justice League and forced his Superman and Jon to kill Lois and then each other.
    Earth -22 Lois: You don't have to do this!
    The Batman Who Laughs: I know. Catch.
  • Frozen Face: He's either really happy or is no longer capable of changing his expression.
    • Subverted in the few, emphasis on few, instances that he frowns due to something he did not predict nor enjoy. Again, it cannot be stared at how few these times are
  • Hannibal Lecture: Dishes one pretty much every time he opens his mouth in proximity of anyone except Barbatos.
    • He ends up on the receiving end of one by the Joker who explains his flaws to him as he's slicing his fingers off with Bat-a-rang switchblades. Batman Who Laughs just...well...laughs, even as Challenger's Mountain starts to collapse on him.
  • Hope Crusher: Interestingly seems to be his go-to strategy: he likes to create no-win scenarios with a Hope Spot for the heroes to try to grasp —only for him to reveal it was a part of his game all along.
  • Human Pet:
    • He reduced Alfred to one. The butler was holed up in the sub-caverns beneath the Manor, armed with bombs and traps; TBWL overcame his defenses, walled him up him there, and tormented him verbally for months. TBWL was determined to break him, "and break you I did."
    • He has pet "Rabid Robins" (also referred to as Groblins) at his command. Once they were ordinary children until the Joker of his world killed their parents and exposed them to a strain of Joker Toxin which turned them into monsters. The only thing the Rabid Robins say is "Crow", to which, when Batman Who Laughs wants them to halt, he'll respond with the phrase "Bar". This is a reference to the weapon the Joker used to kill Jason Todd in A Death In The Family - a crowbar.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Became this after the Joker toxin he inhaled had taken effect, and this is taken Up to Eleven when his brain is transplanted into the final Bruce Wayne's body, which he morphs into a monstrous form he refers to as the Darkest Knight.
  • Hyde Plays Jekyll:
    • How he managed to one-up the Bat-Family and Alfred, who nearly got the better of TBWL before hesitating (fooling himself into believing he could somehow bring Bruce back). When he briefed the Bat-Family on the toll being taken on his mind, he was already completely turned. So at that point he was freely admitting that his "moral core" had been removed. In fact, the real reason he called them was that he knew they would be the first to alert the other heroes that something is wrong with him and do everything they could to save him...something he couldn't let happen. And then he does "something that [they] were unprepared for": pulling out dual sub-machine guns and shooting them all in the head.
    • During his miniseries, he enters Wayne Tower and has a very casual and jovial conversation with the blind elevator attendant who only hears Bruce Wayne, not the monster he has become. TBWL bids the man farewell and leaves him unmolested...right before he slaughters a roomful of security guards and then abandons the attendant to die when the tower is rigged to explode.
  • I Let You Win: Both the Joker and The Batman Who Laughs explain this to Lex point blank. If a Batman found himself caught, it's because he let the bad guys catch him. The Batman Who Laughs even states to Lex he can break out any time he wants to...just not right now.
  • Insufferable Genius: The Toxin took Batman's ego and then ramped it up to 11. From the start of his infection, he cared as much about proving his superior IQ as he did about beating his opponents.
  • In Their Own Image: The drive behind his acts of corrupting others. His ultimate goal is to rebuild the entire multiverse into a set of nightmares that'll devour itself in unbridled chaos.
  • Joker Immunity: After the other Dark Knights are killed off, he survives his encounter with the Joker and even gets his fingers back. He gets defeated in his mini-series, but Batman only has him imprisoned at the end. So naturally he escapes to wreak havoc in a new event. Then again, considering that he’s basically both Batman and The Joker at the same time, what else would you expect?
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: It is unclear whether he killed his Joker intentionally or he snapped his neck by accident; he was just desperately trying to stop the Joker's killing spree. Two days after he did it, the Batman of Earth-22 vowed that he would never take another life...
  • Lean and Mean: Batman remarks to himself that he has a slight advantage in a physical contest over The Batman Who Laughs, though TBWL is more agile because of his thinner build.
  • Living Shadow: Once he becomes The Darkest Knights he takes on the appearances of a shadow in the shape of his former body with his eyes and Slasher Smile being the only things that aren’t black.
  • Mythology Gag: To all those times Batman was infected by the Joker toxin in other media, particularly in Batman: Arkham Knight and "The Laughing Bat" an episode of The Batman, only that the full effects of the toxin in this continuity would be fully realized.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He reduced his world to ashes and joined Barbatos so he could do it again forever.
  • Overly Long Tongue: Depending on the Artist, he has one.
  • Practically Joker: Justified, since that’s exactly what he’s all about. He’s a Batman who got permanently Jokerized when he killed Joker, thus making him what would happen if Batman adopted the same ideology and outlook on life as the Joker, making him a murderous, nihilistic and sadistic Batman with a permanent Joker-ish grin on his face and represents Batman's fear of becoming as bad as the Joker.
  • Power Makeover: After his brain is transplanted into the final Bruce Wayne's body, he briefly takes on a form identical to his previous one, the only difference being that he is in the blue color of Dr. Manhattan. He soon ditches the blue in favor of a black, spindly figure with a Jagged Mouth and shadows emanating from his body, rechristening himself the Darkest Knight.
  • Sadist: He savors watching or listening to people suffer. For instance, while enacting a plan to corrupt Gotham with a serum made from other Bruce Waynes, he goes to the Court of Owls to ask them for a favor. When they refuse, he shows them that he has literally disarmed their Talons, leaving them defenseless. And he lets them run away in fear to die in their own remodeled base.
  • Scary Teeth: Depending on the Artist, they're either simply discolored teeth, outright fangs, or anywhere in-between.
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents Batman's fear of becoming as bad as the Joker, how much he is defined by the never-ending war with the Clown Prince of Crime and his regret he cannot stop the Joker for good without killing him.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Reclining on a throne made from corpses when Barbatos first makes contact with him.
  • Social Darwinist: He has shades of this in his dialogue, describing his transformation as "evolution" and boasting about his ability to adapt to any situation.
    The Batman Who Laughs: But Batman should be the perfect survivor. The apex predator. That's his final form.
  • The Sociopath: It's a requirement for any version of the Joker to be nuttier than squirrel shit.
  • Sole Survivor: He's the only confirmed Dark Knight to have survived the final battle in Dark Nights Metal, despite having his fingers chopped off by the Joker and a mountain collapse on him. He's even found himself a new position: a member/captive of the Legion of Doom.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Has spikes on a metal band around his cowl that obscures his eyes, and they aren't just for show, an example of their use being the death of an alternate Bruce Wayne via a spiked headbutt. The metal band is later revealed to be a visor which has the ability to sense both the good and evil thoughts in humans.
  • Superior Successor:
    • Sees himself as one to the Joker, whom he considers too narrow-minded to realize his full potential. The Joker doesn't seem to agree, calling him "The Batman Who Talks".
    • He also sees himself as this to Prime Batman, who he refers to as the worst version of himself or the "bad joke" of Batmen, especially compared to other Bruce Waynes who retired from being Batman to help Gotham in other ways. Prime Batman disagrees, stating in their climactic final battle that a bigger joke than the worst Batman is the Batman he beats, i.e. the Batman Who Laughs.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Joker-22 did everything he was capable of to make Batman abandon his no-killing pledge. He torched the city, bombed hospitals, shot parents in front of their kids (and Jokerized the survivors), removed any potential obstacles to his goal—including the Police Commissioner (who insisted on bringing Joker in alive) and the other Bat-Villains. "Hundreds dead", according to TBWL. He muses that the Joker knew his number was up and wanted to somehow mesh with Batman, even if he didn't know it consciously.
    • He pulls this off himself in the first two issues of Death Metal. After Wonder Woman kills him, his minions revive him in the body of a Bruce Wayne who became Doc Manhattan, granting him the immense power he wants to usurp Perpetua and build his own multiverse.
  • That Man Is Dead: He considers himself to no longer simply be Bruce Wayne or Batman—or the Joker, for that matter. He outright states that he was only "born" as a result of his transformation.
  • Token Evil Teammate: More like Token Eviler Teammate for the sake of his villainous motives compared to the rest of the Dark Knights, which all amount to becoming heroes again. Trying to save your city by sacrificing another? Pretty understandable. Getting your parents back? What kid doesn't love his family? Trying to make your birth significant? A little narcissistic, but okay. Avenging your lost love? Sounds pretty noble if you leave out the plan to drown the entire world. Having nothing to lose and everything to gain? Even the Merciless can feel grief and sadness. Trying to make people hate Superman to save them from him? Sounds extreme, but the Devastator's stony heart is in the right place. But this guy? He wants to kill basically everybody in the multiverse for no reason, other than it strikes him as "hilarious".
  • Ungrateful Bastard: As soon as he's revived by the Batmen and their respective Alfreds using Dr. Manhattan's body, he disintegrates them all since he no longer needs them.
  • Villains Want Mercy: At the end of his miniseries, when Batman is almost entirely engulfed by the Joker Toxin, he manages to get the upper hand and beats the everloving shit out of the Batman Who Laughs. Caught off guard and with his jaw hanging by a thread, BWL can only gurgle pathetic pleas for Batman to stop.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: His specialty, if the quote above is to be believed. He sees it as a natural evolution of strategies used by both Batman and the Joker.
  • Was Once a Man: In the beginning, TBWL closely resembled the old Batman, but nowadays he's totally unrecognizable, with the Joker's pallour, wiry limbs, a Venom-like tongue, and an unnaturally-wide mouth which takes up half his face. It's hard to say whether this is a result of the toxin, but this is how he looked by the time Barbatos arrived. TBWL had conquered and destroyed his Earth by that point.
    • Taken Up to Eleven after his brain is placed in the body of the final Bruce Wayne, which causes him to become a nigh-omnipotent Humanoid Abomination and change his form into a creature of darkness that is only human in shape.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • As part of a plan to prolong his legacy once he dropped dead of chemical poisoning, Joker-22 created orphans and then shot them up with toxin to re-make them in his and Batman's image. They've since been trained to become TBWL's human attack dogs.
    • Exposing Superman and his son to black kryptonite, causing them to vomit and bleed out the eyes, before the former loses grip on his sanity and "rips [his] family apart." Evidently, he did the same thing to Supergirl and her family.
    • Later, TBWL confesses to Wonder Woman that he especially enjoyed murdering her in the universes where she and Bruce married and had children.
    • In the Court of Owls, he corners a wheelchair-bound girl who promised to listen to what he had to say if he let her live, now reduced to a sobbing, begging mess.
      The Batman Who Laughs: But my favor...all I wanted...was to hear you all die screaming. So...help a guy out?
  • You Got Spunk: According to TBWL, Diana is always his last-surviving opponent no matter the reality.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Disintegrates all the present Batmen and Alfreds that revived him now that he has the body and powers of Dr. Manhattan.

Dark Robin

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/damian_wayne_dark_multiverse_0001_2.jpg
They call us father's greatest fears... but the opposite is true, brother.

Damian Wayne of Earth -22.


  • Body Horror: Not only does he look like the Joker, the Robin emblem is branded onto his chest.
  • The Corruptible: The Batman Who Laughs convinced him to turn himself into a Jokerized monster.
  • The Corruption: He used Joker toxin to turn the captured members of the Teen Titans and the Suicide Squad into his minions.
  • The Dragon: To the Batman Who Laughs, seemingly in command of his army of Rabid Robins.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Given the fact that his fingernails and toenails have become claws, who can blame him?
  • Evil Counterpart: To Prime Earth's Damian Wayne.
  • Evil Former Friend: To the Jon Kent of Earth -22...until the Batman Who Laughs exposed Jon to a strain of Black Kryptonite which turned him into a monster before it killed him.
  • Facial Horror: His face resembles an impish version of The Joker, complete with sharp teeth.
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents Damian Wayne's fear that he might revert back into a killer, how much he'd grown from a psychopathic brat to a team leader and friend and his regret that he might not be good enough to receive his friends and family's love and trust.
  • We Can Rule Together: He tried to goad his main universe counterpart into joining the Dark Knights. Damian responded by stabbing him to death with an Nth metal arrow.

    The Dawnbreaker 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/batman_the_dawnbreaker_vol_1_1_textless.jpg
With darkness black, I choke the light! No brightest day escapes my sight! I turn the dawn to midnight! Beware my power.... Dawnbreaker's might!

A teenage Bruce Wayne from Earth -32, who became a Green Lantern... on the night of his parents' murder.


  • Cop Killer: Murdered his world's version of James Gordon for trying to talk back to him about his manner of dealing with criminals.
  • The Corruption: He managed to corrupt his Green Lantern Ring by sheer force of will.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He is a Batman who, instead of becoming motivated to fight crime by the death of his parents, decided to make everyone else suffer like he does.
    • He’s one to Hal Jordan, he lost his parents (just like how Hal Jordan lost his father), has immense willpower (again, like Hal Jordan) and is a corrupted ring-bearer (Hal Jordan has gone crazy in the past, like that time he also became a corrupted ring-bearer via his possession by Parallax). He is a Green Lantern who has abused his authority and the powers granted to him to terrorize his home planet and kill anyone who opposed him, which lead to him being confronted by his fellow Green Lanterns and The Guardians Of The Universe about it. Sounds Familiar? The Dawnbreaker is what would happen if Hal Jordan decided to follow in his former friend/mentor’s footsteps and decided to use his power to impose his will on Earth and dominate it.
    • His world is Earth -32, counterpart of Earth 32, where Bruce became a heroic Green Lantern.
  • Hate Sink: He never had the time or need to gain any traits that make Batman sympathetic, and due to his age is very immature, making him the most disliked of the Dark Knights.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Turns out making constructs fueled by your vile thoughts is not the best strategy against a dark empath like Raven - she takes them over and has him beaten up by his own creations.
  • Kick the Dog: He murders his world's Jim Gordon just for calling him out on his unnecessarily violent deeds. The character lost any sympathetic trait after that.
  • Lean and Mean: As Dawnbreaker, he has a gaunt frame.
  • Light Is Not Good: He has a Green Lantern ring, and he uses it to create monsters and kill people.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: Invoked. An ability called Blackout allows him to suck away all the light in the area, including that of other Green Lanterns.
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents Batman's fear of how dangerous he would be with superpowers but lacking his adult discipline, his inner despair taken to its extreme and the regret over his inability to get over his parent's deaths.
  • Stealth Parody: Many fans pointed out his origin story feels like all the tropes commonly found in a bad Dark Fic, taken to ridiculous extremes.
  • Tagalong Kid: The youngest of the Dark Knights, not counting the Batman Who Laughs' Rabid Robins. Even his teammates refer to him as "kid" on occasion.
  • Teens Are Monsters: He is one of the vilest among the Dark Knights and also a teenager.
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    The Devastator 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/batman_the_devastator_vol_1_1_textless.jpg
I want you to know that I saved them, Clark. Lois, Jimmy, all of them. Your whole damned city. I finally gave them the strength they needed to see through that easy smile, and that damned colorful shield. I hardened their hearts so that they'll never believe in the cruel fairy tale world you told them was the truth.

Batman from Earth -1, where Superman went mad and Bruce was forced to dose himself with the Doomsday Virus to stop him.


  • An Arm and a Leg: Bruce has his arm burnt off by Superman, and would have croaked if he hadn't taken the Doomsday Virus, which grows it back.
  • Arch-Enemy: He is absolutely obsessed with bringing down Superman and everything he stands for.
  • Breath Weapon: He can breathe out kryptonite gas. He uses it to greatly weaken his world's Superman.
  • Broken Bird: Extremely cynical and badass as a result of his broken trust in his best friend.
  • Broken Pedestal: His world's Superman turning evil hit him hard.
  • The Corruption: He spreads the Doomsday Virus wherever he goes.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Be it his world's Superman or Prime Earth's teams of Supergirl, Superwoman and Guardian or Lobo, Firestorm, Wally West Flash and Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, nobody can stand in his way... until Prime Superman arrives with the Nth Metal.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He crossed it when he was forced to inject himself with the Doomsday virus.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He is a Batman who abandoned hope and came to resent it and its symbol - Superman - making him what Batman could become had he never come out of the dark place he went into following his parents' death.
    • He’s also an evil counterpart to Superman, he’s got the powers of Doomsday, but also because while his intentions are the same as Superman’s, his goal is the exact opposite of Superman’s goal. Both of them want to help the world, but have different beliefs about it. Superman is a symbol of hope, genuinely believes in hope and wants to bring hope to everyone, while the Devastator wants to spread despair, loathes hope and sees hope as a disease (which is ironic, considering that his powers come from a virus) that needs to be cured and wants to, in his own words, “inoculate the world against hope”. If Superman is a Hope Bringer, then the Devastator is a Hope Crusher.
    • Earth -1 is one to Earth One, home of DC's Darker and Edgier Ultimate Universe stories. His story is an epitome of one taken to apocalyptic extremes and he firmly believes in the ethos behind many of such stories.
  • Genius Bruiser: He still has his brilliant mind intact in Doomsday's body.
  • Hope Crusher: He turns people into unfeeling, raging monsters and destroys their hope. Worse, he thinks he is doing them a favor.
  • Horrifying the Horror: As mentioned above, even Lobo is creeped out by this guy.
  • Hulking Out: The Devastator is capable of returning to a human form, though with a few obvious signs he's not entirely human anymore.
  • Monster Progenitor: He's the first of a new generation of Doomsday monsters and he's spreading it around to humans and non-humans alike (he turned Supergirl into a Doomsday off-screen).
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We sadly don't get to see his fights with the Green Lanterns, Flash, and Firestorm nor with Supergirl, Superwoman and the Guardian.
  • One-Hit Kill: Superman, empowered by Element X, knocks out the Devastator in a single punch. If the Batman Who Laughs and the Grim Knight are the only Dark Knights left alive, then that punch broke Devastator. Then again, since he’s got Doomsday’s powers, it’s entirely possible that he’ll eventually return and be immune to Element X...
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents Batman's fear of losing hope, how important his friendship with Superman is and both the fear and regret that he cannot fully trust the Man of Steel.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Oh, if only his beliefs were that simple. He believes that hope will only hurt you, and that power is the only true constant.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Besides the ones on his body, he can also transform things at a distance into spikes. To kill his world's Superman, he turns the ground beneath a knocked-down Superman into a spike.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants to turn the whole world into Doomsdays so that everyone can be safe from Superman.

    The Drowned 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/batman_the_drowned_vol_1_1_textless.jpg
This place, this light, this Amnesty Bay, this world...It's what I'm owed. My name is Bryce Wayne, and I'm here to take it. Payment in full.

Bryce Wayne, Batwoman of Earth -11, where all genders are reversed. She lost her lover, Sylvester Kyle, and waged a war against Aquawoman.


  • All Your Powers Combined: She took genetic material from all kinds of sea metahumans, including Atlanteans, to give her all their powers.
  • Body Horror: The process she underwent looks extremely painful.
  • The Corruption: Can turn people into Dead Water and in fact did it to her entire Earth.
  • Dark Action Girl; She's as badass as any male Bruce. Unfortunately, her heroism is inversely proportional to any Bruce.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To both Batman and Aquaman.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • She is a Bat(wo)man who cannot trust anyone but herself, similar to how most bearers of the cowl keep their cards close to their chests. She is Bat(wo)man at his most distrusting and paranoid.
    • She's one to Aquaman. She commands an army of deadly sea monsters, just like how Aquaman commands sea life himself and she possesses a copy of Aquaman’s trident. She also shares a few similarities with Aquaman's Arch-Enemy Black Manta: Both dress in black, both have a loose pirate theme (due to being sea-based supervillains), both became what they are today when they dedicated their lives to avenge someone they loved (Black Manta wanted to avenge his father, while The Drowned wanted to avenge Sylvester Kyle), both of them are often seen wielding tridents and both of them are humans who gave themselves an edge against Atlanteans via Atlantean technology, artifacts and (in The Drowned’s case) physiological modifications.
    • Earth -11 is a counterpart to Earth 11, home of gender-flipped supers.
  • Face–Monster Turn: Turned Aquaman's wife into a giant monster.
  • Fantastic Racism: After a gang of metahumans killed Sylvester, she declared war on them all. She even attacks a peaceful Atlantean congregation and murders the queen, which starts their retaliation. She dismisses her action as the Atlanteans being secret invaders, insisting she saw through them.
  • Hypocrite: Hates superhumans, yet gave herself superpowers.
  • Ignored Epiphany: She starts having doubts whether what the Dark Knights are doing is right, after seeing the damage they're doing to the Multiverse. It appears to be only temporary.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Bryce impaled the Aquawoman of her world on her own trident before taking it as her own. Also Bryce's own Ironic Death as Aquaman impales her in an almost identical manner on claws made from the Tenth Metal, Element X.
  • The Lost Lenore: The death of her lover (Selina Kyle's counterpart) took a considerable toll on her psyche, eventually turning her into the monster she is today.
  • Mad Scientist: Has taken this path in her crusade against metahumans and performs many unethical bio-science experiments.
  • Making a Splash: Can control water and uses it to drown a city on Earth Prime.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Her distrust of metahumans doomed her world. Even the Batman Who Laughs points that out.
  • Not So Different: When Devastator accuses her of trying to start a mutiny, she appeals to the fact they're both Well Intentioned Extremists to convince him she is willing to do whatever it takes for her world.
  • Pirate Girl: Has the look on lock.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Stole and uses Aquawoman's trident after murdering her.
  • Shadow Archetype: She represents Batman's fear of going too far in the fight against superhumans, his love for Catwoman, and his inability to trust anyone but himself.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only woman in the Dark Knights.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: All she did she has done for humanity's survival, no matter the cost.
  • You Are What You Hate: Turns herself into a metahuman in her crusades against metahumans.

    The Merciless 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bruce_wayne_earth__12_0001.jpg
I stare at these so-called...warriors in the war room. They fight like dogs because they can't protect themselves from my presence. You would expect too much from them, Diana. You would expect them to band together, negotiate, compromise. I miss you.

Batman from Earth -12, where Ares attacked the world with a helmet amplifying his powers and killed the Justice League. He took the helmet and used it to kill Ares, after the god seemingly murdered Wonder Woman. Except Ares merely stunned her. When she woke up Bruce had been driven mad by the helmet and killed her when she tried to take it off his head.


  • Artifact of Doom: The Helmet of Ares.
  • Deity of Human Origin: He was once a regular human with no powers, but after putting on Ares’s helmet, killing him and taking his powers and title, he became his world’s new god of war.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • While all members of the Dark Knights are killers, he is the only one who has an entire inner monologue on how the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule doesn't work, making him a representation of what Batman would be if he abandoned it.
    • He's the evil counterpart to Wonder Woman, having a similar fighting style to her (because he was taught a few moves by his world’s Diana) or because they both have powers originating from the Olympian gods. His helmet gives him a somewhat, if warped equivalent of Wonder Woman's lasso. In The Batman Who Laughs's own words, it allows The Merciless to "peer into the hearts of men" and sees the darkest, most hidden parts of the human heart, kind of like an evil lasso of truth. Also, his philosophy goes against everything that Diana's stands for: If Wonder Woman is a champion of truth, diplomacy and peace, then The Merciless embraces War and is absolutely ruthless in his crusade to rid the world of what he sees as evil, showing no mercy to his enemies whatsoever.
    • Earth -12 and Earth 12 are two worlds where Batman and Wonder Woman are romantically involved.
  • Evil Old Folks: Once he takes the helmet out it turns out he has long, gray hair and a beard, indicating he's been waging his war for years, if not decades, before the Batman Who Laughs recruited him.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He's especially vicious to Steve Trevor; not only was Trevor one of Diana's earliest love interests, but he has the humanity that Bruce lost long ago.
  • Kill the God: After killing his world’s Ares and Diana, he went on to wage war against the other gods and in time, he eventually managed to slaughter all of them.
  • The Necromancer: Thanks to his own giant golden coin forged from the golden soul coins of his world’s Amazons, he can call upon an army of undead Amazons to fight at his side.
  • One-Man Army: Single-handily wrecks all military forces in his path.
  • Rage Helm: It apparently morphed to resemble a bat after he started wearing it, giving him a Judge Fear-like look.
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents Batman's fear of who he would become if he started killing, how Wonder Woman helps him see the good in people, and his regret that he really cannot end his crusade since his villains keep coming back.
  • Superpower Lottery: The helmet gives him a number of powers, including Super Strength, Telepathy and Energy Absorption.
  • Tragic Monster: He still mourns his world's Diana.
  • War God: Since he's replaced Ares in this position, he can outright take control over the minds of military commanders.

    The Murder Machine 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/batman_kills_justice_league_dark_multiverse.jpg
Victor...I am precisely who I want to be. My father will always be there for me. And I will always be there for him. Everyone else is a weakness. A weakness I am ready to shed.

The Batman of Earth -44, where after Alfred's death he and Cyborg created an A.I. based on him, that went rogue and then decided to merge with Bruce and turned him into a killer robot.


  • Composite Character: He is only one of Batman and Cyborg in a meta sense, but in story is one of Batman and Alfred.
  • Cybernetics Will Eat Your Soul: Basically what happened to him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's got Alfred; unfortunately one of his few emotions remaining is an obsessive love for Alfred to the point that he doesn't feel anything for his parents.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He is a Batman who decided he doesn't need anyone except Alfred, the polar opposite of most heroic Batmen.
    • He’s the evil counterpart to Cyborg. A frequent, reoccurring theme in Cyborg’s stories is the uncertainty of whether Cyborg is man or machine. However, at the end of the day, Cyborg always chooses his humanity and values his friends. However, The Murder Machine took the other road to become a cold, heartless and inhuman killing machine, making him what would happen if Cyborg decided to give up his friends and go full machine. Also, The Murder Machine's behavior, philosophy and outlook on life is rather reminiscent of Grid, another evil counterpart to Cyborg who also represents what would happen if Cyborg gave up his humanity and became completely robotic.
    • Earth -44 is a counterpart to Earth 44, a world protected by robot superheroes.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Bruce wanted to create an AI program of Alfred who would protect him from threats. He got that wish alright...
  • Hard Light: Can manifest holograms of himself and of Alfred wherever there is an internet connection, each armed with Apokoliptian-grade weaponry.
  • Kick the Dog: He forced Cyborg's father to listen to him and the other Dark Knights beating Victor up.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Well, yes, it's Batman, but the Murder Machine's inhumanly wide mouth gives him an extremely deep one.
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents Batman's fear he isn't as self-sufficient as he thinks, his father-son relationship with Alfred and regret of cutting off other people.
  • Take That!: He could be seen as one towards people who complain about Batman having the Batfamily and working with other superheroes, which would leave Batman only with Alfred and might as well make him more like a robot.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: Well, at first. He was turned into what he is today against his will, but he embraced his transformation later on and decided to stay like this permanently.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Like the T-1000 (heck, maybe even better), he can shapeshift his body into whatever he wants, such as guns, blades, cables, tendrils, etc.

    The Red Death 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/batman_the_red_death_vol_1_1_textless.png
My name is Bruce Wayne. I am Vengeance. I am Justice. I am Batman: The Red Death!

The Batman from Earth -52. After losing Dick, Jason, Tim and Damian he begged Flash to go back in time to save them. When Flash refused, Batman assaulted and forcibly merged with him, becoming a speedster.


  • All Your Powers Combined: When attacking the Flash of his world, he used both his gear and that of the Rogues.
  • And I Must Scream: His world's Flash is trapped inside his mind, constantly begging him to stop.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The quote above starts like a Catch Phrase of the Flashes before turning towards Batman's.
  • Came Back Wrong: Bruce tied Barry to his Cosmic Batmobile, so he could access the Speed Force. It tore both of them to shreds, then reassembled them as two beings in one body.
  • Cool Car: He built several Batmobiles powered by Speed Force.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He is a Batman who went mad after seeing his sons die, showing what could happen if Batman let everything he's lost consume him.
    • He’s one to Flash. Like Flash, The Red Death has also gone through horrible tragedy and lost a lot of people. However, unlike Flash, who managed to press on and didn’t let his losses and past tragedies drag him down, The Red Death was driven mad by his grief and just gave up hope completely. Also, unlike Barry, who always genuinely tries to help the villains he meets become better people and usually tries to give them a chance to surrender, The Red Death just doesn't give a crap and immediately and brutally murders any villain who stands in his way, acting as judge, jury and executioner, not unlike Godspeed, another evil counterpart to Flash with a similar M.O.
    • Earth -52 went the way it did when Flash refused to go back in time and stop a tragedy. Prime Earth came to be when he did exactly that.
  • Expy: During his tie-in issue, he acts in a way that would be very in-character for one Crazy Steve.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: It doesn't seem like the other Dark Knights give him much respect; the Drowned even trips him for no reason at one point. Fitting, since Flash is often said to be The Heart of the Justice League. It's because he has his world's Barry Allen inside his head, so he isn't fully Bruce Wayne - the other Dark Knights just don't trust him. When the Batman Who Laughs kills him, the others barely react.
  • Fusion Dance: A result of a forced one between Batman and Flash. Turns out because of it the other Dark Knights didn't fully trust him.
  • Good Costume Switch: When Barry's personality takes over, his costume becomes gold.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Barry takes over the situation requires one and he voluntarily makes that sacrifice, but unfortunately it didn't accomplish much.
  • Hope Spot: Was only kept around to purposely engineer one.
  • Rapid Aging: Can do it to people. Seems to be derived from the Speed Force.
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents Batman's fear of losing members of the Batfamily, his love for them and regret for those he failed. Some of his dialogue and his Speed Force quirk imply he might also represent Batman's fear of old age slowing him down.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: The Flash hits him with a wave of pure positive energy, making the Barry Allen inside him take control.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: Combines "My name is Barry Allen, and I'm the fastest man alive." with "I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!"
  • Unwitting Pawn: Because of being only partially Bruce Wayne, the other Dark Knights didn't trust him and didn't gave him full insight on their plans - so that when he inevitably turns good, he ends up doing just what they wanted him to.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After he fulfills his purpose in creating a Hope Spot, the Batman Who Laughs vaporizes him with a Dark Baby Universe.
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    The Grim Knight 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/punisher_batman_header.jpg

Bruce Wayne of a yet unknown world. When his parents were murdered, he picked up a gun and killed Joe Chill, leading to him becoming a much more violent, gun-toting vigilante. He was summoned from the Dark Multiverse after the events of Dark Nights: Metal by the Batman Who Laughs.


  • Archenemy: There never was a Joker in his world, Bruce killed the Red Hood way before that guy had a chance to become the Joker. In fact he killed every villain while they were just starting. His most determined foe is actually Jim Gordon who fears that Batman is out of control.
  • Ax-Crazy: Losing his parents scarred this version of Bruce far worse than most. He turned into a gun-obsessed maniac, determined to solve all problems via the application of ultra-violence. He even murdered his world's Jim Gordon for trying to stop him.
  • Badass Normal: He doesn't seem to have any superpowers aside from what being from the Dark Multiverse gives him.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Literally. And then another. And another. And another....
  • Big Brother Is Watching: He uses Waynetech to keep an eye on the citizens of Gotham, who now live in constant fear of their "savior". His world's Jim Gordon had to go into hiding in order to escape.
  • The Bus Came Back: He returns in Dark Nights: Death Metal as one of the Batman Who Laughs's many Dark Knights.
  • Character Shilling: Scott Snyder hypes him up as the most dangerous of the evil Dark Knights, but in actual events - he's the easiest to defeat and...later put in a morgue. The most dangerous thing about him is his hacking skill with Wayne Industries technology and his skill with guns. His other skills are a lot less developed and he has no super-powers.
  • Clark Kenting: It took Jim Gordon a while to figure out that Bruce Wayne had been supplying the GCPD with the tech Batman had used to spy on everyone.
  • Composite Character: Except instead of being one for Batman and another DC superhero he is one of Batman and The Punisher.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He took the main Jim Gordon, in part, to give him a Mercy Kill. He knows that the Batman Who Laughs has a really ugly death intended for Gordon, one that makes the Grim Knight queasy. But then he changes his mind...
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He's one to Batman, obviously. He and The Batman Who Laughs could both be considered amongst the evilest Dark Knights, but for different reasons. If The Batman Who Laughs is what happens when Batman gets driven insane and adopts the Joker’s philosophy and view on life (all it takes is one bad day, deep down we’re all crazy, chaos and madness are awesome, blah blah blah, you get the idea), then The Grim Knight is what happens when you take Batman and strip him away of all his positive qualities, leaving only a complete asshole who’s also insane, but in a different way. He’s a complete sociopath with none of the main Batman’s compassion or sense of justice and as his Jim Gordon has said, he’s nothing but a bully with too much power and who’s desperate to bend the world to his will. Think of him as what would happen if the Batman from All-Star Batman And Robin was allowed to have his way with the world...and if he had better weapons and resources. He could be considered the embodiment of everything that the actual Batman’s detractors, both in-universe and in real-life, accuse him to be: A dark, brutal, self-righteous, heartless Jerk with a Heart of Jerk vigilante Knight Templar who manipulates everyone and sees his allies as nothing but a means to an end. He is the embodiment of what Batman’s haters, both in-universe and in real-life, portrays or see Batman as.
    • His status as a Badass Normal and lack of hangups about killing make him one to Jason Todd/Red Hood. Interestingly, Batman refused to kill the Joker during the events of Under the Red Hood when Todd forced him to choose between doing so or killing himnote , whereas The Grim Knight killed the Joker when he was still The Red Hood. For that matter, Red Hood also doesn't share Batman's "No Guns" policy, although he doesn't go as far as The Grim Knight in regards to how many guns he carries.
    • He's also one to Jim Gordon. Whereas Jim Gordon is an honorable man who plays by the rules, seeks to help the innocent, does things by the book and respects the law, The Grim Knight is ruthless, cold, barely gives a damn about the people of Gotham and disregards the law and views it as below him. This applies even more to the Jim Gordon of his world, who, ironically, becomes more like mainstream Batman than The Grim Knight ever was: The Jim Gordon of the Grim Knight’s world is a detective who dresses in black, who operates in the shadows and who goes on a crusade to liberate Gotham from criminal oppression (granted, The Grim Knight oppressed Gotham differently from the crime families that the main Batman had to deal with, but still), just like main Batman.
  • Evil Is Petty: He changed his mind about mercy killing Jim Gordon; this Batman is so resentful of his world's Jim Gordon successfully arresting him and revealing his identity, that he sets a bunch of crazy, cannibal Robins on the main Gordon, all of whom are revealed to be alternate versions of Gordon's son, James Junior. Yup, this Batman is that hateful even though the main Gordon did nothing to him.
  • Expy:
    • Of The Punisher; even his creator described him as Punisher with all of Wayne's wealth at his disposal.
    • At times, his behaviour, philosophy and view of the world also makes him quite reminiscent of the Batman from ASBAR.
  • For Want of a Nail: Joe Chill falling over and dropping his gun immediately after shooting Martha. Little Bruce picked it up, and... well.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Dark World's James Gordon was awarded a special combat knife after defeating the Grim Knight. That Batman then took the knife when he murdered that James Gordon. James Gordon Jr. of mainstream world gets the knife and incapacitates Brucey by repeatedly stabbing him.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: This Batman insists and wholeheartedly believes that he has made Gotham safer... but in the end, he’s also obsessed with how people view him. He torments Jim because he’s the only cop who doesn’t fear or let him be, he plants a bomb in Alfred knowing his butler doesn’t approve of his crusade, and kills anyone who says a word against his methods. This Batman constantly seeks the validation of others to assure himself that his crusade is just, and will go to deadly extremes to silence the naysayers.
  • Kick the Dog: In his world, he shot the bat that flew in through the window. He also caused Harvey Dent's scarring to make him do as he wanted, and forced Alfred to serve him via Explosive Leash.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He started as Batman by killing the corrupt officials of Gotham, and the criminals. Then he started kicking anyone who complained, or tried to stop him, regardless of why they were doing it.
  • Killsat: He combines this with Hollywood Hacking. He's got a satellite that shows him constant footage of Gotham live. If he sees a criminal, he'll hack into the compromised Waynetech items throughout the city and use those to kill whatever he sees from his eye in the sky.
  • Long-Range Fighter: To a degree, he's really good with guns but between lack of practice fighting experienced supervillains and being a tad reliant on his weapons, he's not the melee monster some of his other incarnations are. His world's Jim Gordon beats him up in a fist-fight at Wayne Manor where he wasn't decked out as Batman. He is later killed by James Gordon Jr. armed with nothing but a knife.
  • More Dakka: In all pictures that we've seen of him so far, he is carrying dozens of guns.
  • Pet the Dog: When his world’s Alfred decided to quit, he could've killed him by setting off his explosive collar...but he instead changed his mind and chose to let him go. A very rare act of kindness, considering how much more of an asshole The Grim Knight is compared to the main Batman, who is already quite the Jerkass.
  • Recursive Ammo: According to Batman Who Laughs, even his bullets fire bullets.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Losing his teammates, the Batman Who Laughs called the Grim Knight to be his new partner in the quest against the Multiverse.
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents Batman's relationship with firearms and weaponry as a whole, his friendship with Jim Gordon, his status among Gotham, and his fears of taking his war on crime too far or too literally.
  • Sixth Ranger: Although by the time he joins the Dark Knights, all but one of them are dead.
  • The Sociopath: Unlike The Punisher, he's not a brutal vigilante with good intentions. He's just a petty, impulsive, sadistic bully with too much power, no better than the criminals he kills.
  • Superior Successor: In a way to the other Dark Knights. While he is apparently not evil enough by Barbatos' standards to make the cut for the original team, Word of God says that he represents one of Bruce's worst nightmares, second only to the Batman Who Laughs himself.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: He's intent on creating a world free of murderers and criminals (ignoring the fact that he himself is a murderer and a criminal), as such he's willing to do things such as kill innocent people like Arkham Asylum guards that want his autograph - judging them to be either corrupted or unfortunate collateral damage.

Introduced in Death Metal

    Bathomet 
A version of Batman that resembles Cthulhu.
  • Cthulhumanoid: He resembles Cthulhu with Batman's cowl on his head.
  • Combat Tentacles: He is capable of using the tentacles on his face to restrain others.

    Batmage 
A mystical version of Batman from a yet unknown world.
  • Evil Sorcerer: He's a version of Batman that uses magic and helped Perpetua and the Batman Who Laughs to take over Prime Earth.
  • Name's the Same: He shares his name with the unrelated Bat-Mage of Earth-33.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He and other Batmen are disintegrated by a newly revived Batman Who Laughs now that he doesn't need them.
  • The Worf Effect: Despite Death Metal's Guidebook revealing he's such a powerful mage that he beat the entirety of Justice League Dark with quite some ease, he was still killed by The Darkest Knight without any fanfare.

    Batmobeast 
A version of Batman that is a sentient Batmobile from a "world of genius machines."

    Batom 
A mashup between Batman and the Atom.
  • Composite Character: Of Batman and the Atom.
  • Reality Ensues: Even though he's wearing a suit of armor, he is easily crushed under the Batmobeast's tires when he is shrunken.
  • Sizeshifter: As per any other version of the Atom.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He is only present in one page before he is crushed by the Batmobeast.

    Batrocitus 
A mashup of Batman and Atrocitus.

    B-Rex 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4e18a407_c39f_4d7d_a3e6_7061cd3df90b.jpeg

A Bruce Wayne from a world where he uploaded his consciousness into his robotic T. rex as the Batcave collapsed on him.


  • Berserk Button: He doesn't take lightly to being insulted for the shortcomings of inhabiting a dinosaur's body, and threatens to swallow Wonder Woman whole for it.
  • Brain Uploading: The reason B-Rex is in his current form is because Batman uploaded his mind into his T. rex as the Batcave was collapsing.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: B-Rex was the only one of the Batmen who believed that the operation to transplant the Batman Who Laughs's brain into the body of the final Bruce Wayne would backfire. He is Instantly Proven Wrong in a matter of seconds when the revived Batman Who Laughs uses his new god-like powers to atomize him.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: He is a giant T. rex with the color scheme and consciousness of Batman.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: He has Batman's eyes on the inside of his mouth.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The first thing he did after obtaining his new body was to assault Arkham and devour as many of his rogues as possible.
  • Insistent Terminology: His arms are proportional rather than small.
  • Logical Weakness: Played for Laughs and Discussed by Wonder Woman. Because of his tiny arms, he finds it difficult to throw Batarangs, and can't drive the Batmobile.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: He is a robotic T.rex with a bat-emblem on his face and contains the mind of Bruce Wayne.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: But of course.
  • Was Once a Man: Was once Bruce Wayne before he uploaded himself into the dinosaur's body.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He's the first of the evil Batmen that's disintegrated by the Batman Who Laughs/Darkest Knight.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Has a moment like this while whaling on Swamp Thing.
    B-Rex: How do you like them arms, @#$%.

    Beyonder 
A version of Batman from an unknown world in the Dark Multiverse.

    Castle Bat 
A version of Batman who merged with Gotham City itself.
  • Genius Loci: He's a living version of Gotham City taking the form of a giant castle, acting as a headquarters for the other Dark Knights.
  • Logical Weakness: He might be a living castle, but he still has a mind, which Jarro takes advantage of to send several Batmen away from the heroes.
  • Offing the Offspring: He sacrificed his version of Damian to cast the spell that merged him with Gotham.

    Collector 
A mashup of Batman and Brainiac.

    Darkfather 
A mashup of Batman and Darkseid.

    The Final Bruce Wayne/Batmanhattan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5d596f17_1bf9_43f0_81de_bcd9f945e4eb.jpeg

A version of Bruce Wayne that somehow acquired the powers of Dr. Manhattan.


  • Physical God: Given that this Bruce Wayne has the powers of Dr. Manhattan, he is essentially this.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Although he is not fleshed out all that much, his body soon became the vessel of the Batman Who Laughs's brain, granting him near unlimited power.

    Kull 
  • Antagonistic Offspring: She claims to be the daughter of Batman and Wonder Woman, and she tries to kill Prime Diana without remorse.
  • Dark Action Girl: One of the few known female Dark Knight, and can match Wonder Woman blow for blow.
  • Evil Redhead: She has red hair like Batgirl and Batwoman, and she's just as evil as all the other Dark Knights.

    Mindhunter 
A mashup of Batman and J'onn J'onzz.
  • Composite Character: Mindhunter is a mashup of Batman and Martian Manhunter. Even his Chest Insignia is a merger of Wayne and J'onzz.
  • The Dreaded: Lex Luthor warns Nightwing that the Mindhunter is one of the most dangerous of the Dark Knights. Considering all the other monstrous Batmen that have appeared are no joke, that's saying something.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: He's prominently black and red, and like all Dark Knights, evil.

    Night Glider 
A Batman with a silver body who rides a silver glider.

    The Pearl 

    Robin King 

Bruce Wayne

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/46f874de_8099_44dc_9813_a6114dd7e93d.jpeg

  • Ax-Crazy: He's possibly the most unstable of all the Dark Knights, even The-Batman-Who-Laughs, which might be why the latter favors him so much.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: He's most likely the youngest of all Batmen.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Despite his age, he comes armed with all sorts of items that are made to destroy his targets.
  • The Dragon: Seems to have become this for The Darkest Knight.
  • Enfante Terrible: Since a very young age he's shown sociopathic sadism, taking enjoyment out of torture and chaos and acting innocent in front of others. He has no qualms about wanton murder
  • Self-Made Orphan: He killed the mugger in crime alley and used his gun to shoot down his own parents.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Ever since he was a baby, there was something seriously wrong with him, and it all culminated on that night in crime alley.

    Other Batmen 
  • Composite Character: They are an amalgamation of Batman and several different characters.
    • Warbat is a mashup of Batman and Mongul.
    • Batmazo is a mashup of Batman and Amazo.
    • Black Monday is a mashup of Batman and Solomon Grundy.
    • Chiroptor is a mashup of Batman and Chemo.
    • Ark appears to be an amalgamation of Batman and all of his Rogues Gallery, having Killed Croc's face, Mr. Freeze's cooling backpack, Scarecrow's hat, Joker's jacket and cards and Poison Ivy's arm.
    • There's also an unnamed amalgam of Batman and Sinestro, and another who is an amalgam with Hawkman.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are several dozens of them, all of which most certainly come with a dark backstory.

Alternative Title(s): Dark Nights Death Metal

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