Dark Knights Rising
Eric S Brown
In 2017, the DC universe was shaken to its core by the events of a story line entitled Metal which garnered high sales for DC and was widely well received. The Metal story line is now collected and available in a number of trade paperbacks. Perhaps the most fun of these collected trades is Dark Knights Rising which focuses on the origin stories of the seven evil versions of Batman who team up in an attempt to conquer the DC Multiverse. This trade is all out fun and action from its first page to its conclusion. The most important of these seven evil Batmen is The Batman Who Laughs who is essentially the Batman and the Joker merged into one character. However it’s the other Batmen’s origins that truly make Dark Knights Rising a must read for all fans of DC. Each is a version of Bruce Wayne who has crossed the line between good and evil in an attempt to save their own worlds only to still fail in doing so.
These evil Batmen featured in Metal include-
- The Red Death, a Batman who steals the Speed Force from the Flash,
- The Merciless who wears the helm of the Greek God Ares and was in love with Wonder Woman up until the moment he kills her.
- The Devastator, a Batman who infects himself with a Kryptonian virus and becomes a Doomsday like monster.
- The Dawnbreaker, an evil Green Lantern version of Batman, The Murder Machine, a Batman who becomes Cyborg after Alfred is murdered and resurrects his beloved butler as a demented A.I.
- And The Drowned who is a dark take on Aquaman.
The dark Batmen represent an evil Justice League haunted by their own pasts. Their origin stories are a high octane, super fun, Elseworlds-style take on what might happen to Batman when pushed too far. Dark Knights Rising isn’t a must read to truly understand and enjoy the Metal storyline but it’s certainly DC at its best in terms of writing and art.