Hello Everyone and welcome back to C&M! We haven’t been posting about much more than movies because it seems like there’s a new film every week to see. I pretty much live at my local theater! Sometimes they take a long time to review (me trying to review Aquaman), but I am glad that I get to do so. Since I decided not to spoil Avengers: Endgame for my loyal readers, I thought that I should catch up on my comic book readings.
We have a lot of series that we are trying to acquire, so we tend to find ourselves at the shop at least once a week. On Wednesday, our shop lays out the new issues of continuing series We travel to our preferred shop to rummage through the new finds. Right now, we are trying to keep up with the series of “The Batman Who Laughs”. We’ll be reviewing that series too, as soon as it is finished, don’t you worry about that.
As we were picking up the new issue, we decided not to be too hasty in leaving, and started to look around. I noticed that there were some issues of the “Metal” series. I knew that what I needed wasn’t going to be there, but in the slightest chance I would be wrong, I should look anyway. I was missing Suicide Squad #26 and Metal #6 at this time, and I knew that when they were off the shelf, they were gone, unless you wanted to buy from online.
Shifting through the stack, I noticed that all of the tie-ins were not there, which was to be expected (I had recently found the Nightwing #29 in a Second and Charles store (SO LUCKY!)).
I arrive at the end of the stack, and I find Metal #6 with the foil letters (I think it’s called foil) and my heart started to sing. I wonder if I missed the Suicide Squad one, but I quickly see that I didn’t. I’m not bummed out though! You can still read through the series without getting all of the tie-ins, but luckily, I won’t have to give up too much of the storyline.
A few days ago, I finally read all, but one, of the series, and it turned out to be an amazing journey. If you have not the slightest clue on what the Batman: Metal series is about; I will have a summery of it for you. I would like to give you part of the summery, in my own words, not because I am lazy (which could be the case for a couple of my post (Ha-ha)) but not for this one. I would like to give you just enough to where if you wanted a quick brush up of the characters and plot, but not too much to where I tell you the whole story. I would like to inspire people to go out and read these comic books because I think they are worth the money. If you don’t want to pay for each individual one, you can go and get an actual graphic novel that contains all of the storyline so that you don’t have to hunt down missing issues. In all honesty, I like the smaller issues. It’s my own preference but there is nothing wrong with getting the actual book. It’s ten times easier but you usually have to wait until the series is done or on its last issue before you can get the actual book. I don’t like waiting (Ha-ha!).
Partial Summary of Metal:
To everything, there needs to be a balance. Something to counteract what there is of good, and what there is of bad. What there is of light, and what there is of darkness. Though there has been a struggle for power on both sides, they seem to become equals to one another. Where is there to be joy without knowing there is pain? It makes the joyous times seem sweeter to the touch. Where is there pain without joy? It makes the pain seem more like agony.
This storyline opens up the idea that there are not only the 52 universes on this Multi-verse, but there is also something called Dark-Verses. That there are universes that seemed like nightmares that Batman had which could be described as fears, regrets or guilt. We get to meet the seven Dark Knights right away to build up all of the mass of devastation. With just the main storyline, there are six issues in this series. If you pair up all of the tie-ins, there are a total of twenty-five issues in the whole series. Now, you do not need to collect all of the tie-ins, but it does add to the value of the story telling aspect.
I think I am pretty good about simplifying things to the absolute basics, so I’d like to make sure that we are on the same page. If you don’t know about the Multi-verse, it’s a thought of outside of our own universe, let’s say A, there are, also, other universes that we are aware of B, C, D, etc. They all have about the same people in their world, at the same time as the A-Universe, but some events are different in each and every one. Like:
- Bruce Wayne gives up being Batman because he wants a family.
- Bruce Wayne decides that being a public face, such as a Major, would be more effective than being the Bat.
- Bruce Wayne never decides to be Batman and enjoy being a Billionaire.
- Bruce Wayne was shot instead of his father and mother.
This storyline is to expand on the idea that, since there are so many series in which Batman is the good guy and keeps his morals, why don’t the artists and writer come up with something completely different for our mask vigilante. What if our Batman’s fears, regrets or guilt came to life? For you to get engrossed with each of these Dark Knights, you’ll have to think about what their thought process was and how they came to be. No matter where all of you, my readers, come from, I’m thinking that you all have at least a basic understanding of how Bruce Wayne became the Caped Crusader of Gotham. In the quickest way of summarizing, Thomas, Martha and Bruce Wayne leave theater. Walking down Crime Ally. Mysterious man kills parents. Vow to stop others from feeling the way he does. Sees bat. Batman.
All of these dark versions of our Batman have the same set up, but they make different decisions than our Batman would have. And they are decisions that Bruce had thought of, but never acted on them. The act which releases these horrors to the world is the cause of Bruce investigating something he shouldn’t have. It pulls from different eras and experiences that our Hero has been apart of over a couple storylines.
Red Death: Earth -52.
Batman is tired of losing to criminals and being too slow to take care of them. He’s tired of his loved ones being hurt by him not being everywhere at once. Figuring that, if he were to speed up, there would be no way that criminals could outrun him. The Flash is the fastest man in the world, as he likes to say, to which he draws power from the Speed Force. Bruce studied Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill in hopes of harnessing his own powers from the Speed Force.
Now, thinking of the Flash, there’s no actual way that most people, without superpowers, could catch Barry Allen. If he wanted to, he could run to a different city faster than you could say your own name. But because he wants to help his distressed friend, he stays to talk/dodge advances. Though Bruce does not consist of superpowers, he does have the mind of a genius. He has studied his super-friends to a T. He knows how to stop them if they go insane and become unmanageable. He knows the patterns in which Barry fights or avoids fighting. That’s where he got him. WHAM! Right in the cranium, and down Flash goes.
Strapped to the hood of the improved Batmobile (consisting of the upgrades with the Cosmic Treadmill), Barry wakes up to a high speed. Panic fills Flash as he confusingly looks around to figure out what is happening. Bruce tells Barry that he needs to take the Speed Force away from him because he could use it better than him. Bruce decides this is the time to explain that he will be stealing the Speed Force from Barry but that alarmed Flash more than anything. Going this fast and trying to access the Speed Force was very dangerous. To the point where it was going to rip them both apart from the force. Bruce is counting on it, and it ends with them being morphed into one being. Standing as new, Red Death was born. Bruce was in control of their body, and Barry was acting as a consciousness that would be ignored through the series until the very end.
Murder Machine: Earth -44
Bruce is watching a recording of Alfred being tortured by a variety of villains, mainly Bane. Bane uses his signature move of breaking the back of Alfred. Bruce watches this over and over again as Alfred’s funeral is in progress just upstairs. The main members of the Justice League find Bruce enveloped into the screen. Over and over he watches as Alfred refuses the villains what they want. Over and over, Bane breaks the back of Bruce’s father figure. The last of his family before Batman.
Everyone tries to get Bruce to come upstairs and say his goodbyes to Alfred, but there was no budging. Everyone started to file back up the stairs, but Bruce calls for Cyborg to stay behind. Bruce has been thinking of a way to get the consciousness of Alfred to be uploaded into a system so that he can have his family back. Cyborg was fairly hesitant but who wouldn’t want to help out a friend from hurting?
Turns out it was a bad idea. A bunch of Pennyworth’s were appearing all around town, killing all of the supervillains. Alfred comes back to the manner and repeatedly asks to be let in, so that he could be of service. Cyborg advises against it, saying that Bruce needed to move on from his loss and seek help. Bruce knows best and does what he wants. Alfred is let in and transforms/morphs with Batman. Cyborg continues to try and help, but Murder Machine grabs onto Vic’s head and rips out his spine!
Dawnbreaker: Earth -32
It all begins in Crime Ally. A shot was fire. Thomas and Martha drop dead leaving an 8-year-old Bruce stunned. The criminal tries to ditch the scene, but in a fraction of a second, the young heir of the Wayne’s decides to run after him. The ‘Will’ that he had to muster up was enough to attract and maintain a Green Power Ring from the Green Lantern Corp.
Now, thinking about another person that possesses a Ring such as this, you would think that the young Bruce Wayne would act along the lines of him (Hal Jordan, John Stewart or Jack Ryder). No. He is a young boy that had just witnessed the death of his only family that he has ever known. This criminal was going to die a painful death. He will get his revenge!
Coming back to the murder scene, he tries to re-animate his parents.
Martha: “We looooooove youuuu…”
Seeing that there was no hope, Bruce flies away, leaving his beloved parents in the dirt of that crime populated ally. He feels nothing but loneliness in his soul, and nothing could make it better.
Villain after villain, he finds and kills in creative ways. Bruce found Penguin and all hell broke loose. When this Green Lantern finds you, you knew that you were going to die a very unfortunate way. Bruce picks Penguin up and flies him up to space. Pleading to be let go, but nothing changes. Green Lantern carries him into the chilled space that surrounds out very world and lets go of him. Controlling meteors, he rips Penguin apart, leaving his inside to float forever in Space.
Commissioner Gordon calls on Green Lantern to come and talk on top of the precinct, which I can see is always an uncomfortable experience for Gordon. He asks where all of the villains gone and where has he taken them. Bruce gets to be on the offensive and warns Gordon to let it go. The Commissioner calls out Bruce’s name, which was a surprise, but not really. Bruce was still young and not too good at hiding his feelings, but did he really have to? He had the most powerful weapon in the world on the radius of his ring finger.
“Shut up Gordon! You have a Daughter, right? Sad. She’ll have to grow up without her father…Alone.” Using his ring, he vaporizes Gordon to nothing.
That was the last straw for the Green Lantern Corp. You do not kill innocent beings just because you can! Bruce has made up his mind that he is absolutely alone. No one could ever be his friend or family. Everyone deserves to feel the way that he feels all of the time. Heads start to get ripped off and the darkness surrounds the other Green Lanterns, which they have no idea on how to fight them. Their Light does nothing to help them out because it’s not just darkness, its evil. It’s a corrupted mind. Everyone dies but Bruce who decides he is neither Bruce Wayne nor a Green Lantern. He will forever be called, Dawnbreaker.
Drowned: Earth -11
Bryce Wayne is the daughter of the well-known Wayne couple. She grew up and became the hero of Batwoman (in this Universe, all of the characters switched genders). Sylvester Kyle (Selena Kyle in our Universe) was the love of her life. As their lives grew together, so did their love. When everything was going swimmingly, Atlanteans show up with the female version of Aquaman leading the group to present a peaceful treaty, in which both worlds knew of one another and lived in harmony. Bryce was cautious of the new-comers and didn’t trust them just the same. Turning out that she was correct, the Atlanteans proved themselves to be of nasty beings that want to take over the land, and reform it into the depths, killing all of the citizens in it. Sylvester was one of the unlucky one that suffered and died after the attacks.
Drowning in her emotions and grief, she starts to study her enemy. How they move. How they live. What their bodies were composed of and how it is that they can breathe under water. Experimentation proceed quickly, using her own body as the tester. There was no time in which she could use someone or something else. For her to do surgery on herself, she programed a robot to do specific things to help alter her body so that she could get the desired effect. During this process, she was completely conscious and without pain medicine, just to be sure that she was as sharp minded as ever.
There seems to be the skeleton of a Trench creature in her lab, which could be where she got all of the DNA and gear for her experimentation.
Altering the structure of even more Trench creatures, Bryce created her own monsters that would be loyal to her and her alone. Though Bryce did hunt down and kill the remaining Atlanteans, there was an emptiness in her that could never be filled again. Not until the One Who Laughs showed up to give her meaning again.
Merciless: Earth -12
Bruce and Diana were lovers and partners in battle, as seen on the first page that you flip to. Wonder Woman and Batman both understood and knew of the terrors that the helmet that Ares had created was a mistake. For two years, they have looked and planned out how they were going to apprehend it and destroy it. Sadly, Diana was hurt badly and lost consciousness. Bruce is holding her limp body as Ares (her brother) stands before them. Batman cannot hold onto his grief and screams up into the heavens about the loss that he was enduring. Ares begins his speech about how any efforts were mute and how dare Bruce challenge the God of War himself!
The dangers of the helmet was that it cleared your mind of your morals. You gain a sense of righteousness. All you were doing was letting go of guilt and wrong doing and the helmet would do the rest for you. It needed to be destroyed because of its ability to alter someone’s mindset so easily that they, themselves, would hurt others in the struggle for power.
Putting on the helmet, Batman became more powerful than ever before. No more holding back. No more losing. He was going to have his revenge upon Ares. Just as you think that Diana was dead, she sneaks up and tries to destroy the helmet off of Bruce’s head. Not liking that, and seeing it as a betrayal, she is killed by her lover and comrade. Grief hits Bruce back a little bit, but the lust for power grew stronger and stronger as the minutes rolled by.
Killing was the mercy that he could show the ones that wouldn’t have to suffer from life anymore. All of the people that die wouldn’t have to carry the burden that Bruce would be carrying. Though he misses Diana, he sees her death as a dignified and merciful way of leaving this world. To all of the people that he was leaving alive, they were to worship him and praise his life. Steve Trevor (Diana Prince’s first love) would stay alive. He was hated by Bruce because he was jealous of the relationship that he and Diana had. Steve was to worship and praise the thrown of Batman as long as he should live.
The skies grow dim and the world starts to stink of death, but not from surrounding bodies, but from the earth. The Merciless would be sucked into a dying world unless he accepts the invitation of becoming Barbados’ subordinate.
Devastator: Earth -0
Superman goes insane and tries to kill everyone. Bruce is trying to hold back and try to reason with Clark on a friendly level, but Superman is having none of that. He slices Batman’s arm off, with his heat vision, that was holding a staff with a green Kryptonite on the top. A weapon to go up against the Man of Steel, but it doesn’t serve a purpose if it isn’t close enough.
Bruce is seriously hurt. Not just physically but emotionally too. Clark was brother. His best friends in all the universes, it was Clark and Bruce against the world. Sure, they had their differences, but they both possessed something the other did not, but together they were the whole package.
Superman begins to belittle Batman/Bruce by saying that everyone used to say that, in a hand on hand combat, that Batman could possibly defeat him. How Bruce’s mind could be the super power equal to the brute strength that he possesses, and yet poor little Batman was laying on the ground, crying and pleading. Hearing this come from his closest friend began to break his heart even further. The amount of trust, hope and devotion to his friend began to create a depression deep into Bruce’s mind. Needing to hear that there was no other way, Batman pricks himself with the Doomsday Virus that he created in case of emergencies.
Batman is hurt and will not allow for more pain. Although the pain of being betrayed stays with him for the rest of his existence. The killing of Superman, his best friend, did not soothe the pain of lose. His world started to collapse on itself, which the One Who laughs shows up and promises that he could save everyone from Superman again, if he were to just come with him.
After all of their worlds start to collapse and darken, the Batman Who Laughs finds his way into their universe to recruit them for the Lord Barbados. We’ll get into that in a moment.
The Batman Who Laughs: Earth -22
The Joker has captured Batman and tied him up at the end of Crime Ally. Joker knows who, in fact, Batman is and wants to show him. Joker has collected a bunch of families into the ally for which he has a plan of killing the parents and turning the kids into part of Batman (tragedy) and a part of the Joker (insanity). One at a time, each child watches as their parents are shot, leaving them heartbroken and confused. One at a time, each child is exposed to the toxin that the Joker has in his heart. Batman being tied up; he pleads to the Clown Prince to stop! Don’t let these kids suffer because you need entertainment!
Batman gets loose and attacks/starts to choke hold the Joker. Laughing, Joker starts to go down and finally dies at the hand of Batman. Completely shocked and distraught, Batman became angry about the events that just transpired. It was all his fault. He should have done more, do better than just kneel there and watch as children became insane by the toxin. All of these thoughts swim around in his mind as he sits in the Bat Cave to reflect.
Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood and the others are in the training room, fighting off their toughest enemies. The simulation has never been this hard before or as ruthless, but they fought through it all and got out. All are confused as they come up behind Bruce. They start to ask Bruce what was going on and why the training exercise was so much more advanced than usual. This was the few times that all of them were all back in the Cave together, so it had to have meant something. Bruce is calm and answers their questions, but still a bit vague as he always was. Soon after it became clear that they weren’t training to fight a new villain, they were training to fight off Batman himself. Bruce found peace in them realizing what the training was for, because he starts to walk away.
He tells them of what the Joker had done to him, in his last minutes of life. Seems that Joker was dying from the toxins that made him that way. The toxin had started to disintegrate his heart, causing his body to die much quicker. It seemed that he wanted to leave a legacy with Batman that would least for generations to come. As Joker was being choked out, He expelled some of the gasses from his body into Batman’s face. Bruce breathed in the toxic chemicals, not thinking anything of it at the time. Slowly, he started to see the differences in his mind set, but not enough to actually do anything.
While in the Bat Cave for the first time, Bruce gathered up all of the affected children and put them in a room together. Alfred somberly began to discuss that, at this time, there was nothing to do for them, so they would have to be sent away. Though it was a serious moment, a laughter escaped Bruce’s lips. Surprised and stunned, Alfred looks up at Bruce to discover that he was also confused and disgusted. It wasn’t funny, but why did he laugh?
Bringing it back to the Bat-Family, they all pool around their father as they talk about putting him in a confined room until they find the cure to the Joker Toxin. Hearing this, Bruce started to hide his face. Next moment, the new face of Batman is revealed. He reaches for guns and shots everyone down in a split second. They didn’t know what was happening until it was too late.. The best and easiest way of killing off the Bat-Family is to do it quickly and when they are close by.
We get brought to the Watchtower one week later from the Bat Cave fight, with everyone but Superman brutally killed off. Superman’s eyes are bleeding, which probably effects his Heat Vision. The Batman Who Laughs talks about all of the trophies that the Justice League had, and how they kept him up at night because he wanted to know how they worked. Having the Joker psyche created a new way of thinking. A new way of looking at things and how they could work. Everything was so simple now, and now, since he doesn’t need to hold back on his desires, he can be the one to bring them to their fullest potential.
Batman takes Superman to his family (Lois and John) to which he started to show his hand. Bruce modified a large sample of Black Kryptonite (Black Kryptonite has the ability of being able to split a Kryptonians into two beings, Good and Bad). This modification ended up influencing Supergirl to kill off her whole family before it killed her all together. Lois pleads that he didn’t need to do this, but all he says it, “I know. Catch.”.
For all of the Seven Dark Knights, there’s only that survives. I’m sure if you think about it you can guess who the luck one is. He actually got his own spin off comic book and also joined the Legion of Doom not too long ago. I’ll be writing about that series when I finish it all up, but if you haven’t guessed who it was, I will give you a hit. He’s the last one I just spoke about.
Barbados is the Dark God and is very mysterious in what he truly wants for the future, in saying that I don’t know all that much about him. You could say that he is like Hyde’s when he gets upset and wants out of the Underworld. He is the master/lord of all of the Dark Knights that stared in this series. He is sick of being in the dark and wants other worlds/ Universes to feel the way that he feels. The Tribe of the Bat started because there were differences in the Tribe of the Bird, but they didn’t have an animal in mind for who they were going to take their name from. Bruce Wayne, dressing in his Batman, travels back in-time, which exposes the idea of a ‘Bat’. Bats could be called the Birds of the Night. How perfect is that!?
This storyline is a play on what happened in the past, was all for a prophecy of the future and how Barbados could come into power and control the Universes in the light. Keep your mind open for when he starts to show his hand for his plan to Batman. It involves stories from the Court of Owls, Endgame and so on. When you look into this series, you’ll be able to find more and more things. That’s the magic about comic books. You get as much out of it as you want.
And I think that’s where I am going to leave this post. If you would like to read more about Dark Night: Metal, you can, possibly, find them in your local comic shop. If not then you can go on, Midtown Comics https://www.midtowncomics.com/. That’s the site that my Uncle uses to get what he needs. All of the prices vary, just as every website that sells things do. We are not sponsored to tell you about this site, I just believe that it’s a trustworthy place to get what you need.
Thank you everyone that came back to listen to me gush all over this series. It was so different and interesting that I am proud that I got some of the first prints! I appreciate all of you for taking the time out of your day to come back to this site, or maybe it was your first time coming here. I hope that you all enjoyed my Semi-Summery of this comic series. I really enjoyed it and it brought me a lot of joy.