Without a doubt, Batman is widely considered to be one of the greatest comic book characters of all time. Debuting back in 1939, the Dark Knight has been a part of almost all of DC Comics' most integral storylines. But his appeal didn't stop there, as the character has appeared in nine big screen solo films, a legendary TV series and countless video games.
Thus, after being around for so long, it's no surprise that he has evolved with the times and changed things up every now and then. Whether you're a fan of Adam West's Bright Knight or Christian Bale's Dark Knight, you can't help but admire the Caped Crusader's ability to keep adapting over the years. But the character's latest incarnation is perhaps his most evil and terrifying yet.
The Batman Who Laughs
DC's current Dark Nights: Metal series reunites writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo in a story that explores the dark corners of the DC Multiverse. And at San Diego Comic-Con there was a terrifying image unveiled of six other unnerving Batmen that exist in the deep dark multiverse.
However, we now know that there is an even scarier seventh Dark Batman out there. And he will be making his presence felt in a mini-crossover with the Rebirth comics, as DC have unveiled the first look at him. But he won't be coming alone. Check out the demonic spectre below:
Clad from head to toe in leather and buckles, the only skin on show for this Batman is his horrifying zombified grin — a feature reminiscent of the Dark Knight's archenemy, the Joker. But the most unnerving thing about this figure are his pets. Attached to long chains, The Batman Who Laughs has four feral Robins on display — all of whom look like thirsty corpses.
Since this is one of the many Batmen from the multiverse, you can see how it has taken inspiration from mainstream Batman stories. The four Robins are clearly a nod to the four Robins who have joined the Dark Knight over the years (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Damien Wayne), while his own name is reminiscent of the novel/film The Man Who Laughs — the story that inspired the creation of the Joker back in 1940.
The horrifying entourage will make their debut in Teen Titans Issue 12, a Metal tie-in comic which will also kickstart the Gotham Resistance crossover. But they will get their very own one-shot when The Batman Who Laughs is released on November 15.
Not The First Evil
While The Batman Who Laughs may be the most terrifying Dark Knight we've ever seen, he isn't the first scary incarnation of the character. Over the years, we've seen various frightening Batmen appear in comics, most notably the zombie Black Lantern Batman and the Crimson Mist vampire Batman.
Speaking of Crimson Mist, we can't mention that series without talking about Elseworld's entire Gothic Batman and Dracula trilogy. While their resurrected bony, red-eyed vampire Batman was indeed horrifying, the illustrations throughout the series were so brilliantly creepy that he looked almost as terrifying when he was still alive.
But comics weren't the only place that Bat-demons have surfaced. In Christopher Nolan's 2005 film Batman Begins, the Scarecrow is infected with his own fear-toxin and sees Batman as a six-foot tar-spewing Bat-monster. And having read quite a few Batman comics with Bat-creatures in them, it was surreal to see one come to life on the big screen.
The Batman Who Laughs has certainly made an impression that we won't forget. With his unique look and pet Robins, he sets himself apart from the other terrifying Dark Knights we've come across over the years. And dare I say, the demonic grin makes him look even more sadistic than the Joker himself.
The heroes of DC Comics had better be prepared for the dangers of the Dark Multiverse, because if it can produce something as horrifying as The Batman Who Laughs, we have to wonder what else is hiding in the deep dark corners of the DC Universe.
Are you a fan of The Batman Who Laughs? Let us know in the comments below!
[Credit: DC Comics]