The collection of evil Batman doppelgangers continues with BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE, combining the talents of Bruce Wayne with the superpowers of Cyborg. Exactly what series of events led Bruce Wayne - a dark, nightmarish version born of DC's newly-introduced Dark Multiverse - to apparently consume the powers and identity of Cyborg for his own villainous purpose isn't yet known. But these otherworldly creations are already guaranteeing DC's METAL event will be one to remember - especially now that we have a preview of the Bat-borg's entry into the main DC Universe.
No surprise that this Bruce Wayne should place the true version of Cyborg a.k.a. Vic Stone in his sights, so soon after Flash was attacked by Batman: The RED DEATH. The bad news is that there's no way for the true version of the Justice League's heroes to prepare for the coming army of evil Batmen nightmares - even if you have instant access to nearly all information on Earth. Which is how the MURDER MACHINE is able to get a drop on Cyborg. We hate to stack the odds in Vic Stone's favor, but this battle may be over before it begins.
That's based on the preview pages released ahead of the issue, coming Wednesday, September 27th. The early tease shows Silas Stone trying his best to support his son's investigation into the strange happenings of the METAL event. That is, until a figure identified as Batman arrives on the League's Watchtower... but not the version readers, or Victor, have known until now. Take a look:
Thanks to the world of comic book science fiction, an evil version of Batman arriving to cause trouble isn't too shocking on its own. But as RED DEATH revealed, these chosen doppelgangers have been chosen for a reason. As METAL has introduced to DC fiction, whenever a question is pondered - what if Batman avenged his parents with a Green Lantern ring? What if Batman turned himself into Doomsday? - a reality is born in the Dark Multiverse to make that nightmare scenario a living, breathing world. There they live out their short, unsustainable lives before being folded into the next horrific idea... until now.
The Bat-god Barbatos is out to conquer reality after millennia in waiting, and has chosen his army well, with each of these rising 'Dark Knights' embodying the powers of a Justice League hero. Assuming the MURDER MACHINE follows the same structure as RED DEATH before it, it will be the Batman who became Joker who recruits the Batman-Cyborg hybrid. His offer is a means to save his world once and for all. The price? Invading the main DC Universe to kill Vic Stone.
And judging by the cover artwork for the one-shot comic, Vic will have a fight on his hand: the MURDER MACHINE's already killed his former friends:
Check out the full schedule of these Dark Knights one-shots, and the announced creative teams listed below:
- BATMAN: THE RED DEATH #1 by writer Joshua Williamson and artist Carmine Di Giandomenico (September 20th)
- BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE #1 by writer Frank Tieri and artist Ricardo Federici (September 27th)
- BATMAN: THE DAWNBREAKER #1 by writer Sam Humphries and artist Ethan Van Sciver (October 4th)
- BATMAN: THE DROWNED #1 by writer Dan Abnett and artist Philip Tan (October 18th)
- BATMAN: THE MERCILESS #1 by writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Francis Manapul (October 25th)
- BATMAN: THE DEVASTATOR #1 by writer Frank Tieri and artist Tony S. Daniel (November 1st)
- THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1 (on sale November 15).
BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE #1 releases on September 27, 2017.