Warning: Minor SPOILERS for Batman/Superman #3
The Batman/Superman series from DC promised to pit its heroes against the plotting of The Batman Who Laughs, but the LAST thing readers expected was to see Superman himself turned evil. And even more shockingly, to be corrupted willingly.
Fortunately for fans, the final page cliffhanger of Batman/Superman #2 may not be exactly as it seemed. Make no mistake: Superman only has a window of time to get one step ahead of The Batman Who Laughs, before the 'evil' he's infected with is permanent. But as the writer of the series has now revealed, the Dark Knight and Man of Steel have turned to a different trick that The Batman Who Laughs hopefully won't see coming.
Speaking with writer Joshua Williamson during New York Comic Con, we had to ask about the shocking revelation: Superman forcing Batman to trust his plan, then breaking The Batman Who Laughs out of his prison, having apparently infected himself with the evil of the Dark Multiverse. First Shazam, DC's most innocent hero, and now the Man of Steel himself? Good news and bad news readers, since Superman isn't that crazy... but according to Williamson he's not exactly safe, either:
You find out in Issue #3 that he doesn't infect himself with The Batman Who Laughs stuff. They go to the Batcave and they get Joker toxin, and then he injects himself with Joker toxin. Because he has to make it believable. So Issue #3 is a lot about that, him going undercover with Joker toxin.
The new plot detail is just another connection between this series and The Batman Who Laughs which preceded it. In that miniseries, Batman fought an infection of Joker toxin that slowly turned him into his worst nightmare. Granted, Superman may be able to resist a bit longer. Hopefully long enough for him to get some kind of edge, knowing DC's infected superheroes will be uniting before the year is over. What we do know is that this unexpected twist was always part of Williamson's story. Supergirl, Shazam, Jim Gordon, Blue Beetle, and Hawkman are all useful tools for breaking the spirit of the DCU. But when it comes to breaking the heroes, the choice is obvious:
Think about it from The Batman Who Laughs' perspective. His thing is, 'I kill whatever I think could beat me.' But there's a part of him that thinks maybe he might have been too rushed in that decision. Because he didn't get to use those people. Now he's here so he's like, 'Who can I use?' It really came from the thought of just... If you're The Batman Who Laughs--if you want to create an army that's going to go up against not just the heroes of the DCU, but also the villains--who do you get? The answer's obvious: Superman. That's the first one you go after. So why wouldn't he?
Batman's final warning that "the clock is ticking" reminds readers that Dark Multiverse or Joker toxin, Superman isn't invincible. But until the next issue arrives, there's no telling what lies in store for... The Superman Who Laughs.
- BATMAN/SUPERMAN #3
- Release Date: October 23rd, 2019
- Written by: Joshua Williamson
- Art by: David Marquez
- Cover Art by: David Marquez
- "Who are the Secret Six?" part three! Is Superman the newest member of the Batman Who Laughs' Secret Six? It certainly looks that way, and Batman may be powerless to stop the Man of Steel and his own demented doppelgänger. The Dark Multiverse's most dangerous Bruce Wayne is loose in our world, and he has our world's greatest superhero at his side. Who do you turn to when there's no one to trust?
Batman/Superman #2 is available now from your local comic book shop, or direct from DC Comics. Batman/Superman #3 arrives on October 23rd, 2019.