The Drowned is one of the more mysterious members of the Dark Knights, but the curtain has finally lifted, and the DC universe is far from prepared to deal with her.
The character takes the spotlight in her one-shot Batman: The Drowned #1, where she takes Amnesty Bay by surprise. She quickly asserts her claim to the land by vomiting (yep) a tidal wave of water, completely engulfing Amnesty Bay in the process.
Luckily it isn't long until the land's protectors come to take her on, as Aquaman and Mera quickly come to their surface home's aid. The battle does not go as planned though, as the Drowned quickly skewers the creature Aquaman summoned to his aid.
In fact, Aquaman himself doesn't seem to pose much of a threat either, as the Drowned quickly dodges his attack, calling him slow and weak. She follows it up by knocking him back with a powerful punch, but Mera is there to back him up. Unfortunately, the Drowned poses problems for her as well.
Mera attempts to use her Aquakineses, but the water doesn't obey her command. The water that engulfs Amnesty Bay is not of this world, but of The Drowned's dark multiverse home. As she says, "my water, my rules", knocking Mera aside for emphasis.
The two heroes attempt to regroup, but The Drowned opens a conduit to her world and calls upon her Dead Water army to fight by her side (we'll get to them in a minute). As the Dead Water army swarms, Aquaman tells Mera to go and get the League, but The Drowned grabs her by the throat before she can escape.
The Drowned tells her to merge with the Dead Water and succumb to the inevitable. Mera starts to change and eventually turns into a corpse looking Dead Water herself, striking out to attack Aquaman. He is eventually pulled away by another force, but Mera is still part of The Drowned's army, and they will likely have to face off before this is all over.
You can see the image below and hit the next slide to find out just who The Drowned is.
So, who exactly is The Drowned?
Her real name is Bryce Wayne, and yes, she is the daughter of Thomas and Martha Wayne. In her dark universe, she also becomes her city's Batman (or Batwoman in this case), but things change when she loses her love, Sylvester. After that she proceeds to hunt down every rogue metahuman on her world, avenging her lost love in the process.
Eighteen months later though the armies of Atlantis return to the surface after their self-imposed exile, led by their leader Aquawoman. They supposedly came in peace, but Batwoman didn't buy it, and sure enough, the peace talks didn't last. The two sides were now at war, and Batwoman "redefined vicious for them" by impaling Aquawoman with her own trident.
Unfortunately, that isn't where the conflict ended, as Atlantis retaliated by drowning Gotham completely. Changes were needed, and Batwoman decided to do something drastic.
Hit the next slide to see how she evened the odds.
At this point, Batwoman was still just an ordinary human, albeit like Bruce a highly conditioned and skilled one.
That all changed after Atlantis drowned Gotham. The threat required something different, and as she puts it "sacrifices had to be made", as "life during wartime is obliged to adapt."
The answer? She "adapted" herself, using an auto surgical process to become like the opponents she was fighting. She used mutated hybrid DNA to alter her DNA, giving her the power to control water as well as breathe it, in addition to accelerated healing. All of that significantly altered her appearance, but she wasn't done.
She also created an army to command, calling them Dead Water. Together they overtook the armies of Atlantis, but the world was dark and hollow until she met the Batman Who Laughs.
Hit the next slide to get a rundown of the Dark Knights.
The Drowned - Dark Batman Aquaman Bryce Wayne
Went to war with Atlantis after they attacked Gotham and experimented on herself to become like them.
The Batman Who Laughs - Dark Batman Joker
"The Batman Who Laughs is Bruce asking, ‘What if I killed the Joker and I found out that he has a toxin in his heart that essentially made whoever kills him the next Joker, and that’s why he’s always tried to get Batman to kill him," Scott Snyder told ComicBook.com.
The Devastator - Dark Batman Doomsday
"What if after Superman died, Batman started experimenting with the Doomsday virus in a way that would make sure this never happens again, but it went too far?" Snyder asks.
The Murder Machine - Dark Batman Cyborg
After Alfred dies, Bruce has Cyborg help him upload the Alfred Protocol, but things get out of hand when it kills every villain and takes over Bruce.
The Merciless -Dark Batman Wonder Woman
The Red Death - Dark Batman Flash
After Batman loses all of his allies, he seeks to go back in time and correct it and ends up absorbing The Flash's speed force as a result, as well as Barry Allen himself.
The Dawnbreaker - Dark Batman Green Lantern
Bruce Wayne is inducted into the Green Lantern Corps after the death of his parents, but he utilizes the ring in ways no one could have expected.