Dark Nights: Death Metal has shifted many fans' perceptions of the DC Comics universe, as it takes a twisted and unexpected take on characters that fans know and love. The event has spanned multiple titles and various one-shots thus far, and introduced many alternate iterations of DC heroes and villains in the process. One of the latest came courtesy of the event's Justice League tie-in -- and it has a pretty intense history in the DC Universe. Spoilers for Justice League #53 lurk below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue follows Nightwing, Hawkgirl, and Detective Chimp forming an unlikely partnership, after they are tasked with returning to the ruins of the Hall of Justice in hopes of finding a way to save the Justice League. There, they are met with Lex Luthor, who surprisingly begins to provide them with pivotal information they can use in the fight against The Batman Who Laughs and Perpetua. As Luthor explains, Perpetua's throne has found a home in multiple locations across the multiverse, and is now guarded by The Omega Knight, an amalgam of the Omega Titans who died at the destruction of the Source Wall. Even though the throne is currently being held in Brimstone Bay, Luthor hinted that it isn't necessarily easy to go there, and that J'onn J'onnz/Martian Manhunter already tried to do so. While there, he was met with an unexpected foe -- the Dark Mindhunter, a hybrid of both Batman and Martian Manhunter.
While this is far from the first (or probably last) dark take on Batman that fans will find in the series, the context of his amalgamation with Martian Manhunter is certainly interesting. This is especially true when you take into consideration DC's recent plots involving Manhunter DNA.
"We have the Dark Mindhunter, who is like the Batman Who Laughs' guard. It's the Batman Who Laughs' person to make sure everything works out the way he wants it to work out," Joshua Williamson, who wrote the issue, recently explained to CBR. "The Mindhunter is the Batman/Martian Manhunter Dark Multiverse-hybrid: In Justice League, Lex injected himself with Martian DNA to turn himself into Apex Lex. This is Bruce Wayne doing that and injecting himself to have that same kind of DNA and making himself be this twisted version of the Martian Manhunter."
"It was interesting with the Dark Knights because we had one for almost every member of the Justice League...except for the Martian Manhunter," Williamson added. "And now you know where that one was! It's Batman, if Batman could read minds and use and manipulate people with that power."
What do you think of the introduction of the Dark Mindhunter? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!