The Dark Nights: Death Metal event is making a profound impact on the DC Comics universe, bringing twisted and truly unexpected versions of characters fans know and love. As if The Batman Who Laughs wasn't villainous enough, the issues readers have experienced thus far have introduced some terrifying other antagonists -- including the Robin King. The visually interesting and slightly upsetting take on The Boy Wonder has become a sort of right-hand man for The Batman Who Laughs in recent issues, and a new tie-in just added a whole new layer to his origin story. Spoilers for Dark Nights: Death Metal - Legends of the Dark Knights below! Only look if you want to know!
The second story of the issue, which is brought to life by Peter J. Tomasi, Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and Rob Leigh, opens on Alfred Pennyworth telling the story of his time raising Bruce Wayne. As readers quickly realize, this iteration of Bruce is completely unlike what we know, as he began to develop upsetting and sadistic tendencies from a very young age. Alfred became overly aware of the darkness hiding inside young Bruce, as the child began to commit animal abuse and various other acts.
This all then culminated in a scene Batman fans will recognize -- Bruce and his parents leaving the movie theater, only to be forced to make their way into "Crime Alley". When a mugger appears and threatens to attack the family, young Bruce quickly intervenes, stabbing the mugger in the jugular and letting him bleed out and die. When Martha and Thomas Wayne realize what their boy has done, they begin to try to reason with him, only for him to turn on them as well. Bruce shoots them both in a brutal act of violence, and then proceeds to cry on command and ostensibly play the victim the second the authorities arrive.
Afterwards, Bruce remarks to Alfred that his parent's fortune will soon be his, only for Alfred to remind him that it won't be until he turns eighteen. Detective Gordon then arrives to ask Alfred about the attack on the Waynes, and hints that he knows about Bruce's true nature. Bruce then shoots Gordon in the neck with a crossbow, killing him.
He then chases Alfred throughout the house for an hour, before Alfred can subdue him with tranquilizer darts. Those soon prove to be ineffective, as Bruce bursts through the window sporting a twisted version of the Robin costume. He thanks Alfred for protecting him "until he was ready", and proceeds to murder him as well. He then christens himself as "the Robin King".
So, there you have it. The Robin King is really a tiny, sociopathic version of Bruce Wayne, further extending the idea of how many evil Bruces exist in the Dark Multiverse. And if you've ever wondered what would have happened if Bruce had actually been the one to intentionally kill his parents, you have your best answer yet.
What do you think of the Robin King's origin story? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!