DC Metal is slowly starting to spread across the DC Universe, affecting a variety of characters and cities in the process. That extends to Gotham City, and a classic Batman villain is reaping the benefits.
Spoilers incoming for Nightwing #29 and DC Metal #2, so if you haven't read them yet you've been warned.
Okay, now that that's out of the way we can get to the fun stuff. Nightwing was left behind to defend Gotham once Batman set off to stop the coming of Barbatos (though he wasn't exactly successful). In any case, the tendrils of Barbatos reach far and wide, and through his messenger the Batman Who Laughs, he extended an offer to longtime Batman nemesis Victor Fries.
The Batman Who Laughs (more on him later) releases some inmates of Arkham Asylum, which might as well be secured with a screen door with how many times people break in and out of there. In any case, Fries is greeted with an offer of freedom for playing the messengers game. He gives him a playing card and promises to give him "the power to create whatever you desire."
Fries is skeptical but takes the deal, and the next time fans see him he is wearing a very different ensemble.
It's first seen after a group that includes Nightwing (also in some new threads), Damian Wayne, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, and Green Arrow successfully take down a powerful ice-like monster with a rage issue and a giant hammer. They manage to bring it down, but not before a more barbarian looking Mr. Freeze shows up. His armor is angular and metallic, and only forms around his legs and waist. He wears a cloak around his waist as well, with angular pieces of ice protruding from his shoulders. He's also ditched the containment suit in its entirety.
In addition to his considerable power (he is simultaneously creating several more of those enormous ice behemoths as he talks), he also wields a rather large sword of ice. Because, you know, swords are cool.
You can view his new costume in the image below, and hit the next slide to find out more about this new Freeze.
Why The Change?
So why is Freeze adopting this new look?
Well first of all the added power is a mighty tempting offer, and it seems Barbatos did manage to deliver. Freeze reveals he is guarding the realm for Barbatos, including the area the heroes find themselves fighting in. A Court of Owls statue they happen upon helps the heroes find an armory of the secret society, which they held in case Barbatos ever showed up.
The heroes gear up with weapons and armor galore and head out to take on Freeze once more, who reveals that the armory was supposed to belong to him along with "a Frozen, silent land!"
Hey, everyone has goals right? Some are just, well, crazy.
The group is able to keep Freeze off balance with a series of strikes, eventually giving Damian the chance for a final blow. He knocks him out, and the card that the messenger gave him then glows and flies off into the distance.
So, who exactly is the Batman Who Laughs? Hit the next slide to find out!
Who Is The Batman Who Laughs?
The Batman Who Laughs is the most visible of the Nightmare Batmen, appearing in several places outside of the main DC Metal series. That said, other than a gruesome character design, who is he really?
Every Nightmare Batman has a tragic or demented origin, but The Batman Who Laughs might just have the most tragic one. The full origin is revealed in The Batman Who Laughs one shot, but writer Scott Snyder recently gave fans a preview.
“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?’ It’s one of the darkest stories that we could do,” Snyder told CBR. "What happens then, what happens to the family, all of that is in [the] Batman: The Batman Who Laughs one-shot.”
So finally ridding the world of The Joker just gave the world another Joker, and that might be the saddest story of all.
Fans can learn more when The Batman Who Laughs #1 hits stores on November 15th.0comments
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