Marvel may have had What If? when it came to publishing comic book stories that took established characters and spun familiar stories in new directions, but this year will see DC copying the House of Ideas with their own wild take on landmark storylines. Called “Tales from the Dark Multiverse”, this series will revisit some of the bigger storylines of the past and “put a twisted and terrifying spin on some of the biggest, most game-changing events” that ever hit DC’s biggest icons according to the press release.
The Dark Multiverse itself was introduced in Dark Nights Metal, and its existence is nothing but pain and misery, much like when anyone is stuck in a car with me and I try to explain Final Crisis to them. A collection of realities that are in constant turmoil, the Dark Multiverse is home to wrong decisions, twisted origins and horrific endings that paint very different pictures of time-honoured heroes. The first two stabs at alternate history? None other than a revisit to the pages of Knightfall and The Death of Superman.
Knightfall still stands as one of my favourite Batman stories, dealing with the Dark Knight as he is run ragged by a gauntlet of foes that were sprung out of Arkham Asylum by Bane. Weary, damaged and having been pushed well past his limits, Batman would eventually be broken by Bane and left out of action for a few years as the current successor of the Azrael persona, Jean-Paul Valley, took up the mantle of the Bat and reclaimed Gotham City.
Azrael’s quest would eventually end in misery, the programming of the Azrael persona driving him to commit more violent acts and become a totally 90s Batman in the process until he was finally stopped by rejuvenated Batman. What if Bruce Wayne failed to take back the identity of Batman in the finale to KnightsEnd? That’s the question that Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Knightfall wants to answer. Here’s the synopsis for that mini-series:
TALES FROM THE DARK MULTIVERSE: BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL #1
Co-written by Scott Snyder (DARK NIGHTS: METAL, JUSTICE LEAGUE, THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS) and Kyle Higgins (DEATHSTROKE, BATMAN ETERNAL, NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER), with art by Javier Fernandez (JUSTICE LEAGUE) and a cover by Lee Weeks (BATMAN), this one-shot takes place in a Gotham City 30 years after a broken Bruce Wayne failed to take back the mantle of the Bat.
In his place arose Jean-Paul Valley, also known as Saint Batman. Under his iron rule, Saint Batman has turned Gotham into the city of his dreams – killing has become commonplace and criminals live in constant fear—all in the name of justice. But just when all seems lost, a new hope for Gotham rises: The Son of Bane.
Next up, the death of Superman! Y’all know the story by now: The last son of Krypton, tragically dies in a last-ditch attempt to stop the nigh-unkillable Doomsday from levelling Metropolis and the rest of the world. His beloved city protected (sort of) by four new heroes in the Reign of the Supermen saga, Superman would eventually get better and return to the neverending fight for truth and justice in the world.
What if Superman’s death had more unintended consequences though? You’d get this story:
TALES FROM THE DARK MULTIVERSE: THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN #1
The Dark Multiverse takes on the highest-selling comic book event of all time, courtesy of writer Jeff Loveness (Rick and Morty, DC’S NUCLEAR WINTER SPECIAL, DC’S MYSTERIES OF LOVE IN SPACE), with art by Brad Walker (DETECTIVE COMICS) and Andrew Hennessy (SINESTRO, THE DEMON: HELL IS EARTH, TITANS), with a cover by Lee Weeks.
In a broken world much like our own, Lois Lane, twisted by rage and grief over the Man of Steel’s death, becomes the Eradicator, taking revenge on those who let Superman die and the corrupt world he could never defeat. Now, with the power of a god, she’s going to end the “never-ending” battle by any means necessary, halting the Reign of the Supermen before it even begins.
Well consider me sold. Each Dark Multiverse book will clock in at 48 pages, are prestige-sized and will arrive in October. Now can we get a Dark Multiverse title where Sinestro runs Hal Jordan over with a taxi before he overcame the Yellow Impurity weakness inherent in all Green Lantern rings?
Last Updated: July 16, 2019