"Rime of the Ancient Mariner": The Dark Multiverse. Earth -11. Gotham City
Batman: The Drowned #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of December, 2017. It was published on October 18, 2017.
Synopsis for "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
The Dark Multiverse. Earth -11. Gotham City
On Earth -11 metahumans became rogue, and waged war on humanity: during this conflict, Bryce Wayne lost her love, Sylvester Kyle. He was killed by the metahumans, but Bryce got her revenge. As soon as one conflict was over though, another started: the Atlanteans, out of their self-imposed exile, came out talking about peace, but Bryce knew better: never trust anybody. She knew they planned to attack, and they did: to give them a message, she brutally killed their queen, Aquawoman.
The Atlanteans tried to get their vengeance, but Bryce was one step ahead: she became the Drowned, genetically modifying herself to have the ability to live and fight underwater on par with her enemies. Also, she found a way to obtain another dreadful power: create armies of Dead Waters, corrupted amphibian soldiers answering only one master. Waging war on Atlantis, she completely destroyed her enemy, but she also had to see her world drowned, every life form destroyed by the dark abysses.
As she tried to fix her signal, the only light remaining on her planet, she met the Batman who Laughs, who came to recruit her: he had something in himself, in his voice, she found reassuring. She trusted him, and she soon found out why: like her, he was an echo of a man living in a world of light. A man that with his nightmares created the worlds populating the Dark Multiverse, a counterpart of the light made of suffering and terrible realities. Bryce, like the other Dark Knights, is one of the sons of those worlds, one deranged version of the man living in the light: like her new teammates, she has to fight to conquer the light and to gain a perfect world for herself.
The Multiverse. Earth-0, the city of Amnesty Bay. Now
Bryce's mission is to destroy Aquaman's city, Amnesty Bay: thanks to her body that adapted to underwater life, and thanks to the power of calling upon the Dead Waters, the Drowned takes control of the place and quickly defeats the royal couple of Atlantis, Aquaman and Mera. Then, she takes Mera and converts her into a Dead Water soldier, revealing that in her Earth she won the war against Atlantis by turning every single one of her enemies in a loyal, bestial servants. As Arthur is desperate for what happened to the woman he loves, Bryce fully enjoys the pain Aquaman is feeling. But then, Doctor Fate transports him away, saving him from being turned in Dead Water as well. As she sees him disappear, Bryce promises he will feel more pain, and that his world will soon be drowned by her.
Appearing in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
- The Drowned (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Aquaman (Earth 0)
- Mera (Earth 0)
- Aquawoman (Earth -11) (First appearance) (Dies in flashback)
- Atlantean army
- Doctor Fate (Earth 0) (Behind the scenes)
- Dark Knights (In a vision)
- Justice League (Earth 0) (Mentioned only)
- Sylvester Kyle (Earth -11) (Mentioned only) (Deceased)
- The title of this issue, like all the titles of the Dark Knights tie-ins (with the exception of The Batman Who Laughs Vol 1 1), is titled after a popular metal song. In this case, Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Iron Maiden.