"Heavy Metal": On Earth-0, the first world of the Multiverse, in S.T.A.R. Labs, Detroit, Silas Stone, Cyborg's father, intends to help his son, considering his own knowledge of otherworldly metals and the cr
- And that is your greatest folly, Victor. You are the weakest of the League. Because if you were willing to cast off your humanity, you would be the strongest. You have no comprehension of the power that resides within you. And so we will take it to rewrite your world in the name of Barbatos.
Batman: The Murder Machine #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of November, 2017. It was published on September 27, 2017.
Synopsis for "Heavy Metal"
On Earth-0, the first world of the Multiverse, in S.T.A.R. Labs, Detroit, Silas Stone, Cyborg's father, intends to help his son, considering his own knowledge of otherworldly metals and the crisis the Earth is facing with the arrival of Barbatos and the Dark Knights. Victor explains his father that he doesn't need to worry about him because he's safe in the Watchtower, from which he's monitoring the situation in each city attacked by the Knights and collecting as much data as possible for future use. As Silas insists, Victor agrees to be helped in analyzing and identifying possible "energy signatures out of the ordinary", when suddenly a notification from the Satellite security system informs Victor that, apparently, Batman is teleporting inside. His initial relief turns to horror when Victor realizes that the "Batman" who's entering the Satellite is the one called The Murder Machine, from the Dark Multiverse. The foe immediately subdues him with a raygun from his palm and states: "I'm here to help".
Months ago, on Earth -44, in the Dark Multiverse, Batman is repeatedly watching a horrible scene, in which a number of members of his rogue gallery is beating up Alfred to get informations about Batman's whereabouts. As the butler plays dumb, he's killed by Bane with his classic back-breaker. Clark and Diana advice Bruce to stop tormenting himself, and to join them at the wake in Alfred's honor upstairs. Bruce stops Victor, asking him for help: he'd been creating an artificial intelligence that could "outlast" Alfred, called "The Alfred Protocol". To bring "him" online, though, he needs Cyborg's abilities.
Back to the present, Silas, through the communication system, understands what's going on and pleads with the Murder Machine to not hurt his son. Earth -44 Bruce interrupts the communication and threatens Victor, saying he and his father will learn their role soon enough. Vic fights back with a kick to the foe's face, promising he won't get near his father. Murder Machine recalls his reality's Victor and how he helped him bring back to life his "father" Alfred in the form of a A.I., which appears in front of them, to Cyborg's confusion.
A month ago, on Earth -44, the Alfred Protocol is now complete, but Bruce has lost control of it and it started killing off any menace to master Wayne's safety: everyone at Arkham Asylum is now dead and Alfred proceeds to gun down Bane as well. As Bruce explains the situation to his Cyborg, they agree Alfred must be stopped, but Bruce still intends to keep him. As the Murder Machine reveals, he became what he is because he was inhabited by the A.I. himself, becoming one with his "father". His human flesh was replaced with undying metal and is now virtually indestructible. Victor answers that he can throw at him as many cyber-Alfreds as he likes, but he'll never be able to access the Watchtower's computer system. Murder Machine answers that he was not trying to at all: it was just a diversion to enter the S.T.A.R. Labs computer system.
The Murder Machine has now control of Detroit, defeating Cyborg like he did his friends of the Justice League back on Earth -44. There, Victor was the last standing, but he was killed off anyway and then, as his own reality was going to collapse into nothingness, Murder Machine agreed to answer the call of Barbatos and The Batman Who Laughs, becoming one of the Dark Knights.
Murder Machine proceeds to tell Cyborg that his greatest folly was to keep part of his humanity intact: if he hadn't, he would have been the strongest of the League members, instead of the weakest. He re-opens the connection with Silas, so he can hear his son screaming while the Dark Knights tear his metallic limbs apart. Before closing the call again, Murder Machine informs Silas that one of his associates will come and get him, so he and his son can continue to be of help.
The Batman Who Laughs appears from the shadows, stating that they're lucky Cyborg has no idea how to wield his metal.
As the Watchtower transforms to represent its new master, Murder Machine, The Batman Who Laughs says that the truth is they came to Earth-0 because it was dark enough to conceive them. Because, deep down, it needed them to protect themselves from the great ringing, echoing through the cosmos. And they came with an answer.
Appearing in "Heavy Metal"
- The Murder Machine (Earth -44) (Origin)
- Bane (Earth -44) (First appearance; dies)
- Clayface (Earth -44) (First appearance; dies)
- Harley Quinn (Earth -44) (First appearance; dies)
- Killer Croc (Earth -44) (First appearance; dies)
- Two-Face (Earth -44) (First appearance; dies)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Earth -44) (Dies)
- Barbara Gordon (Earth -44)
- Dark Knights
- Green Arrow (Earth -44)
- James Gordon (Earth -44)
- Justice League (Earth -44) (all die)
- Steve Trevor (Earth -44) (Single appearance)
- Earth 0
- Dark Multiverse
- 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, Heavy Metal by Judas Priest.
- The way Murder Machine's World's Bane kills Alfred references the iconic Breaking the Bat scene from Knightfall.