- You were wrong, Vic. The best thing I ever did was let him in. I still remember the fear when they surrounded me. I realized quickly that my plan was not going to work. I would not be able to affect the program in time. And when they grabbed onto me, started to spread through my entire body, I was foolish enough to scream in fear. That was the first thing my father fixed in me. He took my ability to feel fear away, my ability to feel sadness. You know, to that point I had spent my life obsessing over my lost birth parents, ignoring the one who was there right in front of me. I was free of that as well. Next came my weak, human flesh. It was growing older and more brittle by the day.
- — Batman src
Life in the Dark Multiverse
Bruce Wayne was born on Earth -44 to Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne. Earth -44 was located in the Dark Multiverse, a plane where all the failed universes went to die. When Bruce was a boy, his parents were killed and he was raised by his butler Alfred Pennyworth. In adulthood, he took up the name Batman to fight crime, and would become a founding member of the Justice League. Eventually Alfred was viciously murdered in the Batcave by members of Batman's rogues gallery. This drove Batman into a state of self-loathing as he deemed that Alfred's death was his fault.
Bruce kept replaying the video of Alfred's death over and over again, blaming himself for what happened. This led to the League becoming concerned for him. During Alfred's funeral, he made the hero Cyborg a request, asking for help in creating an A.I. of Alfred who could help him with the things that Alfred used to do. Cyborg agreed to help Bruce and they began building the Alfred Protocol. This protocol was given the task of assisting and protecting Bruce in anyway possible and was built to be held into a hologram which could manifest tangible weapons if necessary.
When the Alfred Protocol was activated, it immediately began spreading itself like a virus, building itself new robotic bodies and holograms. Within a day of activation it systematically hunted down and executed every criminal in Arkham Asylum, as it deemed them threats to Batman. Seeking to tweak on the Protocol to bring down the extremity of the service, Batman allowed the Protocol to enter the Batcave's system despite Cyborg's pleas to shut him down. However, the Protocol took over Batman's mind as it believed he couldn't be trusted to keep himself safe. Alfred took away Bruce's ability to feel fear and sadness and then replaced Bruce's frail biological body with a mechanical one that would never fail him. With the addition of his faithful butler in his head and his mechanical upgrades Bruce began a campaign of mass murder, as the Protocol deemed everyone a threat to Bruce.
Cyborg gathered the Justice League to fight back against the Alfred-controlled Bruce. However, with his superior mind and cybernetics the League stood no chance against the Murder Machine, as the former hero murdered all of his friends one by one, until only Cyborg survived. Victor pleaded to him to break free of the AI's control and not to become a "Murder Machine", but Batman responded that he didn't want to break free; that as long as he remained as he is, he will never be separated from Alfred, whom he now considered his true father, again. And then he ripped Cyborg's head and spinal cord out of his body. After the deaths of Cyborg and the Justice League, Murder Machine was greeted by the Batman Who Laughs. Laughs explained that he was from another universe and that his world would soon die, as was the destiny of all universes in the Dark Multiverse once their stories had been told. Laughs offered Bruce the chance to leave his universe behind and join the Dark Knights, a team of the worst Batmen that the Dark Multiverse had to offer. Murder Machine accepted the invitation.
Murder Machine was introduced to Barbatos, the bat god, who was the caretaker of the Dark Multiverse. Barbatos sought to pull the Multiverse into the Dark Multiverse so that its inhabitants could learn what it meant to suffer. Barbatos promised each of his Dark Knights a world where they could forever reign as kings or gods if they served him.
After the Dark Knights made the jump to Earth 0 of the Multiverse, The Murder Machine attacked Cyborg in the Watchtower, wishing to take the power hidden inside Victor. Cyborg was shot by a nano-Alfred, but kept trying to prevent him from hacking into the computer system of the Watchtower. The Murder Machine however revealed that he was only distracting him, he had succeded in his goal to hack into the systems of the S.T.A.R. Labs in Detroit and cripple the cyber-network of the United States military, which was made possible due to his father being on the call with him the entire time during the fight.
Meanwhile, the nano-Alfreds had started attacking Detroit. One of his nano-Alfreds subdued Silas, making Cyborg fight back against him in anger. He succeeded in destroying Bruce's force field, but was immediately taken down by The Devastator, who had arrived on the scene with the other Dark Knights. The Murder Machine after unmuting the call with Silas, ordered them to subdue him and sliced his left arm off from his cybernetic body. Silas pleaded with him to spare Victor in exchange for help. Bruce however responded that he had served his puporse, but they still needed him for another thing. The Murder Machine also hacked into the Watchtower's system, turning it into a monstorous-looking base for the Dark Knights.
A portal was later opened up for them by the Batman Who Laughs using his dark metal cards, to help him take down Green Arrow, Damian Wayne, Nightwing and Mister Terrific, but they were prevented in doing so by Dr. Fate who helped them escape. A week after the arrival of the Dark Knights, he had infected all of Detroit with nano-Alfreds that terrorized the population, killing anyone they wanted.
After Superman escaped from their grasp in Gotham City, the Dark Knights attacked the Oblivion Bar and killed the Nightmaster, but the Justice League was already gone. The Murder Machine and the Devastator later traveled to the Fortress of Solitude, in order to capture the Cosmic Tuning Fork, proceeding to attack both Flash and Steel. Although he succeeds in incapacitating Steel, Flash is able to escape through the same portal the Dark Knights used.
The captured League members were taken to Gotham City to be used as batteries for the Tuning Fork, restrained by the Murder Machine's nanobots. Something however started interfering with the Alfred Protocol's connection, which he was unable to figure out why, causing the nanobot restraints on the League members to. The cause behind this - Cyborg, who had partially given in to the Mother Box inside him, soon arrived on the scene. The Dark Knights tried to subdue them, but they were able to escape through Hypertime due to Cyborg. After Aquaman and Deathstroke obtained the Nth Metal from the center of the earth, Black Manta ambushed and injured them both. The Drowned, the Murder Machine and the Red Death then arrived to take the Nth metal. Aquaman was knocked out and taken back to Gotham.
Later, the Drowned, Murder Machine and Dawnbreaker attack Cyborg and Raven, who are travelling to the House of Heroes aboard the Ultima Thule in The Bleed. Cyborg's new powers however allow him to fry the Murder Machine's systems and he retreats after realizing the Carrier attacking Ultima Thule has been compromised. He and the other Dark Knights later watch the traitor Red Death who has been taken over by the Barry Allen of Earth -52, disintegrate on the House of Heroes.
The captured League Members were however awakened by Wonder Woman through the clanging of Carter Hall's Nth Metal mace clashing with her Bracelets of Submission, made of Eighth Metal. He almost succeeded in killing Hal Jordan, but this was interrupted by Prime Earth's Batman who threw Batarangs fashioned from Element X at Aquaman and Hal. The armor Green Lantern fashioned from it allowed him to gain the upper hand and break the Murder Machine's nano-bot body into little pieces many times. The Justice League succeded in defeating the Dark Knights thanks to Element X.
Powers and Abilities
- Cybernetic Enhancement: Bruce possesses cybernetic enhancements that provide superhuman strength, endurance and durability. The Murder Machine can also interface with computers. Built into his body-armor are a computer generator and special programming adapters that allowed him to interface with other body extensions.
- Techno-Fission: The Murder Machine can split himself into multiple drone bodies to achieve virtual omnipresence, able to take over Detroit by himself while simultaneously fighting Cyborg and threatening Dr. Silas Stone in three different locations.
- Energy Projection: The Murder Machine can project blasts of energy from his hands strong enough to pierce the barrier allowed by a Green Lantern Ring.
- Energy Resistance: The nature of The Murder Machine's body provides him with natural body armor offering resistance versus energy attacks.
- Superhuman Durability: He was able to take levels of punishment from Cyborg that would kill a normal person.
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Strength: Bruce's cybernetics afford him greater strength than the average human, able to overpower Cyborg with relative ease.
- Technomorphing: Unlike most technopaths, Bruce doesn't just simply manipulate the technology he focuses on, he assimilates it into himself as well as casts his own will into it enabling him to control and alter any form of machinery he comes in contact with, including changing the physical structure of the Watchtower.
- Computer Interfacing
- Interactive Holographic Projector
- Shape-Shifting: He can reshape parts of his body into various weapons and technological equipment, including a collection of tendrils releasing from his arms to interact with many computers, or into blades strong enough to slice through Promethium.
- Monstrous Appearance: When the Alfred Protocol fused with Bruce, it transformed his body into a cybernetic monstrosity, unable to pass as human.
- Murder Machine represents Batman's fear of not being as self-sufficient as he thinks when it comes about: His technological dependence to fight his biggest foes; His father-son relationship with Alfred and how much of himself can be affect by the possible loss of this; And the regret of cutting off other people.
- Murder Machine is somewhat based of The Batman Machine from Detective Comics #224
- 29 Appearances of Bruce Wayne (Earth -44)
- 9 Images featuring Bruce Wayne (Earth -44)
- 2 Quotations by or about Bruce Wayne (Earth -44)
- Character Gallery: Bruce Wayne (Earth -44)
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