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"Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League - Batman": Long ago, the world ended. A psychic virus swept across the planet, transforming most of humanity into white-skinned madmen called the "sneertouched". The weight of their combined madness literally broke reality, throwing the very laws of

Quote1 Zatanna, trust me... no matter how you shaped this world, it would never be enough time. Quote2
The Night (Bruce Wayne)

Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League - Batman #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of January, 2023. It was published on November 15, 2022.

Synopsis for "Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League - Batman"

Long ago, the world ended. A psychic virus swept across the planet, transforming most of humanity into white-skinned madmen called the "sneertouched". The weight of their combined madness literally broke reality, throwing the very laws of nature into chaos. The last island of civilisation and sanity is the Gotham Escapement, a great city-machine that shelters the last remnants of humanity and bends the confused physics of the outside world to force order from chaos.

However, when the sun goes down, the machines fall still and criminals roam the lower levels. A brutal armoured vigilante known as The Night patrols the city after dark, killing anyone who means to do Gotham harm. A band of criminals led by Oswald Cobblepot attempt to smuggle some illegal technology into the city, but the Night attacks and murders them. He accuses Cobblepot of killing his parents, claiming he has found incontrovertible proof. Cobblepot denies it, and claims that an "old man" has framed him and that The Night doesn't even know what he really is, but before he can say anything else he transforms into a sneertouched and bashes his own brains in on The Night's helmet.

The next morning Mr Wax, the masked architect and leader of the Escapement, watches a recording of the last night's events with his aides. Despite The Night's popularity with the people Mr Wax is disgusted by him, as he values creation above everything and The Night is a force of destruction. Suddenly, The Night smashes in through a window, kidnaps Mr Wax and swings away.

Mr Wax wakes up in The Night's base, which in contrast to his clean, white and high-tech office is a dark, dirty, abandoned industrial facility. The Night tells Wax that he was unsettled by Cobblepot's words and suspects that his mind has been tampered with. He used the psychic scanners that Cobblepot was transporting to scan his own mind and found abnormalities, then scanned the entire city to see if anyone else had a similar psychic signature. The Night tells Mr Wax that their psychic patterns are identical and pulls off both their masks to reveal that they are both Bruce Wayne.

The two compare their memories and find that, while they both remember their parents being killed, from there they diverge. Mr Wax was driven to build and create a better world, and provide the frightened people of Gotham with leadership and inspiration; meanwhile, The Night let his pain consume him and turned his rage and hate against the evils of the world. The Redbreasts, a band of lobotomised sneertouched who follow The Night, track the origin of Cobblepot's equipment to the ruins of Arkham Asylum in the Madlands outside the Escapement.

They drive to the Asylum in the Batmobile and debate their philosophies towards the chaos of the world along the way. Mr Wax believes that he has a responsibility to try and fix the world; but The Night believes that chaos cannot be solved, only destroyed. They reach the Asylum and find Alfred Pennyworth waiting for them, much to their surprise as they both remember Alfred returning to Britain after their parents died. He explains that the psychic virus was created when Professor Jonathan Crane, a doctor at the Asylum, experimented on a serial killer drifter known only as Inmate 3141. Gotham was in the eye of the storm and so most of its people were spared.

Bruce Wayne investigated the ruins of the Asylum and discovered the secrets of the inmates' twisted sciences. He devised the plans for the Gotham Escapement but realised that he was not psychologically suited to build and maintain a utopia due to his trauma over his parent's deaths. Therefore, he created a perfect duplicate of himself, and split his personality and memories between them: one, Mr Wax, possessing his most positive traits; and the other, The Night, embodying all his darkest impulses. Mr Wax asks which one of them is the original but Alfred replies it is impossible to know, they are physically identical down to the smallest detail.

Alfred tells them that he has been living in the Asylum ever since, carrying on the original Bruce's work to protect the survivors of Gotham, but also to give each of them their own form of happiness. The Night is enraged, yelling that his life is a nightmare but Alfred tells him that, by removing any moral qualms, the original Bruce gave his darker half the ability to be a monster and unleash all his fury on the world, the only happiness he could ever have.

Alfred knocks them both unconscious and wipes their memories, revealing that this is the fifty-third time that they have realised the truth and come back to the Asylum. The Redbreasts carry them both home, and Alfred wakes Victor Zsasz from cryogenic suspension to be The Night's new "nemesis".

Appearing in "Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League - Batman"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Oswald Cobblepot (Single appearance; dies)
  • The Sneertouched (Single appearance)
  • Victor Zsasz (Single appearance) (Cameo)

Other Characters:

  • Inmate 3141 (Single appearance) (Dies in flashback) (Cameo)
  • Joe Chill (Single appearance) (Flashback only) (Cameo)
  • Martha Wayne (Single appearance) (Flashback only) (Cameo)
  • Prof. Jonathan Crane (Single appearance) (Dies in flashback) (Cameo)
  • Thomas Wayne (Single appearance) (Dies in flashback) (Cameo)
  • Basil Karlo (Mentioned only)
  • Jervis Tetch (Mentioned only)
  • Maxie Zeus (Mentioned only)
  • Victor Fries (Mentioned only)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Concepts:


Synopsis for "Time's Up"

In her paradise world, Zatanna senses the Justice League trying to free her and attempts to flee. She uses her magic to create a new universe from the Big Bang through to the present day, and reunites with a duplicate of her father. They hug, but the League pull her out, and The Night tells her that she would never have been able to create something as meaningful as reality. She admits he is right and says it's time to take the fight to Pariah.

Appearing in "Time's Up"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • John Constantine (Single appearance)
  • Zatara (Single appearance)

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Concepts:

Notes

  • Final issue.
  • The events of Batman's story take place before Batman and Green Lantern/The Flash's meeting from Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5.
  • The events of Zatanna's story take place between Batman and Green Lantern/The Flash's meeting from Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 and the epilogue of that issue.
  • As "The Night" is the Bruce Wayne who leaves Earth-Batman and rejoins the Justice League, it is clear that he is the original and "Mr. Wax" is the duplicate.

Trivia

  • Batman's Earth-Batman alias, "The Night", is a pun on the famous phrase "I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman".


See Also


Links and References

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