The Dark Knights were a team of "warriors of the darkness" assembled by The Batman Who Laughs for Barbatos. These warriors are evil and twisted versions of Batman from the Dark Multiverse who were willing to fight to keep their worlds alive.
Taken from their Earths moments before their destruction, The Drowned, The Dawnbreaker, The Merciless, The Devastator, The Murder Machine and The Red Death first appeared when the Court Of Owls ambushed Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and a baby Darkseid. Using the final metal required for the Mantling, the Court turned Batman into Barbatos' doorway to our Multiverse.
The Dark Knights then systematically took control of the homes of the Justice League (Amnesty Bay, Central City, Coast City, Detroit, Gotham City, Metropolis, and Washington D.C.) and the Watchtower. After the interference of the Gotham Resistance, The Batman Who Laughs called the Dark Knights to Gotham, only for the Resistance to be taken away by Doctor Fate.
The Dark Knights assembled again when Superman and Wonder Woman escaped from Barbatos's conduit tower in Metropolis. The Devastator attacked Superman but was quickly stopped by the intervening of The Flash and Doctor Fate. With Earth's remaining heroes now revealing their location to the Dark Knights, they attacked the Oblivion Bar and killed Nightmaster.
After finding out that Steel and Flash sent Superman into the Dark Multiverse on a rescue mission for Batman, Murder Machine and Devastator attacked them and stole the Anti-Monitor's cosmic tuning fork from the Fortress of Solitude. After fighting off Lobo, Devastator moved the tuning fork to Gotham. The remainder of Earth's heroes were transported to pseudo-Batcave by the Murder Machine. Each Leaguer was taken to their matching Dark Knight in their home city, while Dr. Fate, Mr. Terrific, Kendra Saunders and Deathstroke were attached to the tuning fork with the Teen Titans and Suicide Squad.
The Batman Who Laughs tells everyone that the Dark Knights' ultimate goal is to unleash the horrors of all -51 Earths from the Dark Multiverse and completely destroy the Positive Multiverse. After being defeated by the Dark Knights, the League was going to be added to the tuning fork, until Cyborg partially merged with his Mother Box and freed himself, Raven and the League. Barbatos worries that Cyborg is a wildcard, but the Batman Who Laughs assures his master that everything is still going to plan as the Justice League are unknowingly spreading his darkness across the galaxy.
The next time the Knights were seen, they split up to intercept the heroes searching for traces of Nth Metal. Despite resistance on their, the groups were captured, the exception being Wonder Woman, who the Batman Who Laughs spared so she could struggle in vain against the darkness.
The Knights were next gathered when they were hunting the team Cyborg took with him into The Bleed. Using a corrupted Carrier, they tracked down their ship, the Ultima Thule, and chased them. Though they failed to shoot down the Thule, they were able to damage it enough to allow a team to storm it. While Drowned, Dawnbreaker, and Murder Machine fight the heroes, the rest hang back to control the Carrier. However, the heroes repel the Knights long enough for Flash to sabotage the Carrier's engine, which accidentally turns the Red Death good. The group reunites on the damaged carrier as Red Death's conversion begins killing him. Laughs then reveals that their goal wasn't to shoot down the Thule: It was to charge it with dark energy and force it to crash into the House of Heroes, which it does. The Knights stay until right before the Thule crashes, then leave.
With most of the resistance to Barbatos captured and his dark army on the move, the Knights see to the captured heroes. However, Wonder Woman and Kendra Saunders manage to wake some of the captured heroes up, allowing Wonder Woman to reach the World Forge. When the forge lights up again, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman manage to harness Element X, and empower some of the other Leaguers with the metal. With the power of the Tenth Metal, the League destroys the Dark Knights, pulls the world out of the Dark Multiverse, and defeats Barbatos. The only Knight who managed to avoid destruction is the Batman Who Laughs, who was captured by Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom.
All of the remaining technology, supplies and resources of theirs originals worlds.
Weapons: Each one of they use a specify way to defend him/herself.
- Each of the Dark Knights is a rival to a specific member of the Justice League:
- Each member of the Dark Knights are a representation of Bruce Wayne's worst fears and regrets.
- The Batman Who Laughs – He represents Batman's fear of becoming as bad as the Joker, how much he is defined by the never-ending war with the Clown Prince of Crime and his regret he cannot stop the Joker for good without killing him.
- The Dawnbreaker – He represents Batman's fear of how dangerous he would be with superpowers but lacking his adult discipline, his inner despair taken to its extreme and the regret over his inability to get over his parent's deaths.
- The Devastator – He represents Batman's fear of losing hope, how important his friendship with Superman is and both the fear and regret that he cannot fully trust the Man of Steel.
- The Drowned – She represents Batman's fear of going too far in the fight against superhumans, his love for Catwoman, and his inability to trust anyone but himself.
- The Merciless – He represents Batman's fear of who he would become if he started killing, how Wonder Woman helps him see the good in people, and his regret that he really cannot end his crusade since his villains keep coming back.
- The Murder Machine – He represents Batman's fear he isn't as self-sufficient as he thinks along his technological dependence to fight against his most powerful foes, his father-son relationship with Alfred Pennyworth, and losing his humanity to achieve the victory over the gotham's criminals.
- The Red Death – He represents Batman's fear of losing members of the Bat-Family, his love for them and regret for those he failed. Some of his dialogue and his Speed Force quirk imply he might also represent Batman's fear of old age slowing him down.
- Each member follows a common theme or point of their world's multiverse counterpart
- The Batman Who Laughs - Earth -22's Joker was killed by a hero, who eventually commits crimes.
- The Dawnbreaker - Earth -32's Batman acquires Abin Sur's Power Ring.
- The Devastator - Earth -1's Batman and Superman worked together through the World's Finest series, where the concept of them being acquainted and teaming up was first introduced.
- The Drowned - Earth -11's heroes and villains are all gender-swapped.
- The Merciless - Earth -12 follows the animated Justice League Unlimited's world, where Batman and Wonder Woman are implied to be romantically involved.
- The Murder Machine - Earth -44's Justice League are robots known as the Metal Men.
- The Red Death - Follows Earth -0, the new Prime Earth that was made thanks to the Flash tampering with time through the Speed Force. However, some aspects are borrowed from Earth -31, such as an aging Batman, tank-like Batmobile, and the appearance of the Mutants.
- 30 Appearances of Dark Knights (Dark Multiverse)
- 6 Images that include Dark Knights (Dark Multiverse)
- Team Gallery: Dark Knights (Dark Multiverse)
Links and References
This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."