Contrary to the worlds of the normal Multiverse, those from the Dark Multiverse have their name preceded by a minus sign, such as Earth -52 compared to Earth 0, for instance. Each of those inverse worlds shown so far bears some degree of thematic resemblance to its positive coun

Quote1.png Stop me if you've heard this one... worlds will live, worlds will die... but imagine if your every fear, each bad decision, gave birth to a malformed world of nightmare. A world that shouldn't exist. And desperate as it fights to survive in the light of the true multiverse far above... these worlds are doomed to rot apart, and die, because they are wrong at their core. Welcome to the Dark Multiverse. Home to stories that should never be... It's all one big cosmic joke, except no one on this side is laughing. ...well, almost no one... Quote2.png
The Batman Who Laughssrc

The Dark Multiverse is a shadow under the primary Multiverse, one formed of every fear and bad decision ever made or dreamt. Worlds in the Dark Multiverse are fragile and constantly deteriorating, inevitably doomed to destruction by their own malformed construction.[28]

History

Contrary to the worlds of the normal Multiverse, those from the Dark Multiverse have their name preceded by a minus sign, such as Earth -52 compared to Earth 0, for instance. Each of those inverse worlds shown so far bears some degree of thematic resemblance to its positive counterpart.

  • Earth -52 begins as a twisted and darkened version of Prime Earth, although it has some elements of Earth-31.
  • Earth -44 while also similar to Prime Earth at first, features Batman becoming a cybernetic being, while Earth 44 is centered around purely robotic versions of superheroes.
  • Earth -32 and Earth 32 both deal with Bruce Wayne being granted a Green Lantern ring.
  • Earth -22 and Earth 22 are both worlds in which the Joker is killed and his death served as a catalyst for a major catastrophe.
  • Earth -12 and Earth 12 are both worlds in which Bruce Wayne and Diana of Themyscira are romantically involved.
  • Earth -11 and Earth 11 are both worlds wherein characters are the opposite sex of their mainstream equivalents.
  • Earth -1 and Earth 1 both deal with a darker, grittier take on the DC Universe, with Superman and Batman serving as the initial focus.

Because of its nature as the cradle of yet unborn worlds, the number of worlds in the Dark Multiverse is far greater than in the normal Multiverse, as seen when Barbatos chose to show to Batman the "galaxies" of worlds born from his fears.[1] Other heroes also have had an impact on the Dark Multiverse, with many twisted versions of heroes such as The Flash, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman preparing to invade the Multiverse,[2] even if they could have been created by Batman's fears all the same.

It wasn't always the case however. At the dawn of the creation, what would later become the Dark Multiverse was known as World Forge, a realm of which was assigned to the cosmic being, Alpheus by his Mother, Perpetua, the supreme ruler of the Multiverse[3]. The Higher Being, who was called the World Forger because of his duties, was tasked to supervision his own realm as one the three fundamental part of creation, similarly to what his brothers, Mar Novu/The Monitor and Mobius/Anti-Monitor had to do with their respective realms.[3][4]

The World Forge was completely composed of dark matter, a substance rich in potential, which were to be used to forge new universes out of the pure metals of creation and the hopes and fears of all sentient life. World that proved themselves stable would rise up into the light to join the Orrery of Worlds, while worlds that were lacking, flawed and corrupt at the core were destroyed that their energies would be released to fuel the creation of new universes. As the World Forger needed to find a way to destroy these unstable realities, He created his own pet, Barbatos[3], then known as the Great Dragon[4], who was tasked to annihilate the decaying realities[3]. After the sealing of Perpetua and Alpheus' return to the Forge[3], Barbatos, who had server his master for millenia, got tired of him and his lust for destruction led him to rebel against The Forger, killing him. Without the World Forger, the cycle was broken: failed universes were allowed to exist beyond their time, festering and rotting into nothing with all the sentients within suffering nightmarish ends.[4]

Barbatos' rise to power forced the Monitor to generate a race of controller, the Fuginauts, which could ensure that anything and anyone from the Dark Multiverse could invade the Orrery of Worlds, infecting the positive realities with their corruption. In the modern days, Tempus Fuginaut is one of the last defender of the Multiverse's walls against the corruption of Dark Multiverse, always checking on the nightmare realities.

In the course of millennia, Perpetua continued to whisper in Barbatos' ears to cause a new Crisis in order to damage the Multiverse enough to ultimately free her from her prison. Barbatos' desire for power led him to plan to invade the positive Multiverse: during the Final Crisis, the occasion finally came as Batman aka Bruce Wayne was sent back in time to the Prehistoric Era by Darkseid's Omega Beams. The event attracted Barbatos' attention which, in that moment, chose him as his portal, and possible vessel for his arrival into the Multiverse: the Bat God began to inspire humankind through the Bat Tribe and used the Bird Tribe, which in modern days became the Court of Owls, to enact his masterplan.

During the Final Crisis, Monitor Dax Novu was also banished out of the Multiverse by Superman, sinking int the Overvoid until he finally arrived into the Dark Multiverse.[5]

The existence of the Dark Multiverse was unknown to the prime Multiverse's residents until, on Prime Earth, the investigations of the Blackhawk Squadron and the Challengers of the Unknown,[6] led to the latters to be sent into the Dark Multiverse. Barbatos' agents, the Court of Owls, engineered the "mantling" of Batman using the five heavy metals of the Dark Multiverse, Nth Metal, Promethium, Dionesium, Electrum, and Batmanium, sending him to that corrupted multiverse while bringing forth Barbatos who had assembled the worst army of Dark Multiverse, Dark Knights, which was formed of Bruce Wayne's fiercest nightmare counterparts under the command of the Batman who Laughs.[7]

With the help of the Multiversal Tuning Fork and the Phantom Zone Projector, Steel and the Flash helped Superman infiltrate into the Dark Multiverse in search of Batman, only for his entrance to be part of a trap by the denizens, who hooked him up to the same machine that Batman was in order to use him as a battery to drive the Multiverse into the dark, letting loose Superman's own nightmarish versions in the process.[8]

As the Dark Knights conquered Earth 0, Barbatos recruited other nightmare counterparts of Earth's heroes which were held back by Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl. During the final battle, the Dark Multiverse forces were overpowering the resistence until the heroes were helped by Multiverse's heroes, which were called upon the battlefield by the mysterious 53rd Earth, and managed to use Element X to conjur and wear divine armors whose powers let them defeat Barbatos and the Dark Knights once and for all.[9]

With the defeat of Barbatos, who was chained somewhere into the Dark Multiverse by the Monitor, was now without any supreme ruler until the rise of Mandrakk the Dark Monitor, who tried to return into the Multiverse but was stopped by the Unexpected whose leader Neon altered the Dark Monitor's physiology so that he could feed on dark matter, allowing him to stay forever in the Dark Multiverse as his new ruler.[5]

During a travel into a reality where the Black Lantern Corps conquered the universe, Tempus Fuginaut was forced to seal the walls of this reality to stop one of its resident, Thaal Sinestro aka Limbo Lantern, who tried to escape the damnation of his world.[10]

However, the Batman who Laughs had survived the first invasion of the Multiverse and planned to conquer the Earth himself.First, he tried to finally kill the Batman and corrupt the planet with the help of another dark Batman, the Grim Knight[11]; then, he took advantage of the Justice League's war against the Legion of Doom over the dominion of the Totality, building his own army of infected heroes[12] and use it to counter the Earths' heroes and Lex Luthor who had become the right hand of the released Perpetua. As the Batman who Laughs proposed her to further empower her with the Crisis Energies from the Dark Multiverse's unstable realities, Perpetua replaced Luthor with the Dark Knight and also rewarded the latter by giving him the chance to build a new Dark Multiverse army and invade again Earth 0.[13]

The One who Laughs returned to the Dark Multiverse where he saved from a teen Bruce Wayne, known as the maniac Robin King, from his world's annihilation and, as Laughs believed him to his trump card, masqueraded him as a Groblin[14]. Then, he discovered the existence of the Final Bruce Wayne, a Batman from the Dark Multiverse who had replicated the same incident that created Doctor Manhattan, becoming the Batmanhattan: the One who Laughs ambushed him and murdered him, keeping his body for the final act of his takeover plan.[15]

At the same time, Tempus Fuginat summoned to him Wally West to rescue the Multiverse from a Dark Multiverse's unstable world which "refused" to be destroyed[16]. Wally traveled through the realities in order to discover the origin of this realm, he finally reached the Dark Multiverse where learned that this universe was born from his fears to not see again his lost children: as he met their Dark counterparts, Wally made a pact with Tempus to undo the creation of this nightmare world in exchange for his children's safety. Tempus agreed so Wally sat down on the Mobius Chair which supercharged him with the Connective Energy of Doctor Manhattan, saving the Multiverse by erasing the unstable realm and planning to heal the wounds in the reality as his "precedessor" tried to do in the past.[17]

Some time later, during his journey through the dark realities, Tempus Fuginaut was confronted by a survivor of one of these worlds, Duke Thomas aka The Last Monitor who attacked him for not interfering to save the doomed universes from their destinies and proclaimed himself the savior of the Dark Multiverse as Batman, the Final Knight.[18]

In the prime Multiverse, Earth 0 was overrun by the Batman who Laughs' army and remade as the Metalverse by Perpetua[19][20] while the Dark Knight made a pact with the Anti-Monitor, Superboy-Prime and Darkseid to win their respective Crises in the Dark Multiverse worlds from which the Crisis Energy would empower Perpetua.[21][22]

After the Earth's heroes rebelled against the One who Laughs[20], who had become a Dark God, known as the Darkest Knight, after his mind was transplanted into the Batmanhattan's body[23], Wonder Woman assembled a team to travel into the Dark Multiverse in order to fuel the Mobius Chair with Crisis Energy and supercharge Wally West to make him able to defeat both Perpetua and the Darkest Knight[24]; during their travel, the heroes also meet a caged Barbatos who mocked them for believing to be able to win against the Darkest Knight.[21]

The team split in three as Batman reached the first Crisis' dark world, Wonder Woman landed to the Infinite Crisis' reality and Superman arrived to the Final Crisis' realm[21]. They discovered the Darkest Knight's alterations and their former villains' dominion[21]: eventually, Diana managed to convince Superboy-Prime to side with them against the dark villains and fuel Wally West. However, the Dark Multiverse' energies were sent to the Darkest Knight who became an almight version of himself that managed to Perpetua and create his own multiverse which was inspired by the Dark Multiverse.[25]

In order to defeat the Darkest Knight and his army, Wonder Woman traveled again into the Dark Multiverse, reaching the Forge of Worlds where Darkseid refuged after the undoing of his dark realm. Despite Darkseid's warnings, Diana of Themyscira bound herself with her lasso to the Forge itself: because of the Forge's possibilities, Diana managed to unknot the reality itself as all the memories from past events resurfaced into the mind of Earth 0's residents[26] . Later, a Forge-empowered Wonder Woman managed to destroy the Darkest Knight and, as a reward for saving their lives, the Hands chose to spare Multiverse and Dark Multiverse from their destruction.[27]

List of Realities

The Dark Multiverse is largely composed by dark worlds were heroes and villains' lives were damaged beyond repair, damning the universe. Only a few realities were given a real designation:

  • Earth -52: A universe where Batman lost his family and decide to get Barry Allen's speed. The Dark Knight kidnapped him and forced the speedster to merge with him so they became a speed monster known as the Red Death.[28]
  • Earth -44: A reality where some Batman's villains learned his real identity and attacked him into the Batcave where Bane murdered Alfred Pennyworth. A raging Batman was helped by Cyborg in creating an Alfred-based AI whose desire to protect its "son" led it to go evil and murder every Gotham's villains and ultimately the Justice League. Then, Batman himself was forced to become the Murder Machine.[29]
  • Earth -32: A universe where a young Bruce Wayne was chosen as a Green Lantern in Crime Alley after his parent's murder. He used his new powers to unleash his fury on Joe Chill and, later, on Gotham's criminals. Eventually, his willpower ultimately overpowering the ring and unleashing darke forces into the universe which destroyed the Green Lanterns and the Guardians of the Universe; he came to be known as the Dawnbreaker.[30]
  • Earth -22: A universe where Joker drove Batman to kill him. His death unleashed a powerful toxin which infected Batman's brain and turned him into the new Joker: as he had no more restraint but his abilities were intact, Bruce became the Batman Who Laughs, slaughtering all of his villains and allies and causing the world to become a wasteland.[31]
  • Earth -12: A universe where Ares waged war on Earth's heroes for two years which culminated in Batman stealing his helm and power so he killed the God but this new power made him sink into madness. Bruce murdered his beloved Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League before destroying the Olympus and its Gods as the Merciless.[32]
  • Earth -11: A universe where, in the aftermath of Sylvester Kyle's death, his lover Bryce Wayne killed many rogue metahumans and waged war on Aquawoman's Atlantean army, forcing the Batwoman to become a Human-Atlantean hybrid, known as the Drowned, who let the world become a giant ocean.[33]
  • Earth -1: A universe where Superman somehow went evil and murdered his friends, villains, and even his own wife. Batman chose to scarifice himself in order to save the world, injecting himself with the Doomsday Virus and finally killing Superman; however, he worsened the situation as he became a feral monster known as the Devastator.[34]


They are also shown to exist a large number of unnamed realities which are not only born from the hopes and fears of the positive Multiverse's residents but even from certain events from all of its history, such as Crisis on Infinite Earths or Flashpoint, which, at some point in time, caused the birth in the Dark Multiverse of nightmare version of themselves where the evil conquered the universe. Among these realities, there are multiple versions of Earths from all of the Multiverse's past iterations: for example, they exist alternate versions of Pre-Crisis Earths, like Earth-Two, 52's realities such as New Earth or Earth-30, New 52's Prime Earth or Earth 12 and even from the Hypertime realities.



Points of Interest

Residents

Main List: Dark Multiverse Characters

Trivia

  • The Dark Multiverse isn't part of Perpetua's design as it was never meant to propagate with unstable worlds.[12]
  • Each universe is based on any hero or villain's unspoken fears.
    • According to Darkfather, most of Superman's Dark Multiverse versions are tyrants who rule humanity.[24]
    • According to the Robin King, evil counterparts of villains take the form of good version of themselves as they fear being good.[22]
      • This statement is not totally true as it existed at least one version of Deathstroke who is far more evil than his positive Multiverse's counterpart.
        • Another instance is that there is a reality Bruce Wayne runs a successful company. [51]
  • The Batman Who Laughs mentions that somewhere in the Dark Multiverse, there is a version of Bruce Wayne who fused with Lex Luthor and almost chose him over the Murder Machine.[45]

See Also

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Batman: Lost #1
  2. The Batman Who Laughs #1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Justice League (Volume 4) #22
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Dark Nights: Metal #4
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Unexpected (Volume 3) #6
  6. Dark Nights: Metal #1
  7. Dark Nights: Metal #2
  8. Dark Nights: Metal #3
  9. Dark Nights: Metal #6
  10. 10.0 10.1 Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night #1
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1
  12. 12.0 12.1 Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1
  13. Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #4
  14. Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 15.12 15.13 15.14 15.15 15.16 15.17 15.18 Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1
  16. Flash Forward #1
  17. 17.0 17.1 Flash Forward #6
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 18.8 Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Dark Nights Metal #1
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 Dark Nights: Death Metal #1
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 Dark Nights: Death Metal #4
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 Dark Nights: Death Metal #2
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 24.8 Dark Nights: Death Metal #3
  25. Dark Nights: Death Metal #5
  26. Dark Nights: Death Metal #6
  27. Dark Nights: Death Metal #7
  28. 28.0 28.1 Batman: The Red Death #1
  29. Batman: The Murder Machine #1
  30. Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1
  31. The Batman Who Laughs #1
  32. Batman: The Merciless #1
  33. Batman: The Drowned #1
  34. Batman: The Devastator #1
  35. Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall #1
  36. Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1
  38. Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract #1
  39. Deathstroke (Volume 4) #46
  40. Deathstroke (Volume 4) #50
  41. Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush #1
  42. Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Wonder Woman: War of the Gods #1
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1
  45. 45.0 45.1 Justice League (Volume 3) #33
  46. Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! #1
  47. Jim Johnson (June 19, 2020). 'Dark Nights: Death Metal - Scott Snyder Confirms Red Bat’s Identity'. CBR.com. Retrieved on July 2, 2020.
  48. Justice League (Volume 4) #54
  49. Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1
  50. Dark Nights: Death Metal The Last 52: War of the Multiverses #1
  51. The Batman Who Laughs (Volume 2) #6
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