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"Bats out of Hell": A practical task in the midst of madness. One week ago, a mountain appeared in the center of Gotham City, and with it, twisted versions of Batman, which have championed the disaster. The true Bruce Wayne was trap

Quote1 I know I'm not exactly the Bruce you were hoping for. But I am Bruce. We all are. Let me remind you of a story we have in common. On my world, I developed ways to eliminate the Justice League... then they found out and were so disappointed in me. I betrayed their trust. It was a dark time for the League. But in all honesty... I was holding back. Now imagine if seven Bruce Waynes put their heads together... what horror they could be capable of. If they were to... say... develop separate murderous Batcaves meticulously designed with each of you in mind. So I hope you appreciate our work, because... you're going to die here. Ha. Ha. Ha. Quote2
Batman Who Laughs

The Flash (Volume 5) #33 is an issue of the series The Flash (Volume 5) with a cover date of December, 2017. It was published on October 25, 2017.

Synopsis for "Bats out of Hell"

A practical task in the midst of madness. One week ago, a mountain appeared in the center of Gotham City, and with it, twisted versions of Batman, which have championed the disaster. The true Bruce Wayne was trapped in the Dark Multiverse by a hooded devil. Gotham, Central City, Coast City, and Detroit are cartoon warzones. Heroes are scattered, looking for answers, for weapons. However, Superman is convinced that if he can get to Batman, he can bring him back and rectify the disaster.

The plan is to make Steel use his hammer, made of Nth Metal, and attune it with the Dark Multiverse to open a portal utilizing the Anti-Monitor's tuning fork, which Batman hid under the Fortress of Solitude. Flash and Superman run until they reach top speed, then Flash releases all of his speed into Superman, throwing the other hero between dimensions and hopefully sending him where he needed to go.

Exhausted, Flash tries to help Steel, who is investigating the Cosmic Tuning Fork. Flash cannot shake the feeling that he has encountered a device like this before, but Steel keeps the conversation practical, remarking that the tuning fork will maintain the link to the Dark Multiverse. Flash puts out a call on Justice League comms, hoping for good news, but his allies - Wonder Woman at the Rock of Eternity with Doctor Fate and Lady Blackhawk, Green Lantern in Thanagarian space with Mister Terrific and Plastic Man, Aquaman at the Forbidden Walls of Atlantis with Deathstroke - can find none of the Nth metal they will need to defeat their foes.

Then, a voice breaks in on comms. Cyborg, who has been missing for hours, is only able to blurt out that "they" are coming for the heroes.

Suddenly, at the locations of the other three heroes, evil versions of Cyborg's Boom Tubes open up and scoop up the various teams. Flash is left shouting into a silent radio, when two of the evildoers show up in the Fortress: Murder Machine and Devastator. Murder Machine defeats Steel, and Devastator destroys the multiversal tuning fork, as Barbatos wants it rebuilt in another place. The two villains remark that on their worlds, Barry Allen was only known for one thing: dying. Angry, Flash runs into the remains of the tuning fork, attuning himself to the Dark Multiverse, and vanishing.

Flash emerges in Central City, where the Red Death is in charge. Here, he finds Wally and Iris, who he tries to comfort after the powers of the Red Death made them age at an incredibly fast rate. But suddenly, he falls into a pit of darkness where he is assailed by visions of failure and death.

Landing with a thump, Flash muses that something similar happened to Superman back in Metropolis. However, he can now reach Aquaman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman on the comms, in similar darknesses. Cyborg cuts in again, trying to warn them, but is overridden by an outside power. One of the villains, the Batman Who Laughs, is now the voice on the comms, and sets the stage for them: being every Dark Knight a version of Bruce Wayne, they all developed counter-plans to put out the members of the Justice League, and just imagine if their combined mind gave birth to Batcaves specifically projected to be death traps against the Leaguers. It would be fun, and that's where they all are right now.

Wonder Woman finds herself in a cave, surrounded by abandoned weaponry, from spears to powered armor. Aquaman finds himself in a grotto full of sunken ships. Green Lantern finds himself in a lightless honeycomb structure. Flash finds himself in a cave decorated with spiked treadmills and the framed costumes of dead friends and foes.

Out of the darkness step a Dark Knight, one for each member of the League, and one with an origin tied to them. And the Flash knows that speed is useless if there is nowhere left to run...

Appearing in "Bats out of Hell"

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Other Characters:






  • As he falls into the Red Death's Batcave, Barry Allen glimpses many dark realities, including:
    • a world where an aged version of himself mourns over the corpse of an aged Iris West;
      • These versions of Barry Allen and Iris West heavily resemble the "Future" Barry and Iris of the "Destruction of Central City" timeline from The Flash (Volume 5) #26;
    • a world where his counterpart became the Reverse-Flash and allied himself with the Rogues;
    • a world where Godspeed murdered his counterpart during their first encounter;
    • a world where his counterpart became the Anti-Monitor during the first Crisis;
    • a world where his counterpart was sent to the Sanctuary and murdered both Wally and Wallace West.

See Also

Links and References