The Batman Who Laughs may be the culmination of ten years of Scott Snyder’s Batman work, but the hot-selling, utterly terrifying comic that has a Jokerized, parallel dimension Batman going toe to toe with the prime Bruce Wayne is also the launching point for a new Batman/Superman team up book, and DC shared a preview of its first issue today.
The promotional materials and solicit text for the book so far have talked about the marquee pairing fighting a new “Secret Six.” In the preview, we find out something shocking: it’s not a gang of villains, bickering and doing espionage together, as previous versions of that team have done. No, here it’s heroes infected by the Joker toxin that Batman is currently fighting off in the pages of The Batman Who Laughs and that turned the alternate universe Bruce Wayne into the ubervillain he is in that book. These heroes, once infected, lose any moral anchors they had locking them on the hero side, and devoid of their superhero morality, they become sociopathic killing machines. The first one is a doozy.
Prior to his Jokerization, the Batman Who Laughs watched the Joker capture several families, kill the parents in front of the kids, and then inject the kids with Joker toxin. That Batman snapped and killed the Joker, infecting himself with Joker toxin in the process. So when he turned, rather than trying to help the Jokerized kids, he put them all in Robin costumes on chains and used them as mad dogs to disembowel his opponents. This is relevant because the first person the Batman Who Laughs gets in the prime Earth is Billy Batson.
That tweet is from Batman/Superman writer Joshua Williamson (The Flash) who is teaming up with David Marquez (Civil War II) to tell this apparently crazy world’s finest story.
There is a ton of John Cassaday in that art. For more on Batman/Superman, stick with Den of Geek!