The story of the Batman of Earth -22 was not much different from that of any other version of the Caped Crusader. However, everything went sideways when the Joker decided to go all out in his attempt to destroy Gotham. While being drugged and restrained, he was forced to watch as his nemesis systematically razed his home. After bragging about leveling hospitals, killing other villains, and brutally ending Jim Gordon, he forced Bruce to watch as he begins murdering adults in front of their children in Crime Alley. If that wasn't enough, he Jokerized the children and set them loose on what was left of the city. Driven beyond the breaking point, Batman overcame the drugs in his system and beat Joker to a pulp. When Joker promised to keep bringing the chaos he has witnessed over and over again, Bruce lost himself completely and snapped Joker's neck.
Two days after the murder of the Joker, Batman and Superman talked about what happened. Bruce revealed that Joker went as far as he did because the chemicals that changed him in the first place had eaten away at whatever sanity he had left. Though he felt no guilt, he affirmed that he was not planning to make killing a regular thing. When Superman updated him on the status of the jokerized kids, such as their violent tendencies, Bruce - uncharacteristically - lets out a small laugh, something that alarmed them both.
Three days after that, Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood, and Red Robin were training in the Batcave when they notice the training robots were fighting harder than usual. Though they succeed at the exercise, Nightwing voiced what they're all feeling; something was wrong and Bruce brought them there to talk about it. Bruce explained that an advanced toxin he had never encountered was inside the Joker's body, set to release when he died and infect a single person. It managed to spread just enough to infect Bruce, and has been altering his brain to mix his knowledge with Joker's lack of morality. The rest of the family immediately began thinking of possible solutions or methods to keep him locked up until they could do so, but Bruce explained the real reason he brought them there; so he could gun them all down because they would have noticed his change first, which he proceeded to do.
By one week after the fall of the Batman Family, Bruce had slaughtered the rest of the Justice League by using the stockpiles of various villains' weaponry they had built up over the years. On the Justice League Watchtower, he cornered the last ones standing; Superman and his immediate family. Bruce unveiled a warped Damian and the rest of the Dark Robins to Clark, then exposed he and Jon to a modified Black Kryptonite, designed to send Kryptonians into a killing frenzy before it killed them, which he had done previously to Supergirl to cause her to murder her foster parents. As the two murder Lois, Bruce's transformation into The Batman Who Laughs finished, allowing him to cackle as his best friend and the man's son tore Lois apart before dying.
The people of Earth -22 fight back, but Bruce annihilated everything they threw at him until he and his Robins were all that remained. As his world began to fade from existence, Barbatos arrived and revealed the rest of the Dark Multiverse to him, and his plans to go after the true Multiverse as well. Believing him to be the ideal Bat to help him, he made him the spearhead for his plans to drag all of creation into darkness.
Assembling the Knights
The Batman Who Laughs went out into the Dark Multiverse to assemble the most twisted versions of Batman out there to aid in conquering the main Multiverse. Traveling to each of the Knights' worlds minutes before they were erased from existence, he appealed to their desire not only to live, but to bring their unique brands of truth and justice to worlds beyond their own. Each Batman jumped at the opportunity, and they awaited their moment to travel to Earth 0. Once the Court of Owls summoned them, his first act was to have his warped Robins slaughter the Court's leaders. He then set the Knights loose upon the hometowns of each member of the Justice League.
This Batman was next seen aiding the other Knights in defeating Cyborg aboard the Watchtower. Once Victor was down, the Batman Who Laughs explained that they had been called into this universe because of a great ringing, and that despite their nightmarish nature, they were needed to save the world.
In the following days, The Batman Who Laughs took control of Gotham, ruling over it from Challengers Mountain. To cause havoc, The Batman who Laughs gave Cards made of Cosmic Metallurgy to some of Batman's greatest foes including The Riddler, Poison Ivy, Mad Hatter, Bane, Mister Freeze and Firefly. The cards allowed the villains to alter reality, and with them the villains ruled over different sections of the city.
When Batman's son entered Gotham looking for his father, he managed to take down the Riddler with the help of Green Arrow, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc. The Batman Who Laughs then ordered his favoured son to join the fray, since Barbatos's tower had yet to be completed. After finding Nightwing, the resistance was also able to overthrow Mister Freeze and his ice monsters, but as they did so, The Batman Who Laughs's "most favoured son" kidnapped and Jokerized the Teen Titans and gave them cards. Despite the obstacles and the loss of Killer Croc, the resistance managed to get close to the heart of the city. At that point, the Batman Who Laughs personally confronted the resistance with the rest of the Dark Knights. Before he could take them out, they were pulled out of the city by Doctor Fate.
Bats out of Hell
The Batman Who Laughs watches as his teammates torture the Justice League, but his joy is interrupted by Cyborg, who saves the Justice League.
- Genius Level Intellect
- Martial Arts
- Peak Human Condition:
- Nth Metal: denizens of his universe vibrate at a different frequency to Nth Metal, and are particularly badly harmed upon contact with it.
- Despite his lack of morality, Laughs is still, at his core, Batman. As such, he is unable to plan for any situation that Batman would be unable to think of.
- Dark Metal Cards
- 27 Appearances of Bruce Wayne (Earth -22)
- 23 Images featuring Bruce Wayne (Earth -22)
- 6 Quotations by or about Bruce Wayne (Earth -22)
- Character Gallery: Bruce Wayne (Earth -22)
|Batman Family member |
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|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
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