Batman Becomes the God of War – Batman: The Merciless # 1 Spoilers
Major spoilers for DC Comics’ Batman: The Merciless # 1 by Peter Tomasi and Francis Manapul, which also happens to another new one-shot tie-in for Dark Nights: Metal. This features the evil Batman/Ares/Wonder Woman character from another Earth brought to the DC Earth by the entity Barbatos.
This week’s evil Batman puts less on the action and drives the narrative forward for the main Dark Nights: Metal storyline by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. This Batman is pretty much a greek God of War taken from Wonder Woman’s rogues with a twist on Batman’s fears.
Origin wise, we find out that Ares has this powerful new helmet that makes him stronger and tougher than normal. It takes days and a lot of Amazons to manage to take away the helmet from Ares. It costs them their lives plus Diana Prince’s life. Much to the dismay of Batman, who joined the fight in this universe.
Batman’s so angry at what happens and the fact that Ares still lives that he puts on the accursed helmet to even the odds against the greek god of war. Maybe even put a stop to his madness. His reason says that he will be able to change the rules of war when he assumes the position thanks to the helmet. Perhaps, in his mind, he can even abolish war.
We then learn later in Batman: The Merciless # 1 that after he managed to kill Ares, Batman went to war with the criminals and the supervillains. He also dealt with the heroes and metahumans who went against him being a murderous monsters. Time passes and we later find out that the Batman who Laughs came into contact with this Ares/Batman hybrid.
Towards the end of this one shot, they drop a bomb on the area with the thinking that this will obliterate the Merciless. Unfortunately, when the dust clears up, nothing happens to the dude.
It’s also creepy to see that the leading people of the US’s defense departments like Steve Trevor and Amanda Waller worshipping this Batman.
The issue ends with the reveal that tracks back to the first moments of Batman: The Merciless # 1. It is revealed that Wonder Woman was actually just stunned and not killed during the fight with Ares. She wakes up around the time after Ares’ beheading and tried to take the helmet away from Bruce, which ultimately forced him to kill her.