The Dark Nights universe expands beyond the main book and into a series of one-shots, kicking off with the speedy Batman: The Red Death.

Batman: The Red Death 1
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine di Giandomenico

With the reveal of the evil Batmen at the end of the second issue of DARK NIGHTS: METAL 2, we have a bunch of new characters to explore, and we start to explore the worlds of the Dark Multiverse with this issue, on Earth -52, where Batman decides he wants to use the Speed Force to make things right.

The Flash, of course, isn’t really a fan of that idea. And Batman continues to be a dick, using a modified Cosmic Treadmill to merge Batman with the Flash, creating the Red Death. Barbatos then tells the new amalgam that the worlds of the Dark Multiverse are not meant to last and invites the Red Death to join him to take over a world that isn’t going to end any time soon. This megalomaniacal version of Bruce Wayne takes him up on his offer.

As a way of introducing the antagonists who will be a part of the Metal series, the book was fun. Having the Flash writer Williamson writing the issue helps to keep the flow of the universe running through the books, and the art is great, though I don’t know that the price being $3.99 is really worth it for the story we get.

Regardless of the price, I’m becoming more invested in the Metal story, which I didn’t think would happen with the original one-shots over the summer. We’ll get more of the backgrounds of the evil Batmen next week, with BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE.