DC merges its two biggest villains
DC Comics has merged its two greatest villains into one horrible, nightmarish new foe. The Joker and Lex Luthor not only have their characters combined, but they also get a twisted version of a major DC superpower to wield. Everything happens in Black Knights of Steel #4, the new Elseworlds story that reimagines Superman and Batman – and the larger DC Universe – in a medieval-era setting. The series (from writer Tom Taylor) has had some seriously fun remixes in DC history – but this one is definitely the craziest yet!
(WARNING: Black Knights of Steel #4 SPOILERS Follow!)
The last chapter of Black Knights of Steel finally sheds light on a key mystery from the past: the deaths of King Thomas and Queen Martha Wayne. Alfred tells the tragic story to Bruce Wayne, who has just discovered that he too has the powers of a Kryptonian, due to being the bastard of Jor-El and Martha Wayne.
In Alfred’s tale (and flashback story), we learn how Jor-El and Lara saved the kingdom of the Waynes from destruction by a volcano, earning the friendship and trust of the monarchs. It was this close bond that ultimately led Martha and Jor-El to cross the line – but it was also this same bond that allowed the two couples to move past the incident and come to an agreement: Thomas and Martha would raise the son they could not conceive. , and one day he would inherit the kingdom.
…Unfortunately, fate had different plans.
Joker + Luther = The Green Man
When Jor-El and Lara saved the Wayne Kingdom, they also revealed the betrayal of Alexander Luthor, the Wayne family advisor. Luthor had ignored a warning the Els had attempted to give about the fall of the Wayne Kingdom and nearly cost everyone their lives; When Jor-El and Lara stopped the Volcano and gained the trust of the Waynes, Luthor went into exile.
It turns out that Luthor returns to the tragic moment in Bruce Wayne’s life: the death of his parents. As the Els and Waynes travel in two train cars one day, the one containing the Waynes is incinerated by a blast of green energy. Only Bruce survived (due to his Kryptonian abilities) and the assassin is revealed to be “The Green Man”, who is essentially medieval Lex Luthor, driven insane by the power of a Green Lantern ring.
Black Knights of Steel continues to make the case for being its own offshoot of the DC Universe – and Luthor and Joker’s merging into The Green Man is just one more reason. The concept isn’t all that new, but the way Taylor frames and executes it is certainly fresh and fun. Now these medieval Batman and Superman characters have a common enemy that matches them perfectly. Off to battle!
Black Knights of Steel is on sale at DC Comics.