Metal’s Batman-Cyborg Hybrid May Be Comics’ Best Tragedy This Fall

This article contains spoilers.

While everyone is buzzing about what’s going on in the Dark Nights: Metal mainline series by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo – and understandably so – it’s hard not to think the various tie-ins are giving their bigger cousin a run for its money. Aside from the “Gotham Resistance” arc that’s unfolding in several ongoing titles from DC, the series of one-shots detailing evil versions of Batman hailing from the Dark Multiverse are proving to be essential reads once they hit stands.

The latest offering, The Murder Machine, spotlights a Batman-Cyborg hybrid that may end up going down as one of the better tragedies this medium has to offer for the remainder of 2017. Granted, we’ve yet to get our hands on any subsequent issues and therefore can’t speak for any of the other Dark Knights, but this particular book came as a welcome surprise when many readers may have obviously been looking ahead to the Green Lantern and Doomsday hybrids. Then again, there’s a good chance you’re going to get something special when two industry heavyweights such as Frank Tieri and James Tynion IV plot a story together.

In short, this iteration of Batman’s Alfred was murdered by his rogues gallery. Remember how well Bruce Wayne’s spine stood up to Bane all those years ago in Knightfall? Well, think about how an old butler fared in comparison. If you guessed not nearly as well, then you’d be correct.

With the assistance of that universe’s Cyborg, the Alfred Protocol is put into place, creating a deadly AI of the gentleman’s gentleman that goes rogue, to put it mildly. In a nutshell, he ends up merging with Bruce to form the bizarre Batman-Cyborg mashup we’ve been speaking of, and wreaks all kinds of havoc on his Earth. Yes, we already saw two minds occupying the same body last week with The Red Death, but it made this read no less compelling. It’s only fitting that this abomination be born from great tragedy just as the Caped Crusader himself was.

I don’t want to spoil much, but do know that the Murder Machine and his cohorts do quite a number on our Cyborg once they meet him. Seriously, the beating they lay down on Victor Stone is akin to a certain scene from RoboCop 2, so brace yourself for some brutality of the highest order.

Batman: The Murder Machine #1 is now available in comic shops.