Once again, DC Comics appears to be going back to the well with looking to leach more money out of the rotting carcass that is Batman: The Killing Joke. Already the story has had numerous releases in trade, and a horrible adapted animated movie. Not to mention one character (Barbara Gordon) just cannot escape from the story (since starting in 2011 with “the New 52” relaunch, that’s all the character has been associated with).. You’d think that would be enough?
Ironically, going to the well of an old story to tell a newer one, and one that has sold so much more than any newer comic he’s ever published must be driving DC publisher Dan DiDio eye twitch repetitively. Or not since he’s been basically a hypocrite and the driving force behind this move.
What better place to drive it more than the new Tales of the Dark Multiverse imprint telling more darker grittier variants (aka Elseworlds. Why do they just not use that simple world? Are they afraid to call this line what it truly is?). What better grim and gritty tale than the grimmest and grittiest tale that hasn’t been written by Frank Miller? That and we know the brand will offer even more dark variants on Infinite Crisis, the Judas Contract, and Blackest Night.
So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Bleeding Cool pip pip have discovered that DC plans to return to this world and leach off it some more. Here’s the solicitation they uncovered:
DC has delivered some of the most influential and ground-breaking stories in comic’s history with titles such as The Killing Joke, Identity Crisis, The Death of Superman and much more. Now after the events of Dark Knights: Metal, a gateway into the Dark Multiverse has opened and its stories revealed.
Featuring top talent authors and artist, Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse is going beyond the Multiverse and diving deep into the dark with new timelines and altering the defining moments in DC history. What are the consequences if The Joker’s aim had hit James Gordon instead of Barbara? What would the DC Universe look like?
Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse is a hard cover format collecting alternating stories of the DC Universe.
Not surprisingly, this “what if” angle was actually covered before at DC in the Zero Hour event (and why it can be disregarded since it’s so 90s). In the Batman x-over of the event, an alternate take where Jim Gordon was shot instead. The action made Barbara become Batgirl full-time, Harvey Dent (who was cured from being Two-Face) became Commissioner and who then outlawed vigilantes in Gotham. All done in a single issue. This variant of Barbara appeared throughout main series as well, where at the end of the series she was killed off by Parallax, but not before her sacrifice inspired Green Arrow into delivering the final blow against his former best friend.