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The Batman Who Laughs' Infected Heroes Aren't Actually 'Evil'

Picking up from the recently concluded miniseries The Batman Who Laughs, DC Comics is launching a new ongoing series Batman/Superman as the World's Finest face friends and allies infected by the dark incarnation of Bruce Wayne from the Dark Multiverse.

While sneering vision of the Dark Knight infected by Joker toxin and completely unrestrained by his urge to kill certainly is one of the more memorable villains introduced into the DC Universe, Batman/Superman writer Joshua Williamson sees the character as more complicated and nuanced. For Williamson, the terrifying figure is a twisted outgrowth of Bruce Wayne's drive to outthink his opponents and win by any means necessary without the impulse control and no moral compunction against killing.

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"He's going to take out anything he sees as a threat. And he's going to use everything as his disposal to do it," explained Williamson in an exclusive interview with CBR. "That's not evil, necessarily. But it's the idea that he's all the worst possible thoughts Batman has ever had manifested."

Williamson cited the classic JLA storyline Tower of Babel where Batman had developed plans to take down the other members of the Justice League should they ever go uncontrollably rogue. As for heroes infected by the Batman Who Laughs to wreck chaos on the DCU, the villain's toxins bring buried frustrations and pent-up anger to the surface for those infected, with dangerous results.

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"Some of the characters have real reasons to be angry in the DCU. They have real things they're pissed off about, but they've kept some of that anger buried, and now it's going to be unleashed," Williamson continued. "There are some instances where they're not evil. It's just this version of them that is very angry. Now that's going to be unleashed, and they're going to take it out on some people."

Batman/Superman #1 is written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by David Marquez. It is scheduled to go on sale on Aug. 28 from DC Comics.

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