The Batman Who Laughs may be the most recent and prevalent version of the twisted superhero gone bad, but he's not the first. Something similar to what he is planning was attempted in the past by a Marvel character, who was also an evil version of a hero using an army of twisted do-gooders to smother the universe in darkness.
Strangely enough, the schemes of the Batman Who Laughs in the upcoming Hell Arisen storyline seem to have a lot in common with the 1990s Marvel crossover Infinity War and the machinations of the Magus.
Infinity War Vs. The Batman Who Laughs
The original Infinity War, by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim, centered around Adam Warlock. After the events of Infinity Gauntlet, Warlock has taken possession of the titular reality controlling gauntlet. Using its power, he removes all good and evil from himself so he can be a just universal god. This releases the Goddess (who would play a larger role in the following Infinity Crusade arc) and the Magus, Warlock's evil half. Magus almost immediately goes to war with the heroes of Earth alongside his army of lifeless, shape-shifting tentacles, who are able to mimic the appearance of Marvel's heroes and villains.
The Batman Who Laughs is the last of the Dark Knights, twisted versions of Bruce Wayne from the dark multiverse. Having been infected with a particularly potent strain of the Joker Toxin, which warped him into a monster, the Batman Who Laughs has been trapped on the core DC version of Earth since that battle. However, it's been revealed that before he was captured, he was able to infect various heroes across the DC Universe to unleash their worst impulses. This group will give him the chance to enact his apparent ultimate plan: wiping out all life on Earth and turning the planet into the kind of dark and terrible place that could only belong to the Dark Multiverse. His efforts will put him on a crash course with the Apex Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom, setting up Hell Arisen.
Batman's Infinity War: Corruption vs. Infection
Both stories actually share a couple of striking similarities. Both Magus and the Batman Who Laughs are twisted, evil versions of established heroes. Along the way, both villains use corrupted versions of the heroes to try and achieve their endgames. While Infinity War introduced an army of demented entities for the Magus to use, some were able to capture and even impersonate other heroes, causing in-fighting and mistrust among the assembled heroes.
This is similar to the effect that The Infected have had on the heroes of the DC Universe. As sleeper agents, Shazam, Blue Beetle and other heroes tricked both Batman and Superman and undermined their trust in others. Both groups of corrupted heroes end up going head to head with the remaining unturned ones, much as they did in Infinity War. They even share similar physical looks, twisting the heroes into more demonic-looking figures, usually with a couple of extra spikes and sharp teeth for good measure. Of course, Hell Arisen unleashes the darkness within the heroes themselves, rather than simply using lifeless creatures as cannon fodder.
Whether the Batman Who Laughs' plans will have more sweeping and permanent changes to the DC Universe than Infinity War had at Marvel remains to be seen, but the path, so far, seems, at very least in terms of aesthetics, eerily similar.