Is Even Superman Predisposed to Turning Evil in The Dark Multiverse?
But is that corruptness an impurity that’s introduced into an otherwise pristine character, or is it one that’s implanted from the character’s very beginnings? Maybe that contamination of darkness lies dormant in the core of every being inhabiting the Dark Multiverse, only to emerge at a pivotal, game-changing moment. Maybe there are truly no heroes who are 100% honorable, selfless, altruistic, etc. – 99%, maybe, but with a dark, fundamental flaw inside of them that can, and likely will, make them turn given the proper circumstance.
Maybe there’s a version of Superman somewhere in the DM who is still a do-gooder, but unlike Superman of Earth -1, isn’t so initially pure of heart – one who wouldn’t go out of his way to save Lex Luthor after one of his schemes backfired, for instance. Or one who would unhesitatingly kill General Zod to save countless lives, rather than consider it to be any kind of dilemma. If the Dark Multiverse genuinely is born out of nightmares, and populated with worlds that couldn’t exist, then perhaps the idea of a truly morally centered hero can’t exist there, either.
Can A Dark Multiverse Superman Ever Triumph?
Or, maybe there are heroes with upstanding morals who try to fight the good fight in a world of endless darkness and corruption, but are ultimately destined to fail in a reality where darkness ultimately consumes all. A hero like Batman, who lives closer to the darkness that most, might logically be the one to succumb to it sooner, as has happened with each of the Dark Knights seen so far. But a hero like Superman, whose iconic image often is set against the backdrop of a bright blue sky and shining sun, and in fact draws his power from a sun that offsets darkness, would symbolically be the last to fall prey to the nature of the Dark Multiverse.
Somewhere in that multiverse, perhaps there’s a Superman who feels that same pull towards the darkness, but faces a constant internal battle to resist it. A Superman in the Dark Multiverse might be the moral opposite of a crook who knows he’s doing something wrong, but continues to do it anyway, because that’s simply who he is. But in a world that’s destined to die in the darkness, even Superman can’t resist its dark influence forever. Just as the greatest villains ultimately see defeat in our world, heroes in the Dark Multiverse are destined to likewise eventually go down – Superman would just be the last one to do so.
Outside of Batman: The Devastator #1, there hasn’t been any kind of exploration of what kind of Superman might exist in the Dark Multiverse. David Finch’s variant cover for Dark Nights: Metal #3, however, gave a tantalizing and possible peek, although no background was provided within that issue. Still, a multiverse, dark or otherwise, is a big place, and there’s plenty of room for Superman to stand out as a hero who fights the darkness, as a hero who embraces it, or as an outright villain.