This is a piece of mindless speculation. It is not based on any source, any rumour, any gossip. It’s just a guess. A leap in the dark. It might, of course, also be true, so watch out for coincidental spoilers.
The Batman Who Laughs is the lead figure of the Dark Knights, harbingers of Barbatos, invading the DC Universe from the Dark Multiverse of worlds that never were, as part of the Metal event storyline.
Scott Snyder says “The Batman Who Laughs is Bruce asking, ‘What if I killed the Joker and I found out that he has a toxin in his heart that essentially made whoever kills him the next Joker, and that’s why he’s always tried to get Batman to kill him?’ It’s one of the darkest stories that we could do,”
But what if he’s lying?
Metal has thrown everything it can against the wall, including using Sandman, Daniel, the son of Hector Hall, conceived in the Dreaming and who took over the role of Dream when Morpheus passed on.
Hector Hall was the son of Carter Hall and Shiera Hall, the Golden Age heroes known as Hawkman and Hawkgirl, who are also part of the Metal storyline, so it all seemed to tie in.
But is there another tie between Metal and to the Dreaming?
Because we have seen The Batman Who Laughs a number of times. And we presumed he was The Joker, via Batman somehow, with his Dark Robins, and a play on the Victor Hugo novel The Man Who Laughs, the movie of which inspired the Joker’s rictus grin.
But what if it is someone else laughing? What if that metal bar isn’t there to hide eyes? But teeth?
What if The Batman Who Laughs is The Corinthian?
First seen in Sandman #10 (October 1989), the Corinthian is a nightmare created by the Morpheus incarnation of Dream, who then destroys him for going rogue, and failing to fulfill his original design.
Dream later recreates him with “some changes”, though the exact nature of these changes is not explicit and he was used to search for Daniel Hall by Morphus before Hall became the new Dream.
His most notable physical feature is his lack of eyes: in their place, two rows of small, jagged teeth line each eye socket, which he often covers with sunglasses. He can speak, and eat through these mouths. He does not seem to suffer in any way from his lack of eyes, and indeed claims to be able to see very well; he is shown driving adequately, even while wearing sunglasses at night.
He is, however, fond of taking the eyeballs of his victims and “eating” them by placing them in his eye sockets. Consuming the eyes of his victims allows him to view what they have viewed in their lives, and even see the future in some cases.
The Corinthian is also able to possess human beings. When he assumes control of a new host, the eyes are consumed, and replaced by teeth, and the hair of the victim turns white. During the process, the eye sockets bleed profusely. All other physical characteristics remain the same for the host. This lets the Corinthian jump between bodies, and even show himself as his victims, if he is able to hide or explain the physical changes.
The Corinthian only wear white — or at least he did. What if now, he only wears black? And The Batman Who Laughs also seems to be able to possess people, just as Corinthian did. Could it have happened again? Could the band be hiding his toothy eyes? That’s what Bleeding Cool reader Chuck Brouillette thinks and I have to agree, it’s a cool idea.
Just mindless speculation…