Warning! Spoilers for Dark Nights: Death Metal: Robin King #1 below
A classic Joker weapon from Batman ’89 just became DC Comics canon. In the latest one-shot in the Dark Knights: Death Metal series, Robin King’s evil tools were revealed. Among them is a vial of liquid called “Smilex,” which has roots tied to the classic Tim Burton Batman film.
In the iconic Batman ’89, Jack Nicholson’s Joker (aka Jack Napier) uses a poisonous concoction known as Smylex to cause his victims to burst into uncontrollable laughter. In the movie, Nicholson even stars in his own commercial, where he shows off the weapon that gives people Joker-esque features, including his trademark wide smile. However, the toxin (which has been spelled both Smilex and Smylex) hasn’t appeared in the comics… until now.
In Dark Nights: Death Metal: Robin King #1 by Peter Tomasi, Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and Rob Leigh, the story follows the twisted Robin King and his origin in becoming the powerful villain in DC’s future universe. Robin King might be the darkest version of Bruce Wayne, as he’s responsible for killing his parents on his way to becoming a supervillain across the multiverse. In a panel, readers are shown the twisted villains utility belt which features some pretty gnarly weapons, including Joker’s “Smilex” toxin.
Robin King’s utility belt features some powerful weapons besides the “Smilex.” Included in the belt is a bottled imp, the last remaining water from the Lazarus Pit, Ragman’s soul rags, both holy and unholy water, Lobo’s unbreakable hook, as well as rings designed from every shade of kryptonite as well as one forget from the gun that killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. The weapons show just how messed-up the Robin King version of Bruce Wayne truly is – as his utility belt features a cavalcade of both extremely strong and disturbing items. It seems he’s got a weapon to not only face every single DC hero but to destroy them.
The Dark Multiverse is the darkest version of the DC Comics universe readers are familiar with. So, it should come as no surprise one of the darkest versions of Bruce Wayne is armed with some incredibly powerful weapons that come from all different parts of Batman’s lore. Having “Smilex” on his utility belt is not only a fun way to make the Joker’s toxin canon in DC Comics but also a neat reference to the Tim Burton Batman film. It also shows how Robin King is willing to go to the different corners of the DC Universe to get the best weapons for his utility belt. Dark Nights: Death Metal: Robin King is in stores now.