The Batman Who Laughs and Lex Luthor have been wreaking hellish havoc across the DC Universe in the Year of the Villain. The two crazed criminals have each amassed a despicable army of corrupted superheroes, powering up existing villains and creating the evil King Shazam, the twisted, dark Hawkman, and even poisoning Batman’s trusted ally, Commissioner Gordon. Now it’s been revealed that the Batman Who Laughs is planning to corrupt one last victim: Lex Luthor himself!

The Batman who laughs and Lex Luthor to wreck havoc around the DC universe

The Batman who laughs and Lex Luthor to wreck havoc around the DC universe

The upcoming Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen will be bringing to the villains to a head, written by DC’s next Batman writer James Tynion IV with art by Steve Epting. The mini-series tells the tale of The Batman Who Laughs’ army of grotesque heroes as they start to wage war across the Universe. Some of DC’s greatest are among his forces, so it’s going to take something extraordinary to bring them back to the light. But after he’s taken over some of the most powerful heroes, it would seem he’s set his set his sights on one of its most famous villains, too.

The official solicitations for DC’s January books have offered the tease, with the plot synopsis for Hell Arisen #2 giving away an exciting snippet of the perils that Lex Luthor will have to face:

Apex predator Lex Luthor is on the hunt for the Batman Who Laughs. To catch his prey, he must follow a trail of broken heroes… leading him to Jim Gordon, one of the victims of the Batman Who Laughs’ deadly virus that turned the heroic police commissioner into the worst version of himself. The trail leads Lex to a lonely cell in the Hall of Justice—but it’s not the good guys who come to stop him. It’s more of the Batman Who Laughs’ dangerous operatives! And if they couldn’t resist the influence of the Dark Multiverse, then how can Lex?

It sounds like the genius supervillain will find himself at the hands of a brutal trap. While the Hell Arisen #2 cover shows the monster that Gordon has become, it’s the variant cover that shows off the monsters that Luthor will have to face.

Lex Luthor is everybody’s favorite criminal mastermind

Lex Luthor

With Sky Tyrant, King Shazam and more ferocious fiends to fight against, will Lex Luthor face the same corruption from The Batman Who Laughs? Were Lex Luthor to suddenly be corrupted by The Batman Who Laughs’s power, he could become the most evil and possibly dangerous being in the entire Multiverse. As the DC Universe faces some of its most powerful foes ever, the last thing they need is for Lex Luthor to become more evil and powerful.

But while that concept would be horrifying to DC’s greatest heroes, it would be undeniably awesome for DC’s readers. While Lex Luthor spent some time as a hero–and even as Superman–he’s always been everyone’s favorite criminal mastermind. Clearly, as the Year of the Villain continues, every single one of DC’s characters should be looking over their shoulders. The Batman Who Laughs isn’t just recruiting heroes anymore, corrupting everyone from a super-powered teenager to a Gotham Police Commissioner.

Will Lex Luthor be the latest to join his corrupted cavalry of monsters? Find out when Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen hits comic shelves on January 22nd.

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