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Barbatos is a major antagonist in the DC Comics universe and the Master of the Dark Knights. He serves as the main antagonist of the Dark Nights: Metal event and of the entire New 52 Batman series, manipulating all of the events associated with the mantling of Bruce Wayne with the metals of the Dark Multiverse.
Many eons ago, Barbatos was a dragon from the World Forge created by another powerful cosmic being known as the World Forger who hammered whole universes from the fears and hopes of every living beings of the positive matter Multiverse. Barbatos was tasked with destroying any malformed and twisted worlds that were unstable and destined to decay. However, he eventually killed the World Forger and allowed these malformed worlds to exist, corrupting the World Forge slowly and giving birth to the Dark Multiverse.
Barbatos would find himself becoming a resident of the Dark Multiverse after he was repelled from returning to the central one. Despite this, the dark god had still gained many worshippers within the central Multiverse. With some trying to summon him on worlds he was barred from returning to. Many years later, when Batman shot Darkseid with a radion bullet at the end of Final Crisis, the New God retaliated by striking Bruce down with his Omega Beams, seemingly killing him. Earth's heroes mourned the loss of one of their finest, but in reality, Darkseid had not killed Batman.
He had used his powers to warp time around Bruce, infusing him with Omega energy and sending him back to the Stone Age without any memory of who he really was. During this time, Barbatos realized the similarities between his and Bruce's Bat emblems and believed he could use him as a doorway back into central Multiverse. Barbatos' followers manipulated events throughout history in order for Bruce to be injected with four out of the five metals needed to create the doorway, and after the fifth was injected in the present day, Barbatos was able to transport himself and the Dark Knights to Prime Earth with the intent of conquering it.
After his defeat, Barbatos was left chained down to the bottom of the Dark Multiverse by the Over-Monitor, forced to watch the Forge of Worlds burn bright once more until the return of the World Forger.
Barbatos was extremely aggressive, cruel, despotic, deceitful, misanthropic and power-hungry, so he has no qualms enslaving, butchering and ultimately destroying entire dimensions and realities.
Despite his murderous impulses, Barbatos was sly, cunning, manipulative and willing to wait in order to succeed in his schemes. Barbatos despises all form of life and happiness, so he wishes above all to plunge the central DC Multiverse into darkness, eradicating all life from it.
Perhaps his biggest flaw was that he only knew one thing: destruction. In his eyes, he believed that all worlds are doomed to fall into darkness. To him, leaving the dark at all, to explore outside it, was the ultimate mortal sin.
Powers and Abilities
Barbatos is as old as the universe, putting him at the age of 15 billion years old and has enough might to destroy universes and was described as nearly invincible. The combined might of Flash, Cyborg, Raven with others from many realities was not enough to defeat him. Even his dragon who betrayed him was beated by Barbatos. Barbatos' main ability is to infect others with the energy of the Dark Multiverse, whether to send them into horrific hallucinations or to drag them into the Dark Multiverse throught an endless nightmare. Barbatos can use those who are trapped into his nightmares as a circuit of dark energy and use Superman's cells to power his great battery and sink Prime Earth into the Dark Multiverse. He can also can shoot dark lightning from his hands and absorb the life-force of various beings. In his realm, Barbatos is more powerful and can manipulate the dark metals of the World Forge to create dark worlds.
He also seemed to have some ability to alter reality, although they were not enough enter the central multiverse while he was barred for returning. The deity had to rely his dedicated worshippers, like the Court of Owls, to alter events throughout history so that Batman's course of life would prepare him to become the door that will allow Barbatos to gain access to Prime Earth. Barbatos can exert a certain influence on creation through the Heavy Metals of the Dark Multiverse, allowing him to corrupt life. He was able to take possession of all Hawkman' souls due to his exposure with the metals of the corrupted World Forge as his Great Dragon. Barbatos can scream to play the Anti-Music, the wail of billion of failed worlds that shakes the strings of the multiverse and cause the laws of the physics to fail. Barbatos can use his Anti-Music for many purposes like to summon an army of nightmares and if Prime Earth sunk low enough into the Dark Multiverse, Barbatos can release the Anti-Music from his scream to sink Prime Earth lower into the Dark Multiverse with seemingly no hope of escape.
Though nearly invincible, Barbatos has the same weakness held by all denizens of the Dark Multiverse: a weakness to contact with the Heavy Metals of the Dark Multiverse. Of these, the Tenth Metal of the World Forge (Element X) is the purest, and therefore the most effective.