Red Death was created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo in Dark Days: The Casting #1 however is origin was fully revealed in Batman: The Red Death #1 - Ride The Lightning. Red Death represents Batman's fear of losing members of the Bat family, his love for them and regret for those he failed. His dialogue about Speed Force Infection imply he might also represent Batman's fear of old age slowing him down.
In the one-shot story we are introduced to Bruce Wayne of Dark Multiverse Earth -52.
Bruce is after Barry Allen a.k.a. the Flash. Bruce believing that the Flash is incompetent & that he should wield the Speed Force. Prior to their feud, Bruce asked Barry to help him save his deceased partners but Barry refutes the idea of going back in time due to his own regretful experience with time travel.
Batman and Flash battle it out, it seems that Flash has the upper hand by removing Batman from his vehicle. However, Barry was caught off guard, which gave Bruce enough time to inject him with the cryostasis formula. Despite Flash’s increased metabolism, he managed to knock him out within three seconds.
Barry wakes up and finds himself tied in front of the Batmobile. Bruce reveals that he repurposed the engine of the cosmic treadmill thus allowing him to harness Barry’s connection to the speed force. Barry pleads with Bruce to stop, telling him it will rip them both apart. But Bruce refuses to listen to him
Bruce's plan is successful in giving him access to the Speed Force, although one side effect is that he is now "fused” with Barry, or at least, he can hear his voice in his head.
Ultimately, Bruce realized his dreams as he’s now the most fearsome, but more importantly, fastest man alive.
Upon being recruited by The Batman Who Laughs, Red Death is sent to Central City, where he gains the attention of Iris West & Kid Flash. Red Death uses the Speed Force to age them to the point that they appear elderly. The Flash arrives & attempts to catch up to him, but Red Death uses his Speed Force bats to slow him down. He is about to finish Barry off, but Dr.Fate whisks him away. Red Death claims that they will battle again and wastes no time to make Central City reminiscent of the Gotham City of his Earth.
Powers & Abilities
- Speed Force Conduit: Bruce absorbed Barry and his powers, granting him a corrupted connection to the Speed Force.
- Enhanced Intellect: The Speed Force's augmented Bruce already genius acumen. Bruce was able to fabricate impressive technological wonders such as nano-bots in mere seconds
- Electrokinesis: Bruce can generate the electrical energy that he draws from the Speed Force to blast and incapacitate opponents.
- Energy Construct Creation: Bruce can generate bat-like Speed Force energy constructs,
- Rapid Aging: those effected by it to wither away painfully, as if worn down by hundreds to thousands of years passing in an instant.
- Transformation: Brace can turn into a cloud of bats and fly.
- Superhuman Speed:
- Superhuman Reflexes:
- Speed Force Aura:
In Other Media
In the season 5 episode 12 "Memorabilia", David Singh states that Cicada has killed more people than even the Red Death. Whether he appears in the series or not remains to be seen.
Red Death made their debut 4 years later in season 9 episode 1 "Wednesday Ever After" played by Javicia Leslie. This version is Ryan Wayne/Wilder, the 2nd Batwoman.