We meet Bryce Wayne in Batman: The Drowned. The Drowned is a part of DC’s METAL canon, which takes a very morbid look at the regular canon’s basic iterations and spins threads of what-ifs. Bryce is one of the evil Batmen in this storyline with a female Bruce Wayne.
We’ve already seen the Justice League given a quit notice from their own universe, and so it’s easy picking for Bryce and the other evil batsies to take over. In the case of Bryce Wayne, this means setting in motion the submergence of Aquaman’s hometown of Amnesty Bay underwater. But she is not done. Also, she attacks Queen Mera and turns the queen of Atlantis into a zombified monster. If that isn’t evil, we don’t know what is.
The worst part? Bryce is only getting started.
Heads up! This article may contain major spoilers for DC’s Batman: The Drowned #1. If you haven’t read it, beware!
When it comes to Batman, we have seen many incarnations and iterations of the iconic character; and most of them are usually evil. We have even been to alternate worlds and universes where Batman and other characters have faced a gender flip. But then we’ve never had a Female Bruce Wayne on our hands before; until now.
Bruce Wayne: Earth-11’s Batwoman
When we meet Bryce, her backstory is revealed. She comes from the Dark Multiverse, and her Earth is tagged as Earth-11. Little of origin is really revealed, but we can all take a wild guess and assume that everything we know about Bruce Wayne going dark can apply to her.
In the stead of Catwoman/ Selina Kyle, Bryce’s love for a similar feline doppelganger by the name of Sylvester Kyle pushes her down this path of evil and darkness. It is a literal gender swap of both universes. Male is female, and female becomes male on this Earth.
Unfortunately, Sylvester Kyle / Catman is no more, having met his demise at the hands of rogue metas, as Bryce describes it. His death sets Bryce on the path of vengeance, and she begins to do the one thing that all batmen swear never to do; to kill. That is until they snap as they usually do. Now Bryce spares no superhuman criminal. They get caught, and she kills them.
Female Bruce Wayne Goes Fishing
But of course, the victory that comes with a vengeance is often short-lived. Events see the armies of Atlantis – led by their Queen Mera, who is a gender-flipped Aquaman – take to land in the name of fostering peace. Like it happens on our own earth, the peace mission soon turns into a bloodbath. On our earth, Batman may find some way to curb the fire, usually peacefully and less tragically, but on earth-11, Bryce doesn’t play. She goes all out.
Trying to protect her world, Batwoman willing to do what’s necessary to protect her world. She engages Aquawoman in combat, murders her Infront of her entire people, and takes her trident as a spoil of war. She attempts to rule the Atlanteans, but they will never let a land dweller rule them, so they sink Gotham in retaliation.
It should end here, but Bryce is just getting started. She subjects herself to experimental surgery and mutates her DNA into Atlantean DNA.
Female Bruce Wayne: The Drowned Batwoman
This mutation sees Bryce gain several new abilities. She now has superhuman strength, accelerated healing, and Aquawoman’s all-powerful trident in hand. With these, she launches an all-out war on Atlantis. But she is not alone.
To take on the underwater kingdom soldiers, she engineers an army of her own, a storm of zombie souls known as the Dead Water. This references the age-old villains in the Aquaman mythos. But with Bryce, these are not just soldiers in an army; they are as much an infection. We see just as much when Bryce brings them through a portal to Earth-Prime.
Aquaman does his best to thwart the newcomers, but while he escapes with his life, he ends up watching his hometown get drowned and worse. Mera is turned into one of the Dead Water.
Perhaps the scariest thing about Bryce is her determination to plunge everything into a watery death. She is both formidable and fierce, and we have seen that she takes no prisoners. With the Justice League spread thin and her influence growing stronger, it seemed all the likely that Bryce could achieve her agenda. Wondering if she did? Find out in Batman: The Drowned.