Knightmare was a lengthy conflict that occurred in a possible future between Superman's Regime and Batman's Insurgency, due to the latter wishing to overthrow the new tyranny. Superman would ultimately prevail, however, prompting that possible future's version of the Flash to warn a past version of Batman.
At some point in a possible future, Lois Lane would be killed, with Batman having been unable to prevent it. Consumed with grief, Superman was left susceptible to Darkseid's Anti-Life Equation and allied himself with the forces of Apokolips becoming a dark, tyrannical ruler of the planet. Earth was successfully terraformed by the Mother Boxes and the regime was founded to aid Superman in his totalitarian regime of Earth, mercilessly killing anybody who opposed him. Batman promptly founded the insurgency in order to combat this new threat, thus beginning a long conflict.
KnightmareBatman, in desert clothing, exited a bunker and watched his Insurgency allies approach. He met with them and asked for the Kryptonite rock, the only remaining hope of defeating Superman. However, they opened the box to reveal only green light bulbs. They apologized to him and held Batman at gunpoint. He followed through with their commands as the undercover regime soldiers revealed themselves to Batman and the insurgents. They executed them, as Batman watched helplessly.
Angered, he began a killing spree and gunned down multiple stormtroopers, while helping some of his surviving insurgents escape the area. Although he managed to take down most of the regime soldiers while parademons invaded the area and abducted many of his allies, Batman was eventually overwhelmed by the remaining stormtroopers there who could barely restrain him. He snapped one of their necks, but then was brutally (but barely) beaten by the other stormtroopers. Seeing the damage that Batman was inflicting on the stormtroopers and their inability to restrain him, a parademon knocked Batman unconscious.
Batman regained consciousness chained up in the bunker with his few remaining insurgent allies, eyeing them helplessly. Superman himself then landed in the bunker, and his regime soldiers reverently knelt before their leader. He approached Batman, swiftly murdering the other insurgency members with his heat vision. Superman then unmasked the visibly horrified vigilante. He expressed his anger at Bruce for letting "her" die, as she was "his world." Superman gave Batman one final sinister sneer, and ruthlessly killed him by tearing Batman's heart from his chest, thereby ending the conflict.
- "Bruce, listen to me now! It's Lois, it's Lois Lane! She's the key! Am I too soon?! Aaaah, I'm too soon! You were right about him! You've always been right about him! Fear him! Find us, Bruce, you have to find us!"
- ―The Flash to Bruce Wayne[src]
Batman, not believing this experience to be a dream, initially used this as an extra justification and motivation in his quest to take down Superman. However, after Superman's death proved Batman's initial thoughts invalid, he finally heeded future Flash's warning, and requested Wonder Woman's assistance in founding the Justice League.
- During Bruce Wayne's nightmare, an omega symbol can be seen scorched into the dried up harbor of Gotham City. In the DC Comics universe, this is typically the symbol of Darkseid.
- The name "Knightmare" was not used in any of the films, but is used in action figures and video games to refer to it, and it has since gained widespread media usage.
- The "Knightmare" bears some resemblance to the 2013 DC and Netherrealm Studios video game Injustice: Gods Among Us.
- In the game's alternate timeline, the Joker tricked Superman into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child, resulting in Superman angrily killing the Joker against Batman's wishes. Superman, full of grief and anger, then became malevolent and established the One-Earth Regime, with himself as high councilor and some members of the Justice League (along with "conditioned" criminals) joining his regime, while others joined Batman's insurgency against him.
- ↑ Zack Snyder Explains How Lois Lane's Death Leads to Knightmare Timeline
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- ↑ Zack Snyder Confirms Fan Speculation: Batman Designed Flash's Knightmare Costume in 'Batman v Superman'
- ↑ Flash Used the Cosmic Treadmill in Batman v Superman, Snyder Confirms