Beware His Power. Batman’s Light!
Well, it’s time to rock out with another chapter in the Dark Multiverse. To those who haven’t been keeping up in DC Comics, they are in the middle of their fall event, Dark Nights Metal. The story revolves around the Justice League facing off against invaders (who just so happen to be evil Batmen) from a “Dark Multiverse.” Each week, the readers get a one-shot to show off the origins of the Dark Invaders. This week, we get The Dawnbreaker (the combination of Batman and Green Lantern). With two fantastic Batmen one-shots out of the way, will this issue contain the same quality?
**SOME SPOILERS BELOW**
This origin story takes us back to the infamous alley where the Waynes were killed, with Bruce watching helplessly. Unlike the original, a Green Lantern ring finds its way to a vengeful Bruce. He uses this newfound gift to hunt down and avenge his parent’s death. In the process of doing this, Bruce pushes enough “willpower” to crack the ring and corrupt it. Years pass and the murderous vigilante takes the ultimate step and absorbs all of the Green Lanterns’ energy, turning into The Dawnbreaker.
While the story is fascinating, it is the weakest of the three released Dark Night one-shots so far–there will be seven in all. The Dawnbreaker’s motivation is just the origin of the average Batman. The other two had a unique hook to them, something unique that made them stand out from the other Batmen of the Multiverse. In the first one-shot, The Red Death’s (the merging of Batman and The Flash) crusade led to the deaths of his allies. The Murder Machine (the merging of Batman and Cyborg) had to watch his father figure get murdered in his home. Both of these Batmen have characteristics that make them more compelling characters than The Dawnbreaker. The ring and its use, however, adds an intriguing storyline.
Frankly, this Batman is quite terrifying in how he acts and his view of the world. I especially love his ability to drain the light, thanks to the power of his corrupted ring. Having power over the ring also allows his “shadow” constructs to dismember criminals. It’s a creative combination of Batman’s skills in the shadows and a Lantern’s powers.
While the first two Dark Night one-shots provided fascinating stories over this issue, This issue clearly had the best art. Ethan Van Sciver, best known for his art in Green Lantern stories, once again shows why he’s one of the best. The “shadow” constructs that Batman creates are by far one of the most terrifying creations a Lantern has made. Its design, along with the coloring, by Jason Wright, make this Lantern construct stand out from any that have come before.
The only aspect of the art that can be improved is the design of Batman’s cowl. It’s as if Bruce stole Captain Cold’s iconic glasses and painted them green. Even the suit itself looks like a stereotypical Green Lantern outfit. This is disappointing considering some of the interesting designs for other Lantern villains over the years. Yeah, this might be nitpicking, but it could have been so much more.
While it may not have the emotional depth the first two have, this issue is another great chapter in the Dark Nights Metal Saga. We are introduced to a version of Batman that is a fascinating take on Lantern powers. If you haven’t picked it up already, go check it out today.