Batman: The Red Death #1
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Carmine Di Giandomenico
This one-shot is the story of the Batman of Earth-52. After losing all of the Bat-family, this version of Bruce goes pretty insane with his grief. He believes the only solution is to have the powers of the Speed Force so he can be everywhere at once. In order to obtain this he goes through a pretty hardcore fight with this Earth’s Flash. Not only using weapons of The Flash’s Rogues, but also a massive Bat-tank equipped with a cosmic treadmill engine.
After Bruce is able to knockout Flash he straps him to the tank and drives them straight into the Speed Force ripping them both apart and coming out as one person. Now that Batman has the Speed Force, he uses it to take out each of his foes: Scarecrow, Riddler, Penguin, and Man-Bat.
Next we find Bruce, seeing his Earth fall apart due to the Dark Multiverse imploding, being called by the Batman Who Laughs. This Batman explains that there is an Earth where they and others like them can live and run free.
He is then taken to Earth 0 ,the first Earth of the multiverse and goes to its Central City where he begins sucking the life out of people (example: Iris and Wally). He then does battle with this Earth’s Flash. The Red Death is about to win when Doctor Fate pulls Barry out of there. This leaves The Red Death to begin turning Central City in to a new Gotham.
What if Batman lost everyone…. That is the theme this book is going for and I think Josh Wiliamson hits it perfectly. The way he puts this dialogue between Flash and Batman is really a telling of the insanity that’s over taken there world. This Bruce Wayne is clearly mad and hungry for power and control. I love that Williamson used the Rogues’ weapons as well; it was a great touch and made the fight that much better. The only real down side to this story is that we don’t get to see how Bruce lost his side-kicks and became the crazy, grief-stricken person he is.
I’d like to add that this whole book is being narrated by the Batman who laughs which is a great use of that character. Also, the way that Barry Allen is kept alive within this new Batman is crazy good and that he can still speak to him is such a cool move.
The art in this is so good and pairs well with the story. The cover is just beautiful and is definitely a Jason Fabok peice. Not to be out done Carmine Di Giandomenico is really killing it on this as well. His action scenes are badass and are filled with fantastic character renderings. The bats that they use for The Red Deaths speed drift are such a great look for the character. Also, I’ve got to say the coloring in this is amazing. Ivan Plascencia has such a great way of almost bringing this book to life with these colors from the first page to the last.