Batman: The Devastator #1
Written by: Frank Tieri & James Tynion IV
Art by: Tony S. Daniel
Colors by: Tomue Morey
Another week, another awesome Dark Nights Metal tie-in! This week’s evil Batman to get his own solo issue is the Doomsday/Batman hybrid known as “The Devastator”. Like the other tie-ins, this issue shows how this deranged Batman came to be in his world, while also showing his affect on Earth-0.
This Batman comes from Earth -1, where his Superman turned evil for an unknown reason and wiped out most of the planet seemingly for the sport of it. As a last-ditch effort to stop him, Batman creates a Doomsday virus to infect himself with, giving him the upper hand he needs to defeat Superman once and for all. Now in present day, Batman The Devastator goes to Metropolis to try to convince Lois that Superman can’t be trusted, and infect the entire city with the Doomsday virus, effectively creating and army of Doomsdays.
It’s been fun seeing the unique direction that different creative teams have taken these Dark Nights one-shots. Some have focused more on the evil Batmen’s past, some have focused on their powers, but Frank Tieri and James Tynion IV focus more on the emotional and mental trauma of Batman The Devastator. Superman’s betrayal was such a complete defeat for Batman because of the great love and trust he had for Superman, so his reaction after defeating Superman is to do anything possible to stop people from trusting the man that hurt Batman The Devastator’s world so deeply.
As far as art goes, this is one of the better Dark Nights one-shots we’ve gotten so far. Batman The Devastator has so many details in his character model that Tony S. Daniel gives great care to in every panel he appears in. My only nitpick would be that Lois was visually different than she normally is, and it was only from the dialogue cues that I was able to determine it was her initially. The part of the book that struck me the most was the battle between Superman and Batman in Earth -1. You can see the hopelessness and defeat in Bruce as he battles, and Morey’s work with colors do a lot to set the tone in this scene. There’s also some fun imagery from Batman v Superman in this scene that fans will get a kick out of.
Batman: The Devastator #1 works on a lot of different levels, but the driving force behind this book is the emotionally charged story Tieri and Tynion crafted to shed light on the motives of this Batman/Doomsday hybrid. Superman has always been, and will always be, the beacon of light in the DC Universe. Because of that, there’s something truly riveting and saddening about a story where not only does that beacon disappear, but it turns against the world it once gave hope to.