By Justin McCarty
Batman The Dawnbreaker has landed today, the next issue for the Dark Knight tie-ins as we continue the multi-issue Metal event. Next up for The Dark Knights is The Drowned. Then the next Dark Nights Metal is out this month. Barbatos’ Dark Knights are coming together, and we aren’t yet sure what is in store for the Justice League and Earth-0. We’ll find out in the Metal Lost Knight crossovers. Of all the tie-ins so far, this might be my favorite.
Batman The Dawnbreaker gives us an alternate version of the events of Batman In Darkest Knight. In that, the power ring was given to Bruce after Abin Sur crash lands near Wayne Manor. The power ring deems him worthy, and he fights crime as Green Lantern with a Green Lantern/Batman mashup look. Only, in the Dark Multiverse, you’re just one bad day from becoming the villain. When Thomas and Martha Wayne are gunned down by Joe Chill Bruce is offered the ring for his fearlessness. Bruce can’t handle the rage and emptiness, and instead, he seeks only cold vengeance. He goes through killing Gotham’s greatest villains. Sometimes absurdly. Commissioner Gordon doesn’t care for young Bruce’s methods, but Bruce has sealed his fate. There is no going back. Unable to fill the hole left by the murder of his parents he turns evil and succumbs to The Batman Who Laughs’ pitch to bring the darkness to Earth-0.
Batman’s world is crumbling, the panels turn and sit above the rubble of Gotham. Noticeably the wrought-iron Arkham entrance floats in the background, a sign of the coming madness. Immediately Bruce murders Joe Chill sealing his fate as The Dawnbreaker. Bruce places the lantern atop the police HQ where the Bat Signal would normally be, signaling his power to the disintegrating world. All that light, and it can’t hold back the darkness in him. Of all the tie-ins this one does the most to make the point that there is an incredibly thin line between the hero that Bruce becomes and the evil villain he could have been. He is just like his rogue's gallery, except he’s the one that turns his tragedy for good. But, that’s not this story. This is a story of darkness.
Tonally, this has been the most fun tie-in for me. We’ve ended up with probably the least contrived of the tie-ins, also. It has that rock and roll feel I’ve really been looking for in these stories. It isn’t overly dark. I’m excited to see the Metal event start to come together. There is a lot of stories left to tell. This book’s team comes together to finally tell a story that has all the beats that Metal is supposed to have.
Batman - The Dawnbreaker #1