Review: Batman: The Drowned #1

As the events of Dark Nights: Metal rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can even the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of familiar figures?

DC Comics has been knocking it out of the bark with Dark Nights: Metal and with each spin-off the nightmarish Batmen from the Dark Multiverse have gained depth. Writer Dan Abnett adds depth to this Batman/Aquaman hybrid in Batman: The Drowned creating a character that has motivation, cause, a backstory, and is pretty badass. He also adds some material from his Aquaman run that creates an even more exciting read for fans of his run there.

While the motivations of The Drowned are simple, dead lover, the story itself is just full of dread that amps up as the action builds and by the end of the story, this is a villain that we have some sympathy for but also someone we don’t want to cross.

Abnett’s writing is helped by Philip Tan whose art is amazing with a use of panels that create a flow that I haven’t seen in two many comics. This isn’t a flow in the reading, this is a literal blow where a blast of water on one page feels like it’s knocking panels away on another. You can see an example of this below where the blast knocks the panels on the right away. That use of panels is a detail in the comic that enhances the storytelling.

Dark Nights feels like it’s getting better and better the more it goes on and these one-shots have helped make that the case by adding depth to each of these new villains. They’re stories that can’t fit in the main series but need to be told. Abnett and Tan deliver an issue that gives us everything we need packed into one comic. It’s a prime example that you don’t need to drag things out over multiple issues and spin-offs. This is how a comic should be and why Dark Nights: Metal is shaping up to be one of the best events in a long time.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Philip Tan Cover Art: Jason Fabok
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review