Review: Batman: The Devastator #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 the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful nightmare versions of familiar figures? Batman: The Devastator #1 continues the series of one-shot specials focusing on these destructive versions of Batman and Bruce Wayne from the Dark Multiverse.

Written by Frank Tieri, Batman: The Devastator is a version where he’s weaponized the Doomsday Virus to use against Superman. The comic is an interesting one but it never quite makes the case that Superman needs to be stopped. Told from the perspective of Batman, we’re “told” these horrible things that Superman has done but when the two meet Superman isn’t the raging evil being full of destruction that we’re led to believe. This Superman feels more like one that we’ve seen in the Injustice video games. So, in that sense the response to the threat feels a little out of whack. The case as to “why” Batman turned has been laid out better in other series, here it falls a little flat and with it the entire concept.

Perhaps a simpler concept would have helped as opposed to setting up Superman as this big villain.

What definitely lacks is sympathy for the character. In all of the other one-shots we’re shown a character that’s driven by something and in a way things become tragic. Here, we’re forced to take Batman at his word for reasons for his actions and why are we supposed to trust a villain?

The issue too sets things up as to how this Doomsday Batman will attack Earth. His focus is Metropolis and the fact he’s created by the Doomsday Virus, you can guess as to what he uses. This is the most interesting part of the comic and here there’s some tragedy as Lois must save her son Jonathan.

The art by Tony S. Daniel is the highlight of the issue. The transformations are creepy in a horror style sort of way and the look of the Doomsday Batman is hulking and impressive. He looks like someone that can beat Superman and rip the Earth in two if he felt like it. Imposing and a horror tragedy are two ways I’d describe the look of it all.

The issue is the weakest of the one-shots that have been released so far. There’s an odd lack of connection with the character and his backstory and while all the rest have something that makes them standout, this one feels like something we’d see in the normal DC Universe. With some slight changes the comic might have held up, but as is it just fills in the background of the least interesting Dark Knight of them all. The comic is generally forgettable and really should only be read to fill in the background and origin of Doomsday Batman.

Story: Frank Tieri Art: Tony S. Daniel Cover Art: Jason Fabok
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review