Batman: The Dawn Breaker #1
During Sinestro Corps War, Geoff Johns teased a villainous Batman under control of a power ring. Batman: The Dawn Breaker makes good on that promise with an equal parts tragic and terrifying version of The Dark Knight.
Each of the Metal tie-ins has explored Batman utilizing a Justice League member’s power for evil. None of them have failed to be at least somewhat shocking, but The Dawn Breaker reaches a new high … or low.
Writer Sam Humphries (Green Lanterns) catches Bruce Wayne at his most vulnerable moment — the murder of his parents — and considers what he would do with access to a power ring. The results aren’t entirely surprising, but Humphries smartly considers how this act would affect Bruce and his ring. Initially, it’s just Gotham’s criminals that feel his wrath, but soon Batman gets power mad. Humphries avoids going the Hal Jordan/Parallax route making for a shocking moment. But when The Batman Who Smiles offers him a new world to destroy, can even Hal Jordan stop him?
Humphries manages to work in an ounce of sympathy for this Batman. His acts are terrible, but unlike some of the others, he wasn’t mature enough to handle such a devastating moment and unlimited power.
This is already a winning premise, but DC further makes it a can’t miss by having Ethan Van Sciver illustrate it. Van Sciver hasn’t had as many opportunities to draw Batman’s world, but his pages look like he’s been drawing Batman for years instead of Green Lantern. Even his Penguin looks amazing. Jason Wright provides his always outstanding color work as well. The Batman standalones have all benefited from strong art, but this is the best of the bunch.
These Batman Metal tie-ins aren’t required reading to get the full Metal story, but they’re so good you’re going to want to read them anyway. Batman: The Dawn Breaker is another solid story with exceptional art making for any easy purchase.
Rating: 10 out of 10