Batman: The Devastator #1
Written by Frank Tieri and James Tynion
Art by Tony S. Daniel
Inks by Dan Miki
Colors by Tomeu Morey
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson
Published by DC Comics
A review by Stacy Dooks
I have to confess from jump that Batman: The Devastator #1 has been the Dark Nights one-shot I’ve been looking forward to the most, chiefly because Superman is my favorite superhero. So when I first saw the image of the Dark Knights at the end of Metal #2, I have to say that the Devastator stood out immediately. Not only an evil Batman from the Dark Multiverse, but one who had taken on the power of the alien Doomsday, the sole entity that’s ever managed to pull off killing the Man of Steel in established continuity and not an “imaginary story” or Elseworlds? I knew I had to get a piece of this action, especially after reading the previous Dark Nights one-shots and learning what each had to say not only about their particular Batman, but how they stand in contrast to the hero they’re clearly intended to parallel on the Justice League. So what does BATMAN: THE DEVASTATOR #1 have to say about Batman and Superman? Quite a bit it turns out.
On Earth -1 in the Dark Multiverse, Superman went insane, and Batman did not take it well. At all. Injecting himself with an experimental formula based on Doomsday’s genetic code, this Batman becomes something else entirely, a creature that not only dispatched his universe’s Superman, but has a fervent desire to tear down everything the Man of Steel stands for. On Earth-0, Metropolis is under siege by this strange entity, spreading the Doomsday virus to Lois Lane and gathering the materials needed to ensure the ‘real’ DC Earth gets drawn into the Dark Multiverse. One thing is certain, this is no Batman dedicated to the cause of justice. This Batman only has one thing on his mind: devastation.
Batman: The Devastator #1 has a lot to say about Batman’s relationship with Superman, and manages to make a few points that brought Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice to mind. Given that the flashback to Earth -1’s final battle between both heroes has the Dark Knight wielding a kryptonite spear and incorporating Doomsday into Superman’s death, you can’t help but draw parallels between this issue and that film. Here, Tieri and Tynion posit that if Batman were really, truly out to destroy a Superman gone rogue there’s no real limit to how far he might go. And where that might lead would be to some seriously scary places. This version of Batman isn’t so much after world domination or random chaos like the others the Batman Who Laughs has brought to Earth-0. The Devastator has a single goal: Tear Down Superman and Everything He Stands For because Superman gave him hope, then tore that hope away. That makes for some intense reading, and the rampage of the eponymous monstrosity is brought to vivid life by Tony S. Daniels, ably assisted in the vivid colors by Morey and inks by Miki.
Buy It! This is one of my favorite Dark Nights one-shots so far, though they’ve all been fun reads. If you want a story about just how far a man will go to avenge a betrayal and how vengeance can make monsters of men, Batman: The Devastator #1 is tailor made to order. Just watch out for the Doomsday virus. Recommended.