Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1 Review: The Darkest Knight

[rwp-review-recap id="0"]

Cover to Batman the Dawnbreaker #1 by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson
Batman: the Dawnbreaker #1 cover by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson

On an alternate Earth, Bruce Wayne faced the death of his parents without fear or anger. He faced it with will instead, and this willpower attracted a Green Lantern Ring, making him the first Green Lantern of Earth. He immediately overrode the Ring to allow him to kill the man who slew his parents. He used the Ring to bring justice to Gotham City, and he tapped into dark powers no other Green Lantern had ever accessed before. He became the Dawnbreaker.

This Metal one-shot shows the darker side of Bruce's anger and will. It shows what unlimited power could do in the hands of a man like the untested Bruce Wayne, and it's pretty ugly.

It also gets a bit eldritch, with this Bruce gaining access to arcane powers that were likely never intended to be used by the Green Lanterns. He becomes the most dangerous Green Lantern of his universe.

Unlike Red Death or Murder Machine, Dawnbreaker gives Batman a divergent path early in his life instead of midway through his crime fighting career. This tactic makes it a more interesting "what if" scenario than its predecessors, as it gives a Batman who went far off the path of our Bruce Wayne.

Interior art from Batman the Dawnbreaker #1 by Ethan van Sciver and Jason Wright
Batman: the Dawnbreaker art by Ethan van Sciver and Jason Wright

The Dawnbreaker is frightening in his cruelty and obsession. Like the previous two, this Batman gives into his obsession in horrifying pseudo-Lovecraftian ways. He taps into forbidden abilities, and he's really fascinating for it.

I hope these Batmen don't get cast out of existence entirely after Metal. The first three are Batmen I actually like a lot more than the Batman we have, even if these are nihilistic murder monsters. They show the dangers of his obsession, anger, and arrogance in a way that the "real" Batman isn't allowed because of his status as a tentpole character.

Ethan van Sciver brings his A-game to the art of this book. The Dawnbreaker looks unnerving and sickly, like a person truly fallen to their vices and fanaticism. The powers he uses are unnerving, too, and the use of sheer darkness as a visual tool is very clever. Jason Wright's color work bolsters the themes of light and darkness in a visually compelling manner.

I've been very impressed with these one-shot Metal tie-ins so far. Each one plays with similar themes, but the outcomes are always very different and shocking. It takes a lot for me to become interested in Batman stories, and these books accomplish it against the odds. Give Dawnbreaker a read.

[rwp-review-ratings id="0"]

[rwp-review-form id="0"]

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.