I’m beginning to see the trend with DC METAL, and that being that overall it’s turning out to be “hit or miss” every other issue. Now sure, this could be for me due to James Tynion IV’s writing, because he doesn’t do it for me at all. This issue is definitely the day to BATMAN: THE MERCILESS #1‘s night– heh, pun not intended.
In all fairness to Tynion, I do want to point out that Frank Tieri wrote the plot for this issue, and Tynion only wrote the dialogue. But it does feel that what lacked was the dialogue. It felt kind of hollow. There was a constant feeling like there was supposed to be weight to the severity of what we could see was going on, but there just wasn’t.
I do, though, commend Tynion for writing spot on dialogue for “the Main Man” Lobo. Even despite that scene being one of the main ones that suffered from a lack of follow through…
The art on the other hand has been absolute killer– heh, unintentional puns-2, me-0. Tony S. Daniel (artist) is hands down one of the best artists in the comic book industry today, (and for the last ten+ years). He has a style that appears as effortless as it is graceful. It’s one of the slicker and cleanest you come across, and you never have an issue with telling what character is which, and who they are.
His art is the true crown of this issue, along with Tomeu Morey’s coloring of the issue. It definitely carries the overall product, and you get a version of the story that feels so much more impactful than the finished.
One of the high points of the story was the flashback. The unfolding story of how Eath -1‘s Bruce Wayne becomes THE DEVASTATOR. There was plenty of potential, especially because this one in particular gives us the– and I’m quoting the most underappreciated Lex Luthor of all time, Jessie Eisenberg’s from BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, “the greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: God versus man; day versus night; Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!”
This battle is probably the most debated, and the most controversial; Batman versus Superman. I mean, it’s no question that if “Big Blue” isn’t holding back, and “the Dark Knight” doesn’t get his fanboy approved 24-hour prep time, Superman stomps him. It was great seeing a very MAN OF STEEL Zod to Superman-esque exhange (panel above).
This encounter was perhaps the only moment in the issue where I felt Tynion delivered that follow through, and the severity of the situation was there. You could feel those steel hands closing around Bruce’s neck, and you could see that Bruce felt his back firmly against the wall. I wish that this issue had this intensity and presence from start to end.
The single most interesting part of THE DEVASTATOR was the Lois thread.
I think there plays this deeper meaning now that she and Clark are married, and have a Jon. She also has been coming off as this backbone for the Justice League in recent issues, where she acts like a guiding hand of morality as well as a protective mamma bear. So seeing her exchange between the Devastator, and then her motherly instinct to protect Jon from what was unfolding carried this weight of wanting more of this specific subplot.
The almost hindsight factor for this issue’s true success will come out of whether or not there’s any real capitalization on the Lois portion of the issue, and her being infected with the modified strain of the Doomsday Virus.
Overall story wise, this was the best factor of it. It felt like the part of the story that was most thought out, and that there could be foresight in its conception of doing something post METAL. Again, this is what I will truly judge THE DEVASTATOR’s success off of once the event is over.
With a story and dialogue that came out sub-par, but the always fantastic art of Daniels, it makes this issue hurt my soul. It kills me whenever there is a title that has amazing factors like a basic plot to go off of out of METAL, the perfect artist and colorist, and it ends up under-performing on a story level.
You can always find this issue at the nearest comic shop, and make sure to watch out as THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1 comes maniacally laughing onto those same shelves Wednesday, November 15th,
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? Find out in these special tie-in issues!