Review: Batman: The Dawn Breaker

Another week, another Earth with Bruce Wayne taking on the mantle of another Justice Leaguer.  This time, its the turn of the most powerful, and sometimes the most confusing weapon in the universe.  The OA’n power ring of will power; the Green Lantern power ring.

You all know the story by now; an alley, a family, two gunshots, a broken pearl necklace…….and then the ring decides to chose a young Bruce Wayne as having the capacity to overcome great fear.  From there, the child space cop takes matters into his own ring bearing hand  as he smites anyone who disagrees with him.  But by doing so, he breaks the first covenant of the Green Lantern Corps, which in turn leads to a darkness where something is lurking, waiting for a new recruit.

Sam Humphries is the writer charting this merging of two iconic DC characters.  Humphries has been absolutely killing it on Green Lanterns making Simon Baz an honest to goodness interesting character and fleshing out Jessica Cruz to the extent she may be my favourite character of the year.  The consistency of his work is simply outstanding.  It is then a tad disappointing that he has to square peg this round holed story.  The choice of the Green Lantern of sector 2814 has been questioned previously; if Bruce has so much willpower how come Abin Sur’s ring chose Hal Jordan?  In the past its has been stated that Hal was closer than Bruce so the ring went with convenience.  Just as well then that Hal was on Earth and that the rightful applicant wasn’t at the farthest edges of 2814.  Then there is the idea that as Bruce uses fear on those superstitious and cowardly criminals, that he may not be worthy of the Green Lantern ring.  For whatever reason, the ring chose Hal.  However on this Earth, its seems that will power and rage can be readily interchanged and still make someone suitable to be a Green Lantern.  This isn’t the only aspect of the book that I had a problem with; the link to why Bruce becomes Batman is so tenuous, they are bats in the cave so I will become a bat, he may well have become  Dustbunny Man!

The art is provided by DC and Marvel veteran, Ethan Van Sciver, who is maybe most known to DC fans for his Green Lantern work.  Therefore fans will know what they are getting for their buck.  For others, the inclusion of Van Sciver gives the book an authentic feel with easy lines and panels that are laid over the darkness waiting for Bruce.  The figure work is good; with a book dealing with emotional resonance it is important that the faces show what is going on.  This is an aspect that Van Sciver does extremely well.  Something to consider, there are not that many books where young Bruce is in quite so much action, so there isn’t really a lot of resources to work from.  Van Sciver does well throughout, with the design of the Batman and his likeness to the Gods and Monsters Batman being the only distraction. Jason Wright applies the green tinged darkness that constitutes the colors for this particular Earth. A quick comment to the fantastic cover from Jason Fabok.

To say I am not overly enthused about the Metal storyline would be a massive understatement.  The formulaic approach to these tie-in books reminds me of the repetitiveness of the Convergence books that DC published as their moving offices stop gap.  As I mentioned in my Batman Red Death review, in my head, Bruce doesn’t need nor does he want to gain super powers.  With that in mind, the crux of the story doesn’t rest easy with me.  Next up on the Metal tie-in is Batman: The Drowned #1.  I wonder who that will feature…….

Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars
Cover – 4 Stars

Written by; Sam Humphries
Art by; Ethan Van Sciver
Colors by; Jason Wright
Cover by; Jason Fabok
Published by; DC Comics

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