Review: Batman – The Devastator #1

The most asked question in comics is not, surprisingly “how can no one tell that Clark Kent is Superman with glasses on?”  Rather, it of course “Who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman?”  In this, the latest Dark Nights one shot, the question gets re-asked for what must now be more than the umpteenth time.

On Earth 0, the battle for the Fortress of Solitude is in full swing with Lobo going toe to toe with the Devastator Batman, who bears a remarkable likeness to Doomsday!  From there, we take a quick step back in time to Earth -1 where we see a Batman not to dissimilar to our own, who feels betrayed by Superman and in an effort to put the Kryptonian down for the count, injects himself with the Doomsday Virus, using the logic that being a Bat-Dooms-Man-Day will give the strength to kill Superman.  Slightly flawed logic there are we all know that all Doomsday managed to do was put Supes in a coma, but I am splitting hairs.

This issue is brought to by Frank Tierri’s plot and James Tynion on words.  As first glance, I was not sure why there is a need for two writers, but the pair manage the situation well; with a part of the book showing some of the littler battles alluded to in the main book, Tierri adds a couple of nice touches to a pretty basic story such as the interaction between Bruce and Lois and between Lois and Jon, going someway to tying some of the loose threads left hanging by Snyder’s and Capullo’s tour de force.  Tynion is of course on point with the inner monologue for Bruce.  This is the sort of Batman I like, not the monosyllabic “I love you Cat” version that is trotting around the desert over in the main Bat book.  Self referencing seems to be all the rage at the  moment; check either the first or the second issue of “White Knight” for an example, so do not be too surprised when a kryptonite spear makes an appearance.

Tony S. Daniels, one of my favourite artists in recent years provides his usual excellent pencils and panel strategy for this book.  To say that the guy can draw Batman is an understatement.  Also don’t forget his work with Superman either, so he is the perfect choice to chronicle the latest face off between “Truth, Justice and the American way” and “I am the night, I am vengeance, I am the Batman”.  Still even with his stellar credentials, there are a couple of things that distract the eye.  Firstly, regarding the full body shot of Superman, the left leg looks a little wonky and I am not quite sold on how he draws Lois.  The rest is perfect, from Lobo all the way to Jon get pulled back by his cape, Daniels seems to have pulled out all the stops for this issue.  The inks are given a deft touch by Danny MIki adding a level to style to proceedings.  The other books in the “one shot” arc have had colors schemes that mirror the dark universes in which the Dark Batmen inhabit. and with so much of the action on our Earth, the colors by Tomeu Morey have a more standard approach.  This gives the book a visual palate cleansing after so much darkness.

As some of you may know I have not been the biggest fan of either the main book or some of the one shots and don’t even get me started on the tie-ins.  DC have thrown some of their top talent at the series and in the case of the Devastator it works within its own logic, even going as far as to hinting how this whole storyline may come to an end just in time for The Doomsday Clock.

Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 4.5 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars

Written by; Frank Tierri and James Tynion
Art by; Tony S. Daniel and Danny Miki
Colors by; Tomeu Morey
Published by, DC Comics


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