[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
In a tale that’s all too familiar, Bruce Wayne witnesses the murder of his parents in Crime Alley. But things quickly take a turn in the Dark Multiverse when this time around, Bruce Wayne is selected to become the next member of the Green Lantern Corps, just moments after his parents murder.
The state of his mind after just witnessing the murders, spikes his willpower and emotion to such levels, he is actually able to override the ring’s safety protocols. He kills the man that murdered his parents and soon becomes consumed by his moral indifference. He not only masters the light of the ring, but the absence of light.
Since Ethan Van Sciver has been beautifully illustrating Green Lantern in one way or another since Geoff Johns Green Lantern Rebirth, it is only fitting that he would be selected to illustrate this particular Dark Nights: Metal tie-in. And like always, his artwork does not disappoint. He captures the light and heroic nature of Hal Jordan while simultaneously tapping into the darkness that consumes Bruce Wayne.
The idea of the ring in Bruce Wayne’s possession has always been an interesting concept. The sheer willpower (and obsession) it would take for a man to become the skilled martial artist, detective and chemist that Batman is, begs the question ‘Why wasn’t Bruce Wayne selected over Hal Jordan in the first place?’ Is it because in the true DC Universe the ring could detect mental instability and it recognized the death of his parents caused him to be a poor candidate at that moment? Or is it something else?
The appearance of Doctor Fate was a very interesting surprise. I have always been a fan of Doctor Fate and always love when he pops up, but his appearance here triggers some exciting questions that I anxiously await answers for.
Being the, self-proclaimed, biggest Green Lantern fan there is, I was of course, hoping for a flawless book, but unfortunately that isn’t the case here. This issue had a few issues that bugged me as I read it that I just couldn’t shake.
It felt that Bruce Wayne’s fall from grace was too easy. I understand that in the true DC Universe, years of training taught him to control the darkness within, but if this issue is anything to go off of, then Batman is, at his heart, an evil man. The previous tie-ins don’t have him inherently evil, he was changed into something dark by circumstance. But this issue means that he was inherently dark and in the true DC Universe he only became good due to the circumstances of his training. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel as if that takes away from what makes Batman great.
The same thing could be said about Hal Jordan. If this issue is to be believed, then Bruce Wayne has more willpower than Hal Jordan. That detracts from what makes Hal Jordan great.
Also, the way it played out, it would seem Bruce Wayne would’ve attracted a red ring from his initial anger more so then the green ring of willpower.
Fortunately, these issues can just be considered unique features of the Dark Multiverse, but they still bothered me as I read.
Finally, in the narrative, there is a moment when the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps approach Bruce Wayne to revoke the ring. I understand what happened, yet the flow felt off. One frame they approach, the next is darkness, then the next is the Corps and Guardians defeated. It was a bit of an extreme jump in the action that made it feel choppy.
Perhaps it was my own anticipation for this issue that caused me to have unrealistic expectations, but ultimately I feel as if the other tie-ins work better, particularly Batman: The Murder Machine. But despite the fact that this tie-in has a few minor, yet explainable, issues, it’s still a great tie-in to Dark Nights: Metal. If you are enjoying the Metal event as a whole then I suggest you take a look at this issue as well.