Batman The: Devastator #1 Review

Written By: James Tynion

Art By: Tony Daniel & Danny Miki

Published By: DC

I’ve taken umbrage with the DC Metal tie-ins of late. Yeah the first one was fun with evil Batman killing The Flash, but then the next one had the same plot. And the next one had the same plot. And the next one had the same plot. It’s become a series of exposition vomits where Batman does a bad and then jets off to Earth 0 to do more bad, all while cramming two issues of backstory into twenty pages.

It’s grown stale. It’s grown frustrating.

Batman The: Devastator #1 is, sadly, much the same; however, it does manage enough mixing and matching to set it apart. I’m still frustrated, but less so.

The key difference is that for once, Batman has method to his madness. He’s evil sure, but the reasoning behind it doesn’t suck: It all stems from betrayal. Devastator Batman  put his faith in Superman, Superman turned evil, and Batman had to clean up the mess.

He sees the same possibility with Earth 0 and is doing us all a big solid, really.

Is it great reasoning? No. But it’s better than what we’ve been getting—though as I type that, I realize I remember so little of the other issues that it could actually be more of the same. Goddamn are all of these comics forgettable.

That’s what happens when you pile on exposition upon exposition upon exposition. Facts aren’t memorable. If they were, we’d all be A+ students with doctorates in things like organic chemistry or music appreciation.

“Here’s why I am this way and why you should care in ten pages or less!” won’t make me sympathetic. Show me; build into it. Earn your damn exposition like Nightwing The New Order did with its last issue. I remember what happened in that one!

Lucky for Batman: The Devastator #1, it doesn’t just stick with evil Batman. Yeah, his chatter covers almost every page, but when he’s interacting with Earth 0 Lois and Superboy, the stakes raise enough to matter. There are some really good moments with the Super family, and they lead to some interesting questions. And while I don’t believe for a second the dangers will amount to anything in the long run, they at least feel dangerous.

That’s more than what the other Metal tie-ins can say.

On the art front, Tony Daniel and Danny Miki are doing some solid work. The comic looks pretty, the fight scenes are fun, and the transformations are all appropriately gruesome. If there’s one thing I haven’t taken umbrage with the DC Metal tie-ins, it’s the artwork. That too is much the same.

This is the kind of book you could read by skipping half the text and just looking at the pictures.

DC Metal has been a wild, wild mess of mostly bad storytelling with the occasional high spot. I don’t think Batman: The Devastator #1 is a high spot, but it’s not a low one either. It’s fine. The artwork is strong, there are some good moments with the two characters that matter, and the evil Batman is at least kind of fun. Also, there’s plenty of action. If you’ve purchased the first few issues in this event, you’ve already done worse, so you know, there’s that.