Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Batman - The Red Death #1 Review


Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia ans Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 20, 2017

After the end of Dark Nights Metal #2, I was pretty pumped to see more of the "Dark Knights" that came through the gateway with Barbatos.  Well, I didn't have to wait long as this week starts the series of one-shots for each of the sick looking SOBs .  First up is the Red Death who is obviously the Flash amalgam and while he isn't tops on my list, I am interested in seeing how all this Dark knights stuff will be set up.  Was it any good?  Let's find out...



The issue starts with some dark narration which sets up the Dark Multiverse a little, but I have to be honest, I really wanted more.  Maybe that is something that will be looked into more in the main book, but I thought this would have been the best time to really get things moving.  Things pick up as we see that we are dealing with the Flash and Batman of Earth-52.

Through some good dialogue by Williamson and nice art by Di Giandomenico, we see that this Earth is falling apart and Batman, while trying to save it, might be a little too late.  As far as being a good guy, this Batman also comes off as a Dark Knight Returns type of Batman...older, grumpier and willing to do more than just hang out on gargoyles at night.




In fact, he is taking matters well into his own hands by not only demanding Barry give him the Speed Force, but taking it by force.  He reasons that with the Speed Force, he can save Gotham and the World and while he mentions most of the people he loved are dead, that's kind of the reasoning behind doing what he's doing.  Of course, Barry is against this and begs Batman to stop, but after a bit of a Back to the Future Batmobile set up, it's game on and kind of game over for Barry...and Earth-52.

So, Batman has the Speed Force...cool, right?  Well, it seems that all of this has caused everything to go to hell and while Batman seems to think things are peachy keen, they really aren't.  We do get a kind of Firestorm-esque Batman/Flash thing going, but Earth-52 is doomed to rot.

This is where I have to interject a bit and wonder if the Earth was already doomed because it was "wrong at it's core" or if Batman's decision to steal the Speed Force is what "malformed it into a nightmare".  The early narration kind of points to both so I am at odds with which I believe is the case.




That's when the narrator is revealed to be The Batman who Laughs as he offers Batman a chance at survival...not his world, just him.  He obviously takes it and we head to our world and see Iris and Wally West hanging in Central City just as the Red Death booms in.

After messing with the Speed Force and making Iris and Wally old, our Barry shows up to fight and race and it almost ends with Barry's death.  However, a surprise hero shows up and though the Red Death tells us he is destined to destroy Barry, it will have to wait for another day.   The issue ends with a bit of "one bad day" talk and the promise of the next Dark Knight coming our way.




I am torn with this issue.  I liked Williamson's dialogue and really enjoyed Di Giandomenico's art, but the story itself left me a bit confused, but mostly just feeling lukewarm about the whole thing.  I understand that the Earth-52 Batman stole the Speed Force, but he didn't seem "evil" to me...just a guy out of options.  For him to come to Earth-0 and attack Iris, Wally and Barry just felt off from what we saw earlier in the issue.  Plus, having the Batman who Laughs doing the narration and recruitment was an odd choice as we have no real knowledge of him yet.  Overall, it was an okay issue that actually has me feeling less excited for the other one-shots coming up.

Bits and Pieces:

After looking forward to the start of the Dark Knights one-shots, this issue has me down a bit.  The Red Death looked cool and the dialogue throughout the issue was good, but the motivations and the confusing nature of the Dark Multiverse worked against what should have been a better start.  


6.5/10
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17 comments:

  1. This issue just confuses the hell out of me. Couldn't really enjoy it because I was just wondering why it was called Earth 52 when it shouldn't be part of the regular planet progression. It's a entirely different multiverse. It's not like they suddenly realized there are more earths within the current multiverse, it's a whole different one.

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  2. See im opposite of you guys i loved this im thinking the dark multiverse is every unmade choice them saying earth52 just made me think that universe's batman ALMOST did what we saw and even thoughhe didnt go threw with stealing the speed force he created an unrealized reality where he did

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    1. But it's spelled out as earth 52 BEFORE Bruce takes the speed force. My main issue is Bruce goes from a guy desperate to save his world to just a black and white villain. While earth 52 did an awful thing, having him be one of the universes biggest villains felt odd

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    2. I also didn't really understand his original world falling apart all of a sudden. Not in too bad of a way though. It makes me wonder if there was some kind of Crisis style event in the Dark Multiverse that made them all come together and then it turned in to Metal. Or something along those lines.

      Either way I just kept wondering throughout the entire read, and I feel these tie in one shots should be more supplementary and help filling the holes and not just making the holes and mystery bigger.

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    3. Jim why do you hate me ;-; lol naw i see what your saying its not clear in the comic just my imagination because e52 or not i cant ever see batman going threw with a plan to kill a hero and one that is actively trying not to fight him thats why i feel flash's line about compassion would have reached him but in a universe of dark choices batman just chains him to his car either way wasnt clear in the comic i get it

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    4. Just look at it agian its not earth-52 its earth negative 52

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    5. because there is no Earth 52. The 52 Earths of the Multiverse are 0-51

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    6. Again, that is confusing since all the Earths in the normal Multiverse are labeled with a hyphen. Even in this issue earth 0 is labeled Earth-0.

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    7. You just hate my joy jim >.> lol

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    8. I am the Batman who Kills Dreams!

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    9. I finally get what your doing your pulling an eric batman#44 clicks and rickshaws lmao...jk love you guy :p

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    10. Maybe the Dark Multiverse is labled Earth-52 to Earth-103?

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    11. seems it is a negative and it could be to -103, but then what happens when a world falls apart and then is replaced? The spelling out that these worlds are made by nightmares and bad decisions makes them seem infinite

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  3. I thought this was an eight five, easy. But I respect your review, Master Werner.

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    1. I just needed more of a fleshed out story from an issue that is supposed to flesh out the main story...it actually confused me more than helped when it comes to the Dark Multiverse. I thought the dialogue and art were really good though

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