Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Batman: The Drowned #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

Slippery When Wet

Writer: Dan Abnett 
Artists: Philip Tan & Tyler Kirkham 
Colors: Dean White & Arif Prianto 
Letters: Tom Napolitano 
Cover: Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: October 18, 2017


Woohoo! I finally get to review Batman! I’ve been waiting for this moment, I’ve done a ton of research and really delved into the background of the Boy Who Would Be a Bat, and now I get to…wait, what’s this? It’s Batman…but like Aquaman? And with boobs? Let’s get to the bottom of this in my review of Batman: The Drowned #1, right here!

Explain It!

I’ve been enjoying this Dark Nights: Metal series by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo, and frankly I’ve enjoyed the one-shot issues more than Jim and Eric on this website. I agree that they present concepts not explained in their own issues or yet in Dark Nights: Metal, and it’s evident that they don’t really do anything to the main story. But I see them as self-contained Elseworlds stories, and I love Elseworlds stories…uh, generally speaking, that is. More in theory than in consistent practice. Some of them are awful. Here we’ve got Bryce Wayne of Earth -11—this would be the Dark Multiverse counterpart of Earth 11, which is a world where our familiar heroes are gender-swapped. So it is on the Dark Multiverse version of Earth 11, and Bryce Wayne is therefore of the ladyfolk.
Bryce Wayne threw on some particularly goth-looking Batman duds to defend Gotham City, but when Lady Aquaman showed up to fight the surface world, things got hairy. Bryce killed Lady Aquaman, and Atlantis retaliated by submerging Gotha. Bryce then did some self-surgery and swallowed some DNA-reconfiguring pills to adapt to breathing underwater and develop a new, super creepy power. She also created those Dead Water things that were farting around in issues of Aquaman about a year ago, so that was a cool connection for those of us reading the series. After what seemed like an intense conflict where Bryce used her special power of puking up purple water (I’m guessing this is the “Strange Water” seen in the Dead Water story arc) Atlantis is repulsed—but the entire world is drowned. Bruce lights a signal that shines onto the surface, to let interstellar folks know that she is keeping things right and tight on Earth -11.
The rest of this is more or less what we’ve seen in the other one-shots: the Batman Who Laughs tells Bryce that Earth -11 is screwed, and has always been screwed at the expense of the Light Multiverse, and offers her the opportunity to go puke up purple water on that Earth. She takes up the offer, then after drowning Amnesty Bay, she tangles with Mera and Aquaman in a fight that leaves Arthur wounded and Mera all zombified and under Bryce’s control. Before Mera can kill Arthur, Dr. Fate drops and Ankh and scoops up the Atlantean king, which we’ve seen in other issues, and Bryce shines the Aqua-Bat symbol above a totally deluged Amnesty Bay, which means she brought it from the other dimension and that’s hilarious.
I liked a lot about this issue. The character design, which I call Lady Pirate Batman, is terrific. I love everything about it, how it’s sort of swashbuckling sexy from afar but completely horrific up close. I liked the implied backstory of Bryce, who seems to have been enticed to become a Lady Batman after the deaths of her husband and child. And the artwork was really gothic and creepy and served the story well. But the story…well, it was sort of insipid. It comes down to, “the Batman Who Laughs brought a Batman with Mera powers to our Earth and she caused destruction.” This whole issue just moves the character into place for a future issue that will be more important. And maybe when that issue comes out, the grand plan will be revealed and The Drowning will prove to have been consequential. But as it stands, you could pass on this and not miss a beat where Metal is concerned.

Bits and Pieces:

The Dread Pirate Batwoman has her spiteful retribution on Earth-0, and it is very...wet. A great character design and perfectly atmospheric art go a long way to propel a story that is otherwise scant. Fans of Abnett's Aquaman will get a little service, but probably not enough to warrant the cover price.



  1. Eh i liked it better then dawn breaker but idk to to crazy about this one i thougjt they'd come up with something other then earth 11 cus to me that means the dark multiverse is just the counter part to the light one before this i was thinking all the dark universes are batman-0's fears but thats clearly not the case...unless he has some weird trans fears :/

    1. That's the thing, it was spelled out in Metal #3 that all of these Batmen were supposed to be the nightmares of "Our" Batman........ So I don't get it.

    2. Listen I love Croc puking ice ... I asked for more of it , after this issue I think 'theyre' listening. To Eric Batman is obviously afraid of be8ng female duh

    3. I was going to say he could have had a fear of batwoman lossing control but metal #2 says they are all BRUCE WAYNE so that couldnt even work i feel like tgey just made the design and said fuck it were using her lol

    4. Batman's nightmares:
      Red Death: Not being prepared
      Murder Machine: Losing his father figure
      Dawnbreaker: Giving into the dark tendencies
      The Drowned: Metahumans going rogue

      Not sure about The Merciless though. Perhaps that mercy isn't enough?

    5. Just not sure why our batman's fear of rogue meta humans would cause earth 11 to split of to earth -11 into the dark multiverse

  2. Is it just me or is Aquaman's eye missing right before he gets taken by Fate.