Batman: The Dawnbreaker Gives New Meaning To The Phrase “Blackest Night”

by James Ferguson

An evil Justice League made up of twisted and bizarre versions of Batman has descender upon our world. Batman: The Dawnbreaker takes a look at the Green Lantern of Earth-32, Bruce Wayne, chosen moments after the death of his parents. Despite the ring’s great powers, it is unable to brings his mother and father back from the dead. It can, however, be used for revenge, thus beginning a blood-soaked path through Gotham City made up of the bodies of villains.

These one-shots showing the origins of the different Batmen have shown how the character has walked such a fine line for all these years. No one would argue that our Batman has his share of psychological problems, but he’s always been in control. He’s never lost it and he’s never killed someone, although he’s had ample opportunity. The Dawnbreaker fell into temptation. The ring found him at his weakest moment, staring at his parents as they bled out into the street.

In the internal narration, Bruce describes it by saying “I didn’t overcome fear. It was obliterated from me.” That is a chilling statement. This feeling, coupled with the massive willpower of Bruce Wayne makes the Green Lantern ring a much more dangerous weapon. His thoughts turn it into something unnatural, merging the power of willpower with something much darker. It makes for a very interesting version of the character.

We’re used to seeing artist Ethan Van Sciver’s nightmarish constructs coming out of the Sinestro Corps rings. In Batman: The Dawnbreaker, they’re shaded in yellow and look just as terrifying. It’s like they come from something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story, full of sharp teeth, tendrils, and way too many eyes.

Darkness shrouds these constructs, merging with them to form these otherworldly visions. Colorist Jason Wright provides a nice blend between the shadow and the light, like a monster peeking out of your closet in the dead of night, waiting for you to fall asleep. Where once the Green Lantern’s light brought hope, now it brings only dread.

The design for the Dawnbreaker provides an alien appearance with goggles and headphones with tubes running out of them. The one oddity with it is the large metal briefs. They seem a little out of place and don’t go with the rest of the costume. As a whole, DC has done away with the underwear on the outside motif, so it’s strange that it’s making a reappearance in this event, albeit on a bad guy.

On the one hand, you’d think that Batman would make a great Green Lantern. He can control his fears, having faced them on a regular basis and he’s got willpower to spare as it’s kept him going on his one-man fight against crime for all these years. On the other hand, that could present a frightening combination. Putting the most powerful weapon in the world in the hands of someone like Batman, who has shown his willingness to do what he feels is right by any means necessary can lead to some dark times and not even the Green Lantern’s light can free us from that. As with Batman: The Red Death, I’d love to see some more stories with this character.

Batman: The Dawnbreaker is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.