Batman: The Read Death #1
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Cover: Jason Fabok and Dean White
Variant: Riccardo Federici
Assistant Editor: Andrew Marino
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Special Thanks to Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Previously on Metal:
The Dark Knights have arrived, a team of twisted Bruce Waynes from atop Challengers Mountain. As chaos just starts to begin, we get a spotlight to see what went wrong.
On Earth Negative 52, a nightmare of red skies fill Central City as the Flash runs and fights for his life. As beams of ice, boomerangs and the other familiar tools of the rogues fly his way, we find out his hunter isn’t anyone but Batman himself. Having taken his love of toys to use the specialties of the rogues against Barry, the speedster pleads for him not to do this. But this Bruce has apparently lost everything, lost Gotham, lost his family, and in the middle of the chaos continues to fight for the power of the speed force to let him see what it can really do. After Batman’s natural combination of wit and luck, Barry wakes up strapped to the front of the Batmobile in the midst of plummeting faster and faster against the power of the speed force. Begging ignored, the next moment we see Barry is as a text box in Bruce’s head, who is now the fastest man alive: Batman, the Red Death. As Bruce now dons a terrifying Bat Flash suit, he hears the same voice that has been narrating the book; the horrifying Batman Who Laughs, telling him a way to make this all worth it. Back in the Central City of Earth-0, the Red Death attacks The Flash during the confusion following the eruption of Challengers Mountain, nearly felling the Scarlet Speedster before being saved by the familiar ankh of Doctor Fate. As a twisted broken Bat Symbol flares in the sky of Central City, the Red Death gloats in bringing back what he has lost, and the Batman Who Laughs, laughs.
Reed Strong’s Strong Read:
Everything related to Metal has been absolutely stellar, and this book is the very best next thing to the main event itself. It’s a simple extremely compelling story: bad things happen to Bruce, and he does what he has to do. The color, no pun intended, paints the book with a distinct version of Batman, we’ve seen this character near this point before. Specifically, we’ve seen Dark Knight Returns and All Star Batman, who the Batman written in this issue gloriously gnashes his teeth and makes cutting wit in strong tribute to. It’s always fantastic to see a Crisis, and getting to see the red skies again is the perfect way to begin this utter chaos. Throw in some lines from The Batman Who Laughs that nail some absolutely beautiful literalism with classic quotes, and you have some of the best evil Batman-ing there is to offer.
Best Line: “So yeah. One bad day will kill a world. But one bad week? That could kill a multiverse.”