I've been catching up on the Dark Nights: Metal saga and, I hate to say it, but much of the writing seems to be quite sloppy. Especially on the tie-in issues.
The origin stories for the Dark Multiverse Batpeople could have each been a compelling Elseworlds-type tale. Instead, I found them to be rushed and forgettable.
For instance: Why did Superman go evil on the Devastator's world? They explicitly brush over that. If the goal is to show how Bruce's trust in Clark was a weakness that prevented him from acting in time to prevent great loss, let's see that play out. Show us, don't just tell us that it happened.
I thought that the Dawnbreaker's origin was even worse. That Bruce is nothing but angry, angry, angry. No character at all -- a pure caricature. With so much willpower (we are told) that he overcomes everything, just because.
It's a shame, because that story had such potential. It could have been an excellent dark counterpart to Mike Barr's Batman: In Darkest Knight. I'm no writer, but I could have scripted the Dawnbreaker origin much better.
Try this on for size:
This Bruce Wayne get is angry and wants to kill, as we know the ring arrives at the moment his parents are shot. The ring will not allow lethal force. Instead of a stupid "overcoming it through pure willpower", let's have Bruce use the ring to knock half of a building on him. Show us that Bruce Wayne is a clever S.O.B.!
Over time, we can see how Bruce continues to outsmart the ring. Let's say he is later facing some other criminal. He lifts up a car with the ring and is about to smash it down on the guy. The ring learns from the previous episode and says 'no'. So Bruce just turns the ring off and the car falls on the criminal and kills him anyway.
Rather than flooding the ring with darkness all at once (just because the story is supposed to be dark), each time Bruce outsmarts the ring and uses it to kill, the ring gets corrupted just a little. A little darkness seeps in, once killing at a time.
It would be more interesting to see how that darkness feeds between ring and bearer, a feedback loop that goes back and forth. Rather than just have Bruce kill anyone who pisses him off, let's see the confrontation with Bullock... and make it a major deal when he crosses the line and first kills somebody who is not a lawbreaker.
What are those weird Parallax-like creatures in the dark that aid him? Let's see how he meets them. Maybe they push him towards that first killing.
My point here is that this could have easily been a strong tale. Instead, I read it and just didn't care. Rather than having the Batman Who Laughs arrive halfway through, take out the parts on Earth-0 and give more time to flesh out the Dawnbreaker into a character that we could care about. The bits on Earth-0 get plenty of play elsewhere anyway.
I was really looking forward to Metal, so I'm really disappointed in how weak so much of it has been.
I have come and gone, only picking up a few one shots, so I may not be teh best source.
However, I agree. It all just seems to be way too much of Batman is the greatest, if he goes no superhero is safe.
That mentality for the past decade and a half has robbed him of a lot of his charm. In my eyes at least.
This just sort of ramped it up.
I love Batman, but the idea a kid Bruce Wayne could over power an Oan power ring is ridiculous. In any reality.