Connect with us
Batman: The Red Death #1 Review

Comic Books

Batman: The Red Death #1 Review

An origin featuring the Flash/Batman nightmare that looks great and hides some interesting character wrinkles.

Dark Knights: Metal has kicked into gear and it started with a high gear let me tell you. This is an action extravaganza event that has left a lot of room for tie-in issues to play. Enter Joshua Williamson’s Batman: The Red Death which features the demon/nightmare Flash version of Batman and how he was created.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can even the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of familiar figures?

Why does this matter?

If you want to get the full 411 on how each of the Batman nightmares was created you’ll need to read this and the other tie-in issues. It also focuses on a twisted version of Batman that elseworld fans should enjoy.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Batman: The Red Death #1 Review
Love that smoke effect!

Carmine Di Giandomenico draws a hell of an issue pulling out everything from his bag of tricks from cool light effects, blur, to even smoke effects too. There’s clearly some Dark Knight Returns vibes thrown into this issue, from classic homage panels of Batman inside his Batmobile to the gang from that series wearing red goggles on the street. The sky runs purplish red and the overall look of the city is dark which gives readers the sense that the end is near. When we get to see the Batman/Flash combo you see on the cover he’s designed superbly with a great sense of dread/energy exuding from him. Later, there’s a fantastic set of panels that utilizes blur to show us what the combo of Batman and Flash has become.

The issue opens with an evil narrator–really not sure who–explaining where we are in the Multiverse (or is it the underbelly of the Multiverse?). This sets the story in an alternate reality where Batman has lost all of his sidekicks and appears to have had enough. Williamson details Batman’s plans as he tries to subdue Flash in some pulse-pounding action. Fans will dig the underlying character work with Flash who maintains a presence until the very end. I’m keeping it vague to avoid spoilers, but there’s a character wrinkle with this nightmare Batman which will assuredly help turn the tide when the heroes inevitably take down these nightmares.

Batman: The Red Death #1 Review
If you push the Batman too far…

It can’t be perfect can it?

The underlying motivation of the villain is still too obtuse to have it mean much of anything. There’s a promise Bruce Wayne can save his world by destroying our own and while it’s too early to know if that’s even true or not it leaves the reader unsure what to believe. This issue introduces the nightmare Batman/Flash well, but understanding what his next move is or his ultimate goals as far as attacking our Earth is yet to be seen.

Is It Good?

Sharp detailed art that harkens to The Dark Knight Returns accentuates a good origin story for our villainous character. So often with events the villains are boring and lack complexity, but this issue proves DC aims to avoid that.

Batman: The Red Death #1 Review
Batman: The Red Death #1
Is it good?
Action packed and great to look at, this is the perfect superhero title for Halloween.
Sharp art that harkens back to 'The Dark Knight Returns'
Great blur and smoke effects throughout
Williamson gives this nightmare a bit of complexity
Sets up the character, but it's unclear how he aims to get what he wants

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!


In Case You Missed It

AfterShock First Look: Bylines in Blood #1 AfterShock First Look: Bylines in Blood #1

AfterShock First Look: Bylines in Blood #1

Comic Books

'The Death of Doctor Strange' #2 is bold and even a bit haunting 'The Death of Doctor Strange' #2 is bold and even a bit haunting

‘The Death of Doctor Strange’ #2 is bold and even a bit haunting

Comic Books

Marvel Comics solicitations January 2022: Wolverine, Devil's Reign, and more Marvel Comics solicitations January 2022: Wolverine, Devil's Reign, and more

Marvel Comics solicitations January 2022: Wolverine, Devil’s Reign, and more

Comic Books

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #3 X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #3

‘X-Men: The Trial of Magneto’ #3 is mostly filler for a fast-paced event

Comic Books

Newsletter Signup