Review: Batman: The Merciless #1

Batman: The Merciless is published by DC Comics. It is written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Francis Manapul.

Here’s the thing I hate/love about big events: there’s so much to read. Now, having a lot to read isn’t a bad thing, at least when it comes to full trade paperbacks where you can read everything together and in order. While I have enjoyed everything I’ve read so far from Dark Knights: Metal, it’s a TON of content to keep up with. Honestly, there are a couple one-shot tie-ins I simply haven’t had time to read.

In this issue, we meet God of War Batman, a.k.a. Batman wearing Ares’ helmet and now he’s kind of crazy but also really powerful…because, well, God of War. This version of Batman was once in love with Diana. But like every other dark multiverse, he was not meant to have a happy ending. While fighting Ares together, Diana died (which is why he has Wonder Woman’s symbol on his chest). Grief-stricken, Bruce dawned Ares’ helmet despite her warnings that the helmet would corrupt him. Granted, these other Batmans are already destined to become corrupt and destroy their own worlds, the helmet definitely made it worse.

We jump back and forth between this Bruce Wayne’s past and what is currently happening on Earth 0 following. While Steve Trevor, General Lane, Amanda Waller, and others are debating what to do about the giant mountain and all of the terror coming out of it, Ares Batman pretty much just rolls up and wrecks everyone. Meanwhile, General Lane gave the order to drop a very large bomb on him, which would cost millions their lives…it would do that, if Ares Batman didn’t have the ability to absorb it and it actually made him stronger. But hey, the generals in comics and movies always have to give it their best try only to have it backfire in their face. It’s just the way it works.

We do catch up a little bit from what happened in issue #2, with the crazy Joker-Batman-Robins still eating the Court of Owls people. We also learn some more detail about what really happened to Diana during their fight with Ares.

OVERALL SCORE: 8.5 / 10

As I was saying before, big events mean there’s lots of content. And I feel like I’m missing something. I’ve read all of Dark Nights: Metal, thus far, and even then, I still feel like there’s something I’m missing. Although I love Tomasi’s writing, it makes it hard for me to truly follow along because there are piece missing and I really don’t like that. It’s not anything on Tomasi, it’s on DC throwing way too much content at us all over the place and it gets really convoluted. Also, Manapul’s art is gritty but also certain things that are meant to draw your attention have a brightness to their color. I also really love the color transitions from red and blue, even though the words “then” or “Earth-0” are there to let you know what time we’re at, I’m one of those people that will still somehow miss those, so thank you for making it so even someone oblivious like me will notice the time change.

Make sure you pick up Batman: The Merciless at your local comic store!