This review is quite a challenge for me. On the one hand, I very much enjoyed the story in the issue, and the visuals were stunning. My problems lie not with the work itself, but with one of the creators. Should I attack the bread because of the baker? Or is it right to look the other way and praise a person I despise?
So let’s start with the easy stuff, the actual issue.
Batman: the Dawn Breaker is a one shot that fills in the backstory of one of the Batman variants running wild in the Metal crossover story.
The character has Bruce Wayne’s backstory, with the deaths of his parents, and his vow of vengeance, but he also winds up the possessor of a Green Lantern ring. This field has been trod before, in the Elseworlds one shot Batman: In Darkest Night, back in 1994, but that story cannot hold a light to this dark tale.
In this version Bruce gains the ring the same night his parents get killed, and uses it to track down the killer an exact vengeance. This Batman then goes on a murderous spree, taking out his universe’s versions of Batman’s best known villains, becoming such a danger that he winds up in conflict with Commissioner Gordon, the Green Lantern Corps, and even the Guardians of the Universe.
It’s a nightmarish tale, but a solid and well written one.
Don’t buy it.
Yup, I have to say that.
See, the big problem I have is that the wonderful art is by the truly horrible Ethan Van Scriver. An open Trump supporter, with a long history of incredibly offensive attitudes and behaviour, I am repulsed by the very notion of encouraging anyone to give this guy money. Now me, I got a review copy. So I am in a privileged position this way.
But seriously, there are far better ways to spend your money than to give it to a racist, homophobic asshole. Yes, Van Scriver is very talented. Sure, it is probably wrong to dismiss a person’s artistic work because of their beliefs. But with the US going whole hog into Nazism, even to the degree of supporting the death penalty for gays, and encouraging religious fanatics to discriminate against them, the time has come for everyone to stand up against these people. Van Scriver gets work because of his talent, I understand that.
He has just been tapped to do the illustrations for a book by Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto professor who promotes hatred against trans people, and speaks at Neo-Nazi rallies. Let like-minded individuals like Peterson pay for Van Scriver's artwork, not readers of DC Comics which include the minorities both men attack.
If enough people boycott Van Scriver and his work, perhaps DC will shed the bigot from their roster.