Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson
Artists: Dough Mahnke, Yanick Paquette, Jorge Jimenez
In short, Batman Lost #1 is about Batman trapped in the Dark Multiverse. At what lengths is he willing to go to find his way out of his dream world? What is Batman’s breaking point? What makes Batman give up?
Batman Lost #1 is an interesting read for several reasons. As part of the greater DC Metal event, it has little to no effect on the story. It does flesh out that story and offer material worth reading if you’re a completist. As a standalone issue, it makes little to no sense; I imagine that this story is confusing if you’re not reading the Metal arc. From a storytelling perspective, it’s deep. Not only does it showcase how smart Bruce is, playing detective in his own head to escape the Dark Multiverse, it shows what it takes to mentally break him.
The story opens with an elderly Bruce Wayne whose granddaughter, Janet, wants him to read a story. Not just any old imaginary story. A real one. Bruce has written his Batman adventures, bound them, and given them meta titles. Stories that Bruce, as Batman, has done in the past and he chronicled so he’d never forget. Hush, The Court of Owls, and Knightfall to just name a few. This issue is chop full of Batman lore, so even if you’re not following the Metal event, Batman Lost #1 has a high nostalgic factor. Even the elderly Bruce Wayne is a throwback to the older Bruce of The Dark Knight Returns.
As elderly Bruce is telling Janet a story, he begins to realize things aren’t matching up to his actual memories. He begins to remember that he is trapped in the Dark Multiverse and tries to escape. Forces are trying to rewire his memory to ensure he stays in this dream world. When Bruce finally breaks the connection, and becomes fully aware where he is, Janet turns into a deadite from the Evil Dead series:
One of my favorite panels from this issue is from one of the early pages. After Bruce mentions to Janet about playing with her cousins, there is a beautiful panel that foreshadows the entire issue:
None of the kid’s faces are shown here, but there is that one kid who reminds me of one of the Robins that came over with The Batman Who Laughs.
The creative team behind this issue does a fantastic job and blending their unique styles of storytelling and art. Despite not meaning much to the overall Metal story, the script is great. It’s a great examination of the inside of Batman’s head and what it takes to mentally break him. I’d say the only flaw, which in other Metal issues happens too much, is that there isn’t enough in this story for new readers to jump on board.
The art team also did a wonderful job at blending their styles. I never felt like I was reading a different issue from page to page. The darker elements of the story were the height of the art in this issue—from deadite Janet to Barbatos breaking Batman, it all plays like a horror movie.
This was a near perfect issue. There were only two flaws: beyond fleshing out the Metal story, it had zero impact on the greater story and for readers who aren’t following the event, the issue makes no sense. If you’re reading Metal, or just into a great examination of Batman, then it’s well worth your time. Batman Lost #1 has a strong enough story to make the wait for Dark Nights Metal #4 not feel so long.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment