“It’s not healthy to know he won’t be there anymore…and that it’s my fault.”

Batman: The Murder Machine #1 is the second Dark Nights: Metal tie-in. Written by Frank Tieri and James Tynion IV, The Murder Machine tells the story of the Cyborg-resembling Batman from another Dark Universe.  The story is intriguing. Taking a page from Scott Snyder, Alfred’s relationship with Bruce is at the core of the story.

Batman: The Murder Machine #1

The adoptive father is murdered at the hands of Batman’s enemies. Bruce has lost his family before. Now, he’s able to do something about it. But what will he do to bring his father back? The story makes good use of it’s Cyborg comparison. The art by Ricardo Federici is fantastic. Reminiscent of Ben Oliver, his pencils craft a dramatic issue with profound but dour colors by Rain Beredo. Despite a few bumps in the road, this is another excellent addition to the Dark Nights: Metal Mythology.

A Tale as Old as Time

The story is fairly straightforward, but a little disappointing. The Murder Machine featured on the front cover is never seen in the comic. While the Cyborg-ified Batman is interesting, it’s nothing compared to the Steam-Rolling Machine of Mayhem he’s riding on the Jason Fabok-drawn cover. The origin featuring Cyborg and father Dr. Silas Stone, has potential.

Batman: The Murder Machine #1

Cyborg has nothing to do with the actual origin of this alternate Batman, but is a great Justice League member for him to face. Juxtaposing why Vic became Cyborg with Bruce becoming…this is a great metaphor. It’s a testament to how far Bruce is willing to go compared to his teammates. That the extremity of his actions could become as evil as any monster no matter what universe he originates from. However, the promise made in the opening image is just too promising. If the carnivorous, cannibal car were somehow included this would be an incredible installment for Dark Nights.

It’s All in the Details

Federici’s art is the best part of this Metal tie-in. The fluidity of his pencils is as spectacular as the anatomy of his characters. Like Ben Oliver and Alex Ross, Federici’s style is incredibly realistic. His characters resemble life itself. Their shoulders slump with disappointment and their eyebrows rise with concern.

Batman: The Murder Machine #1

The colors by Rain Beredo can be just as captivating. The details on the Murder Machine character are colored to perfection. Making a figure made from one material look interesting is a difficult task. To that end, Beredo succeeds. However, like other Snyder related comics, the colors here can be too dark and dreary. The work is amazing to behold, but can leave a melancholic taste in one’s mouth.

The Verdict

Batman: The Murder Machine #1 is another great read brought to you by the Dark Nights: Metal event. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s series is dipping its toes into every aspect of the DC Universe. Dripping evil into the many Batmans it took to create the story. Here, one such Batman loses the Alfred he loved so dearly. To bring him back he created a program resembling the AI from Batman Beyond, but it worked too well.

Unfortunately, this issue by Frank Tieri and James Tynion IV promised a massive Batman-controlled murderous steam-roller on its’ cover. The interiors, while gorgeous and emotional, did not deliver.

The story contained therein features a heartbreaking son just trying to find his father amidst a world of madness. It seems every Metal tie-in will play with the tragedy of Bruce Wayne to create its Batman. The remarkable tragedy Snyder and Capullo are creating has already become one for the Batman history books.

Comic Book Review: Batman: The Murder Machine #1
The Score9
  • Incredible, Realistic Art
  • Heartbreaking story of Father and Son
  • Another Worthwhile Tie-In
  • Minor Color Issues
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
  • About The Author

    Daniel Mills
    Batman & DC Writer

    Daniel Mills is a screenwriter and director working in Los Angeles, California. Far too many comics and Forgotten Realms-novels led him to want to tell stories of his own. From articles and opinion pieces to reviews and screenplays, he sees every new opportunity as another new realm waiting to be explored.