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Review – Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1 (DC Comics)

Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1 Batman Knightfall (DC Comics) cover (detail) by Lee Weeks
Tales From the Dark Multiverse #1: Batman Knightfall
Overall
7/10
7/10
  • Writing - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Art - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Overall - 7/10
    7/10
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Summary

Writers: Scott Snyder & Kyle Higgins
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Colorist: Alex Guimarães 
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: October 16, 2019

In a world where Batman never stopped Jean-Paul Valley and Saint Batman has taken over, what hope or hero can be gleaned to save the DC Universe?

 

Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1: Batman Knightfall

In Tales From the Dark Multiverse #1, we journey with a creature known as Tempus Fuginaut as it travels the Dark Multiverse in search of some light. The DC Universe is in the midst of yet another crisis, as the Source Wall is no longer intact! This has led to desperate times, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Tempus Fuginaut is traveling the Dark Multiverse to see if he can find some help. He travels to a world where Jean-Paul Valley was never stopped after Batman was broken. What darkness lies in this world? And can any heroes be found in Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1: Batman Knightfall?

Writing

Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1 Batman Knightfall (DC Comics) cover by Lee Weeks
Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1 Batman Knightfall (DC Comics) cover by Lee Weeks

Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins pen what is essentially a DC version of What If…? with Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1. In this, we look to see what would happen if Jean-Paul Valley continued to be Batman after the fabled Knightfall saga. Well, we get “Saint Batman” and a ton of weirdness that I was not totally prepared for.

This is an oversized issue, and we get a good setup and are thrown right into this world. Snyder and Higgins do a good job of getting everything out front about what is happening in the DC Universe, to set up the character of Tempus Fuginaut his journey and the idea behind this Tales from the Dark Multiverse series. They also do a great job of summarizing Knightfall in like two pages. So if you have never read that, you get the gist of it to get into this issue.

There is a ton of stuff going on in Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1. While I like the idea behind the story, I feel a lot of it doesn’t work. It just seems for a one-shot story the ideas are in too many places and there is no one central plot theme. I wish the story just had a little more focus to it and would have “settled” the plot a little. There are a few things storywise I don’t understand. I cannot go into detail on that, to remain spoiler-free, but the things that happen with Bruce Wayne are extremely weird and they didn’t explain his new form very well, at all.

Art

Javier Fernandez on art and Alex Guimarães provide some solid artwork for Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1. They bring this grim and gritty world to life in some nice, detailed ways. I do like the future re-design of Jean-Paul Valley’s Saint Batman character and his cohorts. The team uses the Catholic Church theme in fantastic ways to design the costumes. 

I do wish the characters’ faces were a little more detailed and as polished as the rest of the issue. The character designs, costumes, and backgrounds all have some exquisite detail but the characters, when not wearing masks or other covering, lack that little extra detail to them and it makes them stand out a little. Not in a good way.

Guimarães does a fantastic job with his dark colorations throughout the issue; it brings the whole Dark Multiverse thing to the forefront of the mind. Fernandez also captures the more shocking and weird features of the issue well. I won’t spoil anything, but when you see Bruce Wayne in the future, you won’t forget it.

Conclusion

Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1 has some solid ideas and some interesting points, but gets too muddled in its own storytelling to stand out. It seems that the writers attempted to pack too many different things into this one-shot issue, and while they are all interesting story points, it doesn’t have enough time to dwell on any of them, and the main point of the issue suffers because of that. The art was all-around pretty solid with some good detail and some great character designs.

The main “What If” idea still has that intriguing factor in Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1. We looked at what would happen if Jean-Paul Valley was never stopped, in Batman Knightfall. In the next issue, we look at “The Death of Superman”, which is open to a plethora of story ideas. Will Tempus Fuginaut find a hero in the Darkness or is his search in vain?


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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