Batman the Murder Machine
Written by Frank Tieri & James Tynion IV
Art by Riccardo Federici
Colors by Rain Beredo
By Matthew Iung
This tie-in issue introduces the concept of the lengths that Batman may go if Alfred was ever killed. On Earth Negative forty-four Alfred was captured, interrogated and killed by Batman’s villains and while they tortured him he never gave in.
After the funeral, the Justice League goes to a destroyed Bruce and express their concern. Bruce is as cold as ever, but he stops Cyberborg before he can leave to ask for his help. What ensues is somewhat predictable, but never the less unsettling. Batman had begun to download Alfred’s brain before he died so after Victor helps Bruce improve his Alfried AI. It goes on to “systematically murder every single inmate in Arkham Asylum” because he was just trying to protect Bruce
While it’s not the best of the best it has its roots in some really quality Science fiction/horror. This is a character that has a little room for expansion however within the story we are shown that he has near endless room to move, as for as his machines and abilities are concerned. This is due in part to the Murder Machines Oneness with technology and his Alfred AI. The Alfred AI is really what sets this particular Batman apart from other versions there is a slow creeping science horror that could remind a reader of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Alfred is sort of the kindest man in the DC Universe until threatened but to imagine his likeness skulking through the halls of Arkham asking “How may I help you?”. It is a chilling sight to imagine.
Not only Does the book have its roots in quality concept it also in very continuity concise. Knowing what metals Cyborg has in his chest could be called on the floor later by a fan. While there will always be something to point out or bring up it is worth mentioning that the one-shots have been very streamlined and aware of there place within the event itself.
In the course of the issue, Federici Gets the opportunity to depict all of the Dark Batmen and illustrates them as gritty with grotesque features. When Cyborg is teleported to them they all wear these bone-chilling grins before tearing him apart.
This particular one-shot is not the strongest but it does present an interesting premise with a taste of old-school science fiction horror. Making it a Unique Batman story that will hopefully be expanded upon through Metal.
Verdict, Give it a read if you’re a fan of old school Sci-Fi horror or Just the characters it’s worth looking at and at least reading.