Bruce Wayne’s acquisition of a Green Lantern power ring revealed that his dark nature and indomitable will were too much in the Dark Multiverse.
In an multiverse of infinite possibilities Batman could just as easily have become a villain instead of a hero. On one world, young Bruce Wayne came into contact with a Green Lantern power ring, but instead of the powerful weapon opening a path to heroism, it unveiled the darker side of Wayne’s tremendous willpower. Bruce’s following descent into the villainous Dawnbreaker was an echo of all the dark turns in Green Lantern mythology and proved that Batman’s indomitable will was capable of overpowering the emotional spectrum.
In the mainstream DC Universe, after Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed by Joe Chill, Bruce overcame his fear of Chill and pursued him. This was the turning point in the history of the alternate universe. For Bruce, then still a child, to overcome the paralyzing fear of the man who murdered his parents meant he was capable of tremendous willpower. This granted him the right to wield a Green Lantern ring.
However, the young Bruce Wayne was so overcome with hate and fury that he turned the ring into something monstrous. Now empowered by the greatest weapon in the universe Bruce intended to kill Joe Chill. The ring’s programming prevented it from using lethal force, but Wayne’s will was powerful enough to overcome the ring’s limitations. Even at such a young age, he dominated the ring he wore and essentially forced it to kill Joe Chill.
As the Green Lantern of his sector, Bruce went on a killing spree, his grief and hatred motivating him to ruthlessly terminate criminals. However, his killings were not limited to only the guilty, but also the police who tried to work with him. His actions led to the intervention of the Guardians, who recruited a full contingent of Lanterns to take Wayne’s ring by force.
In the ensuing confrontation, Bruce killed both the Lanterns and the Guardians before entering the lantern and emerging as Batman the Dawnbreaker, an agent of darkness and death. His evolution as a villain revealed that there is an even darker side to the mythology of the Lanterns, and that it was entirely possible to twist the light into darkness.
In the past, the dark side of the ring wielding protectors was that they had dark counterparts in the form of rings belonging to other emotional spectrums. Feelings such as fear and anger had their own champions that often wreaked havoc and became some of the greatest villains in the known universe. But what Bruce did was something unique.
He took the very source of the Green Lanterns’ power and turned it into a weapon of mass destruction. What was once meant to protect him and inspire others was instead twisted into something that empowered him and allowed him to dominate others. Batman has always been rigid and unyielding, often overwhelming people with the force of his personality, but the Dawnbreaker’s existence exposes the bad side of his forceful nature.
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