- I missed them. I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't want to be Bruce Wayne. I didn't want to be Green Lantern. Standing in front of a lantern ... but feeling submerged in shadow. Like I never left the cave under my mom and dad's house, with the darkness, and the bats. So I became ... Batman: The Dawnbreaker.
- — Batman: The Dawnbreaker src
Bruce Wayne was born to billionaire doctor Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha Kane. His version of reality was known as Earth -32 and was located within the Dark Multiverse, a mirror of the normal Multiverse where all the realities were destined to die. One evening when the young Bruce and his parents were walking down an alleyway, they were set upon by a mugger named Joe Chill. During the confrontation Bruce's parents were shot and killed by Chill who subsequently fled the scene. At that moment Bruce was left as a void, as all emotions left him including fear. A nearby Green Lantern Ring eventually found Wayne and inducted him into the Green Lantern Corps. Bruce didn't think anything of the ring, all he recognized was a tool which could be used to kill his parent's murderer.
He was able to quickly find Chill, however when he tried to kill the man the ring refused as it was against Corps mandate to kill a living being. Bruce did not care for the Corps and filled the ring with the void in his soul, overcharging the ring with his corrupt willpower. Eventually the ring became corrupted by Bruce's tainted soul and allowed Bruce to kill Chill. After killing Chill, Bruce went back to his parents' corpses and tried to use the ring to resurrect them, however this didn't work as it was beyond its power and could only temporarily revive them as undead people. Bruce would then go on to become the protector of Gotham City known as Green Lantern, who executed criminals without mercy.
Although the police of the city initially worked with Bruce, Commissioner Jim Gordon eventually pleaded with him to stop killing criminals such as Penguin. Bruce believed that no one should stand in the way of his mission to rid the universe of evil, and so executed Gordon while constructing a Green Lantern Power Battery. Shortly after his murder of Gordon, the Green Lantern Corps arrived to apprehend the rogue Lantern. However, because of Bruce's overcharged ring and his connection to the darkness, he was able to defeat and execute the entire Corps and the Guardians of Universe.
Tired of being a Lantern, Bruce decided to evolve into something greater. Stemming off of his greatest fear, bats, Bruce supercharged himself with a mixture of darkness and green energy while immediately growing into an adult as he stepped inside the power battery. With this power, Bruce took on a new oath and became Batman: The Dawnbreaker. Soon however his world began disintegrating into the void, the same one that existed inside him and set him on the path to vengeance and hatred.
As his world began to tear to pieces a voice from the void began speaking to him, identifying himself as "The Man Who Laughs", a servant of Barbatos and offered a place beside the Red Death and the Murder Machine in the Dark Knights. After traveling to the Earth that was destined to live with the other Dark Knights, The Dawnbreaker went to Coast City to subjugate its people. However he was intercepted by Hal Jordan, who he tried to kill until he was whisked away by Dr. Fate. He then proceeded to envelop the city in Darkness.
The Dark Knights then helped the Murder Machine in subduing Cyborg and taking over the Justice League's Watchtower. A portal was later opened up for them by the Batman Who Laughs using his dark metal cards, to help him take down Green Arrow, Damian Wayne, Nightwing and Mister Terrific, but they were prevented in doing so by Dr. Fate who helped them escape.
After Superman escaped from their grasp in Gotham City, the Dark Knights attacked the Oblivion Bar and killed the Prime Master, but the Justice League was already gone. They later trapped four of the Justice League members, in Batcaves specifically designed for them. Hal was teleported to a dark cavern below Coast City and tried to use his Power Ring to enlighten the area while repeating his oath. The Dawnbreaker however told him to not bother as it was useless there. As the Dawnbreaker's Power Ring kept on absorbing his ring's light, Hal started using the strobe light to distract him. Dawnbreaker however came out victorious in the end by attacking him with constructs of his greatest fears.
Hal and the other captive League members were then taken to Gotham City to be used as batteries for the Tuning Fork. They were however freed from their restraints thanks to Cyborg, who had partially given in to the Mother Box inside him. The Dark Knights tried to subdue them, but they were able to escape through Hypertime due to Cyborg. After Hal, Mr. Terrific and the Martian Manhunter reach the Phoenix Cannon, designed to brighten the Nth metal in Earth's core in case it starts sinking into the Dark Multiverse, Michael Holt realizes that someone had reversed its polarity. The Dawnbreaker, the Merciless and the Devastator then immediately teleport to their location and inform them that they were behind it, before proceeding to fire the cannon in order to darken the Earth's core. Hal and Mr. Terrific were knocked out and taken back to Gotham.
Later, the Drowned, Murder Machine and Dawnbreaker attack Cyborg and Raven, who are travelling to the House of Heroes aboard the Ultima Thule in The Bleed. Raven is able to resist him fir a while by turning his dark bat-constructs against him, though he ultimately overpowers and punches her. Before he can trap her into the void to be tortured, Cyborg attacks him and he is forced to flee. He and the other Dark Knights later watch the traitor Red Death who has been taken over by the Barry Allen of Earth -52, disintegrate on the House of Heroes.
Back in Gotham, the captured League Members were however awakened by Wonder Woman through the clanging of Carter Hall's Nth Metal mace clashing with her Bracelets of Submission, made of Eighth Metal. The Dark Knights tried to subdue them, but this was interrupted by Prime Earth's Batman who threw Batarangs fashioned from Element X at Aquaman and Hal Jordan. The Justice League succeded in defeating the Dark Knights thanks to Element X.
- Indomitable Will: Dawnbreaker's willpower is unmatched, being able to overpower and warp his ring only minutes after getting it, breaking it and allowing it to harness the void of darkness inside his being.
- Monstrous Appearance: The corruption of his ring had disfigured Bruce, giving him a half deformed necrosis on the other side of his mouth.
- Corrupted Green Lantern Ring
- Dark Construct Creation: Bruce was able to create Dark constructs out of the darkness of his soul.
- Energy Construct Creation
- Energy Negation: The Dawnbreaker can use his ring's control over his own internal darkness to overpower and cause malfunctions in other light sources, including Power Rings.
- Energy Projection: The Dawnbreaker could emit energy beams powerful enough to disintegrate a person.
- Infection: The darkness that the Dawnbreaker controls with his ring has the potential to corrupt the entire Green Lantern Corps.
"With darkness black, I choke the light!
No brightest day escapes my sight!
I turn the dawn into midnight!
Beware my power... Dawnbreaker's Might!"
- Dawnbreaker is based on the Bat-Lantern from Earth-32.
- Dawnbreaker represents Batman's fear of how dangerous he would be with superpowers, but lacking his adult discipline. He also represents his inner despair taken to its extreme, and his regret over his inability to move past his parent's deaths.
- 32 Appearances of Bruce Wayne (Earth -32)
- 18 Images featuring Bruce Wayne (Earth -32)
- 2 Quotations by or about Bruce Wayne (Earth -32)
- Character Gallery: Bruce Wayne (Earth -32)
- Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1
- Batman: The Murder Machine #1
- Green Arrow (Volume 6) #32
- Dark Nights: Metal #3
- The Flash (Volume 5) #33
- Justice League (Volume 3) #32
- Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32
- Justice League (Volume 3) #33
- Dark Nights: Metal #5
- Dark Nights: Metal #6
- Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1
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