The following is a review for Batman: Night of the Monster Men (Rebirth).
Spoiler level: mild.
Diving into the Rebirth Bat-verse you might expect to come across a heavy hitter or two in the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery. How about giant nightmarish monsters instead?
Authors Tom King and Steve Orlando take readers on a Bat-crazy, monster-riddled romp through Gotham. In his first crossover since Rebirth, Batman teams up with Nightwing and Batwoman after Hugo Strange’s dastardly deeds give birth to the aforementioned monster attack. There’s a dash of Cloverfield, hint of Godzilla, and a splash of Pacific Rim as Team Bats try to extinguish this new terror. Being a Batman story, it would have been easy to stray too far and lose the core of what makes this team important to the reader. The story manages to keep the characters familiar amidst the relative absurdity of skyscraper sized monsters.
Speaking of which, the Monster Men were hellishly cool. While they aren’t your typical foes found in Detective Comics, it brings together these heroes and forces them to find new ways to fight for Gotham. The style defied expectations for typical comic book creatures. Any absence of detail fed its ominous nature. I couldn’t wait to see how next big bad burst onto the page.
Familiar faces like Spoiler, Orphan, and Gotham Girl join the fray, but there was one guest spot that helped shape the series, so to speak. One time baddie, Clayface, is taking a turn as a good guy and gives Batman a sick upgrade: a shape-shifter exosuit. That tells you all you need to know about this series.
The core team flies from from their respective comfort zones and all have moments to shine and deliver their brand of beat-downs. A gritty horror noir for Batman and his crew, the Night of the Monster Men crossover succeeds at bringing this group together, pushing them to their physical and mental limits, and propelling them through a living nightmare.
From the creative team of Steve Orlando (MIDNIGHTER), Tom King (BATMAN), Tim Seeley (BATMAN ETERNAL), James Tynion IV (DETECTIVE COMICS), Riley Rossmo (CONSTANTINE: THE HELLBLAZER), Roge Antonio (BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY) and Andy MacDonald (THE NEW 52: FUTURES END). This epic of horror and heroism collects BATMAN #7-8, NIGHTWING #5-6 and DETECTIVE COMICS #941-942.
Hardcover | ISBN 9781401270674 | PRICE $24.99 (USD)