Monday, May 29, 2017

Batman: Night of The Monster Men


 Honestly, stuff like this could quickly piss away any goodwill that the "Rebirth" relaunch has generated.

 DC talked this up as "..the first crossover of the DC Rebirth era!", as if that were a good thing. The line was a few months old when this was originally serialized.....was anyone crying out for a crossover between the Bat-books? Especially one that is essentially a six-issue fill-in story....? Was anyone crying out for a crossover of any kind? Newsflash: Comic-book fans are good and sick of the endless crossovers, DC. (You too, Marvel!) DC is starting out a massive, line-wide relaunch, and is met with critical and fan acclaim....what to do to keep that momentum going...? I know! How about a six-part ludicrous story that has Batman and company fighting GIANT MONSTERS???? By three different fill-in teams, no less!! Awesome!!!

 BATMAN: NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN collects BATMAN #'s 7-8, NIGHTWING #'s 5-6, and DETECTIVE COMICS #'s 941-942, and builds on the Hugo Strange subplot that ran through BATMAN, VOL. 1: I AM GOTHAM. (Unfortunately, BATMAN writer Tom King is absent from this volume, credited only as a "Co-plotter" on the two BATMAN issues. Meaning, he was told by DC that the plot for those two issues would be giant monsters invading Gotham City, and he said "Umm, OK.") The NIGHTWING ad DETECTIVE COMICS writers are also credited as co-plotters, but the heavy lifting here is done by writer Steve Orlando, whose work here guarantees that I will never spend one cent on anything that has his name on it again.

 The story, such as it is, is that Hugo Strange has used Bane's Venom formula to mutate dead bodies into gigantic Kaiju that he sends to attack Gotham City. This is roughly the tenth or eleventh time that Gotham City has been completely leveled since "The New 52" started. Honestly, enough already. DC is subliminally training readers to feel that if Gotham City isn't destroyed in a story, then that story must not be worth telling because the stakes aren't high enough. Remember when Two-Face robbed banks? When The Joker mutated fish so that they looked like him...? Not good enough anymore!! Jesus, Scott Snyder destroyed Gotham about five times in his ten overrated volumes, Darkseid destroyed Gotham in the JUSTICE LEAGUE event, and Batwoman's father just destroyed Gotham in DETECTIVE COMICS a few months ago. Who keeps rebuilding this fucking city? And who keeps living there????

 The story is exactly as bare-bones as I'm making it sound. Batman, Nightwing, Batwoman, Orphan (Ugh, that name...), Spoiler, Alfred, Clayface, and Duke Thomas (Stop trying to make Duke Thomas one cares.) fight giant monsters. It is already amazing enough that Hugo Strange can MAKE giant monsters, but it's doubly amazing that a high-school kid can just whip up an antidote on the fly. I realize that the concept of Batman already strains credibility, but comic-book readers can accept a lot.....this book asks us to accept too much. Batman shouldn't be fighting giant monsters. It's ridiculous, but not even fun-ridiculous...this is bad-ridiculous. The pinnacle was when we find out that Bruce Wayne has rigged some of his Wayne Tower buildings to transform into giant monster-fighting mega-weapons, you know...just in case giant monsters ever invaded Gotham. But, wait...because he also equipped them with giant, glowing BAT-SYMBOLS, just in case people needed another reason to wonder why Bruce Wayne and Batman are tied together so closely.

 This is just a sloppy, ugly, pointless book that was a huge chore to read. DC Comics sent me a review copy, but they sent it AFTER I already bought a copy of the hardcover, so I speak as someone who actually spent money on this dreck....don't make the same mistake yourself. This crossover was a surefire way to turn off some of the potential new readers that the Bat-books may have picked up, post-Rebirth. Death to crossovers!

 BATMAN: NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN earns a measly one out of ten monster heads:

 DC Comics provided a review copy waaaaaaay too late to do me any good.

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