Night of the Monster Men Part 2 is here, but is it good?
Nightwing #5 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the official DC summary:
“Night of the Monster Men” part 2! The Monster Men are stomping their way through Gotham City. How can the Bat-team face the monsters and the storm of the century? And when Nightwing goes behind the scenes to discover where the monsters came from, what lurks in the shadows may be worse than the monsters themselves!
Why does this book matter?
Steve Orlando and Tim Seeley are credited with the script in Nightwing #5. If you’re like me, you know Steve Orlando did a fantastic job with Midnighter, so I’m quite excited to see his ability to juggle the many elements at once displayed here. Plus if you at all care about Batman, you should know this series has been teased over in Batman for weeks.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
A furry beast!
First and foremost, Orlando writes a script here that allows anyone to pick it up and understand what is going on. Part 1 is not absolutely crucial to picking up this issue, which means the actual entertainment value is high. The story feels contained and doesn’t require additional issues to feel satisfying. This single issue offers up some great monster vs. Bat crew action, gives Nightwing solid detective work, offers up not one but two new Bat techs, and generally delivers a good time.
The good time is in large part due to the solid pacing that never feels boring; it doesn’t drag its feet nor decompress things, which makes it feel like a great bang for your buck. Orlando gives Nightwing enough to make it feel like his own book, but also checks in with the other Bat characters well enough to understand what everyone is facing. On top of all that, the larger story progresses well and doesn’t do the usual thing of dragging things out. Instead you’ll finish this issue feeling like a lot has happened, which will make you want to read the next issue to see what could happen next.
Artist Roge Antonio does a good job too, with plenty of gritty panels and good use of shadows to give this obviously horror tilted tale extra creepiness. One of the monsters in this issue is positively freakish too sending off some The Thing vibes like a mother. Batman looks all kinds of heroic in every panel he’s in too, from turning a corner with a flair looking like a boss, to jumping off a roof all Spider-Man like. All in all, Antonio makes all the action very visible and clear, which is saying something when dealing with 6 foot tall heroes fighting against skyscraper sized monsters.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As an event book it does spread things thinner than most single hero comic books as it jumps around a lot. I think Orlando pulls it off, but it’s certainly lighter on character development.
Bats, you are awesome!
Is It Good?
This is a boisterous action packed issue you should not miss. The story progresses nicely and with good pacing balances everything out.