It’s part four of the Night of the Monster Men in Batman #8. Batman is still reeling from Tim Drake’s “death,” and a whole bunch of monsters are destroying downtown Gotham. Also, it’s raining and Hugo Strange is doing bicep curls. Is anything going the Bat-Family’s way?
Batman #8 (DC Comics)
This, is a well planned and fun crossover. I’ve been reading the main Batman book, but not as much Detective Comics or Nightwing and this event is making me want to pick Detective up post haste, 100% for the Bat-family interactions. The scenes of precise orders and answers flow very well. One small point of annoyance – it seems all the Bat people ever do is disobey Batman because they “can help” or “You need me,” which really gets old after the first time Batman says no. Guys, he’s a tactical genius billionaire. You are awesome, I’m sure, but if he needs you in the Batcave figuring something out to save more people down the road, STOP COMPLAINING AND JUST DO IT. HE CAN BEAT UP SUPERMAN. YOU ARE A TEENAGER. STOP YOUR BULLSHIT.
Back to the plot, the monsters are still destroying chunks of the city, Batman is trying to take them out by his lonesome (due to his ongoing guilt over Tim Drake) and Batwoman is trying to chisel through his thick skull to get the team working on all cylinders. Batwoman is an interesting character I’ve not been too familiar with, because I can only assume that women with magenta hair aren’t all that common, and the first photo of her would immediately out her secret identity, but hey, suspension of disbelief, fine. Batwoman’s military upbringing serves her and the plot well in this issue, and her ability to distance her underlying mental state is a far cry from Batman, who keeps trying to put himself in danger to save the team.
The second billing star of this issue? Basil Karlo, ie – Clayface – a favorite of mine since the Feat of Clay episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, and I’ll not spoil the plot point here, but holy hell does he show up in a key scene.
Is It Good?
Yes. Quite good in fact. The various battling personas of the Bat-family make for a good dynamic, Clayface is a powerhouse add to the team that shows up in the best scenes, and holy hell do I love the artwork. See here:
For whatever reason, I love this Batman depiction – the blue and purple hues pop, and give Bats a softer feel, but at the same time, a more striking uniform.
I caught up with the entire crossover to review this, and as a fan of the old Matt Wagner Monster Men mini-series, this is a nice update for the Rebirth crowd.
The only negative is that while the multiple storylines are all converging nicely, there’s a few seemingly crammed in bits of intensity. Spoiler’s cave story feels tacked on, and used to make sure that every aspect of the family is in danger somehow.