It’s definitely a bad sign when I’m headed into a Wednesday, a day that should make any comic fan as jubilant as a pig in its own filth, but instead I’m morose because I know I’m going to have to review another chapter of Monster Men….
Batman #8 and Nightwing #6 both came out today, and instead of reading Batman and then writing my review before heading on to Nightwing, I read them both back to back. For you guys, that’s going to be great because if you don’t like this you still have Nightwing’s story to look forward to. But for me, I now have to talk about Batman #8 when I’d much rather just get on to ‘Tec 942, or at least talk about Nightwing #6 which was marginally better than this. (Jay, you lucky dog you.)
Before I move on to the review proper, I just wanted to take a moment to discuss something that a frequent commenter made me realize. In and of itself, “Night of the Monster Men” hasn’t been all that riveting, but I now realize that there is something far more pertinent that is coloring my opinion of it. It’s currently “getting in the way of three more interesting upcoming arcs”. ABSOLUTELY! Nightwing currently has this great story going on with a new character called Raptor and James Tynion IV just dropped an earth-shattering story in ‘Tec 940. “NotMM” high-jacking these two titles just put an unwanted and abrasive pause into two very engaging stories right at the exact moment that I was dying to know more/continue on. In the case of Batman, I realize “NotMM’ directly leads into King’s next arc. But I’m much more interested in seeing The Suicide Squad and Bane than I am all these monsters. Ok. On to part 4 of “NotMM”.
So, the story in a nutshell: Batman vs a five-headed monster. Batman vs mutated Gotham Girl. Spoiler and Cassandra Cain vs slime mold. Batwoman vs mutated Nightwing. So, we are right back to my original complaint from Batman #7. This story is nothing but action, action, and more action. Flash and bang. Shock and awe. Fireworks in the middle of a laser light show. If it were a movie it would be a mindless Michael Bay CGI-athon explodorama. With all this action, you’d think I’d be on the edge of my seat. But I’m just utterly bored. There is simply no story to speak of other than fighting to destroy the immediate obstacle. Aside from all the meaningless action, there are also plenty of other gripe worthy moments. I don’t usually do this, but to make things quicker and easier, I’m just going to bullet point my quandaries along with the few redeeming features.
- Duke tells Batman he can’t fight the monster because it’s the size of a building, so he’s going to suit up. If Batman can’t defeat it, exactly what did Duke think he was going to do? Keep in mind, this is before Duke and Alfred synthesize a cure.
- Duke being concerned about Batman swinging a hundred feet up. Batman is always swinging around 100 feet up. Even when he isn’t fighting, it’s kind of how he gets around. And maybe the cycle doesn’t fly but Batman can always glide or use a Bat-line to get out of danger.
- Batwoman launches herself at Batman and catches him in mid air. What for? They both open their capes and glide down separately anyway. I could see it being necessary if he had struck his head on the bike when the monster flung him and he was temporarily stunned or something, but that didn’t happen. Nothing was stopping him from just opening his cape or using a grapple all on his own. Batwoman catching him was superfluous.
- I was very happy to see that Gotham Girl and Nightwing were not 40ft tall monsters. The cliffhanger from ‘Tec 941 made it difficult to tell what scale they were in.
- The whole time Batman is fighting the five-headed monster, Duke is questioning and second guessing ever move that Batman makes. It’s really annoying. It’s like, he is Batman. How about you shut up and let him do his thing. He doesn’t need constant commentary from the peanut gallery.
- Batman stands there like a total boss with his back to the monster as it fries. Awesome.
- Batman once again has to tell Duke to stay in the cave, and Duke straight up tells Batman that it’s not his call to make. Seriously? Why is Batman training this kid again? His backtalk alone should be enough to get him fired. Generally speaking, Duke really rubbed me the wrong way this issue. At times I am fine with him, but here, I found him completely irritating.
- Batman pours his heart out to Gotham Girl. In and of itself, it is completely fine. But in a comic where every other single moment is bombastic and over the top, it felt really jarring to have this quiet moment in a sea of utter insanity.
- Clayface forms a combat suit around Batman. My knee-jerk reaction was: “COOL!” But then I thought about it. Why didn’t Clayface just envelope Gotham Girl instead of Batman and suffocate her till she blacked out? Oh wait. That’s right. Cause it wouldn’t be nearly as cool as a mech-suit made of mud.
- part 1 Batman #7 9-21
- part 2 Nightwing #5 9-21
- part 3 Detective Comics #941 9-28
- part 4 Batman #8 10-5
- part 5 Nightwing #6 10-5
- part 6 Detective Comics #942 10-12
- You like action…and I sure hope you do cause you’re not getting much more than that.
Night of the Monster Men part 4 boils down to nothing more than an action story with little to no substance. But don’t worry. Part 5, that takes place in Nightwing #6, also came out today and it’s definitely more enjoyable. Even if only slightly so. But hey. Chin up. Next week is the last part and then we can get on to “Rise of Raptor”, “The Victim Syndicate”, and “I am Suicide”. Looks like we have some killer stories coming up! And that’s good, because I need something to help me forget about this silly arc.
SCORE: 5 / 10