Ricky Church reviews Batman #7…
“NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN” part 1! The first crossover of the “Rebirth” era is here! As a huge storm approaches, Batman, Batwoman, and Nightwing try and prepare Gotham City for the worst, but nothing can prepare them for enormous tall monsters rampaging through the streets! Batman will need all of his allies to unite in order to stop these mad science monsters from tearing their city apart!
One of the hallmarks of The New 52 was its many crossovers, particularly on the Batman title. Whenever there was a big event, such as ‘Night of the Owls’, ‘Death of the Family’ or ‘Zero Year’, Batman most often engulfed all the other Bat-related titles and even other titles on the rare occasion. ‘Night of the Monster Men’ marks the first crossover of DC Rebirth and, unlike The New 52, it will only be between Batman, Nightwing and Detective Comics. So how did the first issue fare?
‘Night of the Monster Men’ builds off recent events in Batman and Detective Comics and quickly recaps for anyone who has read one but not the other. While Hugo Strange’s his ultimate plan is still a mystery, its clear he has been building to this moment for a long time as writers Tom King and Steve Orlando places Batman, his team and Gotham City itself in a very dangerous situation as Strange puts his plan in motion in the middle of a torrential storm. It’s an interesting situation and both writers put a bit of a new twist on the Monster Men concept, imagining truly monstrous creations rather than the giant-sized men that gave appeared in other iterations of this concept.
After the events of Batman and Detective Comics, Batman is reeling from a couple tragedies and is determined not to see anyone else die. Though the other characters are dealing with their own grief, Batman’s arc seems to be at the centre of the story as he refuses to truly acknowledge the loss of Red Robin. ‘Monster Men’ will surely put his new mission to save everyone to the test. This may also seem like a crowded book, but follows Detective’s pattern where the rest of the team have clear roles rather than simply being there.
The art, for the most part, is well done. Riley Rosmo’s character designs are good and have good movements throughout the story, whether they are standing on a rooftop or fighting the giant monster, though there are one or two panels where Alfred looks like a withered old man. Ivan Plascencia’s colours fit the atmosphere of the book, giving it a grey and muted colour as the storm strengthens.
Rebirth’s first crossover has gotten off to a good start and seems ready to test Batman physically and mentally as he puts new stress on himself. The characterisations are spot on and the story is an intriguing one to place this group of heroes in. With the titles shipping bi-weekly as well, this should prove to be a fast-paced and exciting story should the first part of ‘Night of the Monster Men’ be any indication.