Following the death of Tim “Red Robin” Drake—in Detective Comics, vol. 1: Rise of the Batmen—Batman is more protective of his followers than ever. Unfortunately, as much as he would like to shoulder the burden of protecting Gotham City himself, he cannot. Particularly with a hurricane bearing down on the city that promises to be the worst natural disaster in the city’s history.

Unbeknownst to Batman, Gotham City is also about to experience the greatest unnatural disaster in its history.

Dr. Hugo Strangea mad psychologist and scientist with a Batman obsession and no scrupleshas devised a method of animating the dead and enlarging them. At the height of the hurricane’s approach, he released four of his creations on a helpless Gotham City. With the city’s buildings being buffeted by the storm and the giants, Batman and his allies will find themselves tested as never before as they struggle to survive the Night of the Monster Men!

One wonders what prompted the creation of Batman: Night of The Monster Men. Was there a meeting at the Bat-Office at DC Comics where someone said, with a gleam in their eyes, “What would it be like if we threw Batman into the middle of a kaiju movie?” Was there mad cackling as the writers began throwing ideas at each other and talked about just how this might actually happen? This seems a logical guess and it is the only logical thing about this crossover between Batman, Detective Comics, and Nightwing.

Night Of The Monster Men is a profoundly stupid story. Despite this, it works within the context of its world. It is utterly nonsensical but it revels in that fact. The only thing more ridiculous than Dr. Hugo Strange’s plan in this book is the fact that Batman actually has plans in place for coping with giant monsters demolishing Gotham City.

Why? Because he’s Batman! He has plans for everything! It doesn’t reach the extreme of him having “Bat-Giant-Zombie-Repellant” in his utility belt or a giant bat-shaped robot but the action of the story is gloriously over the top. This is as it should be in a good kaiju story.

The artwork is competent but uneven. Such is frequently the state of crossovers where you have three artists, three colorists and three letterers working on one story. There’s no uniform appearance to the artwork which might not be a big problem were it not for the wildly contrasting aesthetics at play. Riley Rossmo, for instance, depicts everything in vivid, gritty detail and makes the entire story look like a horror movie. Roge Antonio, by contrast, uses a more exaggerated style, where every character not wearing a mask has big, bulging eyes.

Batman: Night Of The Monster Men is rated for audiences 12 and up by DC Comics. I consider this rating a fair one as there’s nothing inappropriate for teen audiences in this story. There’s no nudity or sexual content. There’s not even so much as a romantic scene or a kiss. Were it not for some truly horrific moments involving the monsters and the transformation sequences, I dare say this comic would be fitting for younger children who enjoy giant monsters demolishing cities.

Batman: Night of the Monster Men
by Steve Orlando, Tom King, Tim Seeley, and James Tynion IV
Art by Riley Rossmo, Roge Antonio, and Andy MacDonald
ISBN: 9781401274313
DC Comics, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: 12+

  • Matt

    | He/Him Librarian

    Reviewer

    A librarian with over 10 years experience in public and academic settings, Matthew Morrison has been blogging about comic books for nearly as long as they’ve had a word for it.  Over the past two decades, he has written regular columns, commentary, parodies and reviews for such websites and blogs as Fanzing, 411 Mania, Screen Rant and Comics Nexus.  He has served as an Expert in Residence for a seminar on Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults at the University of North Texas and has given several lectures on the history of comics, manga and cosplay culture at libraries and comic conventions around the country. In addition to his work for No Flying No Tights, he is the Contributing Editor of Kabooooom.com and maintains a personal blog at MyGeekyGeekyWays.com.

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