Art by: Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia and Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Batman has been one of my favorite Rebirth titles and while I was excited about the Night of the
Monster Men crossover when it was announced, now that it's here, I kind of wish we could just continue with our regularly scheduled programing. I guess I can't really complain as this is the first crossover since Rebirth started, but since when do I need a reason to bitch and moan?!? I promise I won't let any of that taint my overall score, but I wanted to let you know where I stood going in. So, does Steve Orlando and company have what it takes to wow regular readers and start this crossover with a bang? Let's find out...
The issue opens with an ominous scene from the Tolliver Memorial Morgue where we see some stiffs on slabs while we get narration from some talking head. A storm is a brewing and it's going to be a "wild night".
We then head off to the rooftops and find Batman, Batwoman and Nightwing discussing the storm and while I agree with Nightwing when he tells Batman he can't fight nature, Batman isn't listening. This whole scene is thrown off by Batman forcing Tim Drake into the conversation anyway he can. It is a bit too much for my tastes, but I'm sure others will disagree with me.
The issue continues by showing us that Hugo Strange is a fan of the Naked Warrior workout and that it's time to activate his plan. The plan seems to involve bringing the dead back to "life" in a hideous, grotesque way. It looks great and it's easy to see why Riley Rossmo got the call on art.
We then get the Detective Comics team gathering and after Batman gives them their orders, we see just how awesome Clayface is right before all hell breaks loose. A crazy, giant, undead Baby Monster has hit the streets and people are running from it as if Godzilla had entered Gotham. Actually, I'd rather face Godzilla than this thing.
After Batman forces Tim into the conversation again for good measure, the fight is on. He attacks the Baby Monster in the Bat Jet and the thing goes all King Kong on it forcing Batman to eject like a badass with a Steel made jetpack and continue the fight. I know that Steve Orlando is trying to make Batman come off as cool under pressure, but the dialogue is a bit off here.
When the Baby Monster is finally taken down, Batman sends DNA to the Cave and the results tie into a scene the every Batman Rebirth reader will recognize. It also ties into Hugo Strange and while Batman and company begin to try to figure things out, the Night of the Monster Men gets ramped up even more.
As far as beginnings go, this issue was alright. There wasn't a whole lot to bite down on here and I was not a real fan of how Steve Orlando wrote Batman. I do like seeing the Detective Gang and Nightwing involved (it makes sense considering what books are involved), but it all comes off as more silly than scary. However, this is a setup issue and there is still plenty of time to make things better, but right now I am lukewarm with this story at best..
Riley Rossmo draws grotesque so well and it's obvious that's why he is involved here. I have a feeling that some will be thrown off by his character work, but I liked it. I really liked his Batwoman and can't wait to see more of his art in the crossover.
Bits and Pieces:
The Night of the Monster Men is upon us, but all I can muster up is a lukewarm response. Steve Orlando sets up his story here and while there isn't anything "wrong" with it, I find myself not really caring either way. I did like Riley Rossmo's art. but if things don't heat up quick, I will likely check out until the regular run is back underway.