Art by: Andy McDonald, John Rauch and Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 28, 2016
The Night of the Monster Men story is well underway and I have been lukewarm with it up until now. The story hasn't been horrible, but it also hasn't really grabbed ahold of me either. It's just kind of happening and at the end of the day, I really just want my regular stories back. Well, I'll have to wait a bit longer as Monster Men hits Detective Comics this week to finish up the first phase of the story. What does Steve Orlando have in store for Batman and Company? Let's find out...
The issue opens with Batwoman busy fighting the crazy, giant monster we left her with in the last issue of Nightwing. Actually, "fighting" may not be the proper word for what's going on...she's riding a Nightwing motorcycle on a rooftop and reporting that the monster is one bad mother...
We then get a quick rundown of where everyone is at the moment...Steph is in the caves with the evacuees, Alfred and Duke are in the Batcave trying to figure stuff out, Clayface is still evacuating Gotham and Nightwing is headed to Blackgate where Gotham Girl already is. Now that we have laid that down, we head to see more of each individual.
First up is Stephanie, who is trying to keep order in the Alexander State Park caves. The evacuees are pretty fired up and it seems that the red ooze is making things worse for everyone. Things are even worse in Blackgate where monsters are eating faces and Gotham Girl is laying the smack down.
While this is going on, Clayface is holding strong in Gotham City (and being a damn good hero!) and Batman and Batwoman are fighting the big, giant (now multi-headed) monster. After Batwoman tells Batman to trust that Steph can hold her own, we see that she is right. In fact, Stephanie seems to have figured things out almost as quick as her dead boyfriend would have (too soon???).
That's not the case with Nightwing and Gotham Girl in Blackgate. Claire is blasting through anything creepy and it all leads to her coming face-to-face with the former prisoner, Oleg Barlinoff, who now resembles some sort of crazy spider monster. Just when it seems like everything is going to be okay, Gotham Girl rips Oleg apart at the seams and covers her and Nightwing with it's blood and guts...which really resembles the red ooze. Oh no!
The issue ends with chaos still the order of the day (or night) and two new monsters entering the arena. Unlike the others, however, these two are very personal to Team Batman and may be the biggest threat yet.
This issue is actually my favorite of the crossover so far. Sure, it's not perfect...far from it, but Steve Orlando raises the stakes and makes finding a cure for the Monster Men a lot more important. I liked that Orlando concentrated on the heroes and not just the gruesome monstrosities stomping through Gotham. They are still there. of course, but this issue was all about the characters.
I thought Andy McDonald did a good job on art in this issue. The story took a turn down gore street this week and McDonald was there to give us all the entrails and blood we could handle...maybe more! There wasn't really a standout page or panel, but everything looked gross and good.
Bits and Pieces:
Steve Orlando ups the stakes in this Night of the Monster Men crossover issue, but the thing I liked the most was his concentration on our heroes. A couple of the characters step it up big time here, but the book ends by showing us that things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better. I can't say that I am excited for this story as a whole just yet, but this issue might be the start of me getting there.