Thursday, May 22, 2014

Batman and Frankenstein #31 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Doug Mahnke
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: May 21, 2014

Dead Alive

The last time Batman visited Frankenstein he left him in stitches.  No, it wasn't the funny dinner conversation, but the fact that he literally cut Frankenstein into pieces.  Way back when, Batman was desperate to bring Damian back from the dead and thought Frank's body held the key.  You know that awkward moment when you run into a person you know is pissed off at you?  This month, Batman does.

Batman and Titus have tracked Ra's to the city of Nanda Parbat. Before they can enter, Frankenstein shows up.  Awkward.  He is angry and lets his mouth and fists do the talking. After a brief one-sided fight, Batman apologizes and Frank lets bygones be bygones.

One of the reasons I have been down on the Batman and (insert guest star here) book is the nagging feeling that the guests are there more for story telling convenience than anything else.  That doesn't change this month.  Frankenstein seems to arrive just in time to tell  Batman (and the reader) what happened to Nanda Parbat in Justice League Dark.  Granted, I don't read JLD so I needed to know, but it still felt forced.  Then something happened.  Batman and Frankenstein started talking and it was good.  Real good.  Good enough for me to wish they would stay a team.

While Batman and Frankenstein make like Riggs and Murtaugh (with both being too old for this), Ra's is indeed in Nanda Parbat and he's up to no good.  He's lowering Damian and Talia's coffins into a well that may or may not be a Lazarus Pit.  Don't blink though because it happens quickly.

Back to our heroes, they are suddenly attacked by a tribe of Wampas and while Frankenstein shoots first and shoots later, Batman keeps his head about him.  He's a detective by trade and notices the snow creatures have defensive wounds.  He puts down his weapons and orders Frank to do the same. They all become buddies and the Wampas lead the two into the city.  The cliffhanger tells us two things.  They are a bit too late to the Al Ghul party and Frankenstein will be back next month.  I'm fine with both.

I'm also fine with guest artist Doug Mahnke.  He makes this book look so good and while I'm okay with regular artist Patrick Gleason, Mahnke makes it feel fresh.  The highlight for me is the last panel.  Batman and Frankenstein look great together.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman and Frankenstein does nothing to change my mind about the need for this book.  It feels too convenient at it's best and straight up forced at it's worst.  However, Batman and Frankenstein's interaction is so good that I want more of the two together.  Luckily, it looks like it will continue next month.  I hope Doug Mahnke is back as well because he made this book look so great.


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