Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Man-Bat #4 Review

Better Living Through Fear

Written By: Dave Wielgosz
Art By: Sumit Kumar, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 4, 2021

Kirk Langstrom is dying but he doesn't plan to do it before he finally creates a cure for deafness, not only to allow his deaf sister to hear but to help all the people that he caused hearing loss to in the first issue. It's just too bad that the Scarecrow has other plans for Man-Bat in his final days. You see, in the first issue, Man-Bat caused a sonic cannon that the Scarecrow needed for his new mission in fear, to be damaged and now he needs the transformed scientist's help to fix it. It's just too bad that it's completely against his will. Let's jump into this issue and see what happens in the fear-induced fantasy world that Scarecrow has created, where the Langstroms are a happy couple, working together and loving one another once again. Let's check it out.

For this issue of Man-Bat, we see Kirk and Francine finish Scarecrow's sonic cannon while they're in their fear-induced fantasy land..... which doesn't really involve fear but while this is going on we have the consciousness of the Man-Bat trying to break his way through so that he can put a stop to this farce so that he can fly free and die as any Man-Bat should..... unfettered. Thankfully, on top of Man-Bat taking charge of wimpy-ass Kirk, we have Batman on the case and tracking down where Scarecrow would be and in turn, the Langstroms as well.  

It's weird though because while Kirk is in his Man-Bat form this entire time and we do have Man-Bat giving us narration about what he's going through as he's trying to break free of Kirk's consciousness, this issue doesn't really feel like it has as much to do with what we've been dealing with or even Man-Bat all that much. Hell, even Man-Bat's cure that he's been working on that for some reason feels like a cure to his damaged DNA instead of deafness in this issue, seems to get reduced to "Venom" so that we can have a monster Man-Bat cliffhanger that will have to take on Batman for the next issue, but this concept feels out of nowhere and doesn't feel like it fits the Man-Bat story that has been presented to us so far.

All in all, there's some nice stuff in this issue if you're into an outside perspective to Kirk and Francine's relationship by Man-Bat or an often unused concept for Scarecrow's fear induction, but the mind control and fantasy world aspect to this story feels less like something Scarecrow would do and more like a Man Hatter story and Scarecrow's involvement in this issue just kind of falls flat, while the story is kind of slow-moving since we just have our Langstrom couple working on rebuilding a sonic cannon. The art is great throughout but the story as weird as it's been this whole time kind of takes a bit of a dive here in my mind because it feels like it needs to do weird things out of nowhere that wasn't set up at all to move our story forward.

Bits and Pieces:

Man-Bat's story of curing the deaf..... or maybe himself at this point takes a bit of a weird step with this issue where things kind of happen for no reason, while the majority of it feels like it's desperately trying to find a direction to go throughout its pages. Ultimately it decides that a venom-ed-out Man-Bat is the way to go and I have no idea how we ended up there. The art is great but this story somehow made itself feel even more inconsequential than it did before.


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