Friday, 19 September 2014

Batman: Monsters Review (James Robinson, Warren Ellis)


Batman: Monsters collects 1990s Legends of the Dark Knight comics that have a weak “creature” link between them. The Legends of the Dark Knight series supposedly focused on Batman’s early years when he started out, but you couldn’t tell with the generic, throwaway Batman stories in this volume.

The first, by James Robinson, sees Batman visiting London to fight “werewolves”. Robinson was never the best Batman writer and having a stereotypical foggy London and blandly “monstrous” werewolves in the background doesn't make it a compelling read. It was mostly sluggish and boring.

The second story, Infected, is written by Warren Ellis with John McCrea art. It follows two genetically engineered soldiers who have broken free of their restraints and begun a rampage in Gotham, believing a war is on. This is actually the best Batman story of the three but considering the poor quality of this collection, that’s not saying much!

Alan Grant writes the final story which is about Batman's first encounter with Clayface and the villain’s origin story. It's very simplistic with some really contrived scenes that felt a lot like the Schumacher Batman films of this time; a disappointing story from a usually decent writer.

Given the talent involved, you’d expect far better than the really poor quality Batman stories you get here. Instead, try Grant Morrison or Scott Snyder’s books to see Batman written right, or check out the recently re-launched Legends of the Dark Knight series that’s actually pretty decent.

Batman: Monsters

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