Thursday, 6 April 2017

Batman: Night of the Monster Men Review (Tom King, Steve Orlando)


For me, DC’s Rebirth has been a disappointing parade of astonishingly low-quality comics - except for Tom King’s Batman which was surprisingly decent. So I was actually looking forward to Night of the Monster Men, the first Rebirth crossover book, thinking King was writing it. And then I saw the credits page: “Plotted by Tom King/Tim Seeley/James Tynion IV - Script by Steve Orlando” and my heart sank. Steve fucking Orlando.

You know what Orlando’s Midnighter book was? “I’m a gay superhero!” - and that’s it. You know what Orlando’s indie book Virgil was? “I’m a gay action hero!” - and that’s it. I get it dude, you’re a gay writer who wants to write gay comics, and I’m all for that but can you at least make them readable? His Monster Men isn’t “We’re Monster Men and we’re FAAAABULOUUUSSSS!” (although that probably would’ve been an improvement) but it is mega-mega-boring.

Dr Hugo Strange (who’s suddenly jacked for no reason) decides to make Godzilla-sized monsters to rampage across Gotham. Why? Stupid reasons. Ugh. Batman and the Bat-family fight them. Guess who wins? Ugh again. What a fucking useless book!

The story is so immensely dull because it’s static for a lot of the book. Batman rides around on his Batcycle most of the time, Clayface is directing people around Gotham (I still don’t buy why he’s suddenly a good guy either), Spoiler and Orphan are hanging out in a cave. Something happens to Nightwing and Gotham Girl (see Tom King’s first Batman book for her backstory) but it gets resolved predictably and easily. There’s no excitement or tension or anything in this crappy wafer-thin “story”!

And it shouldn’t be this way! Batman! Bat-Family! Mad scientist! GIANT FUCKING MONSTERS! How is it this boring? I take it back, Steve Orlando is talented - talented at sucking out anything remotely interesting from a narrative! 

Night of the Monster Men is a completely pointless, unentertaining and irrelevant book full of dull action and a meaningless, unmemorable pseudo-story. Whether or not you’re reading Batman, Detective Comics or Nightwing, you can easily ignore this one - and I recommend you do - without it affecting those titles. It’s the Rebirth standard: unreadable comics! Steve Orlando joins Dan Jurgens and Scott Lobdell as the worst writers DC have at the moment.

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