Writer: Steve Orlando/James Tynion IV
Artist: Andy MacDonald
Release Date: 28th September, 2016
Night of the Monster Men hits part 3 with this issue of ‘tec and I have to say, it’s a welcome distraction from the emotion-heavy previous arc.
Gotham is in disarray, and Batman’s team is spread thin between the streets, Blackgate and the underground. What Orlando and Tynion manage to do though is pace the issue in such a way that you can’t wait to find out what’s happening in other parts of the city, while simultaneously managing to not make things seem rushed. Sometimes crossovers can struggle with pacing when they’re structured like this, but as we hit part three, it’s safe to say that the tempo is set just right.
Tone wise, the 80’s B-Movie feel is strong with this one still, and at no point is it a bad thing. There are multi headed monsters, there’s an airborne virus making people violent, and there’s… well… whatever you want to call it happening at Blackgate. However, even with all these wild events taking place in the same story, at no point does it feel like they’re overdoing it with the tropes (except possibly with the “EVEN MORE HEADS”), and it all just feels like heaps of fun. Oh, and a “Bat-Bike” with sharp, Batwing-like protrusions? Give whoever thought of that a raise!
The character of Gotham Girl is still somewhat of an Enigma to me. She’s undoubtedly being written very well here, and you can sense the character’s turmoil. Plus, she’s a wildcard, and provides an intriguing unknown factor. “That” scene is also amazingly put together. However, I’m still finding it difficult to actually care about the character. For me, it’s too soon for her to be thrown into a big event, with almost no depth given to her character beforehand.
If Andy MacDonald hasn’t worked on a Mignola book yet, he simply has to after this. His monster design is amazing, with lots of dark tones, jagged edges, and the redesigns he delivers on the last page genuinely made me smile. Oddly, while I’ve been quite negative about GG so far, MacDonald’s work on her and Nightwing’s part of the story might actually be my favourite of the issue.
All in all, as crossovers go, it’s still one for ‘tec fans that aren’t invested in buying the other issues. It progresses the overall arc nicely with only a few niggles, and provides a fun, lively read. DC haven’t dropped the ball yet with their flagship title, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to any time soon.