Book Review - Batman: Night of the Monster Men

Batman: Night of the Monster Men (Rebirth)Batman: Night of the Monster Men by Steve Orlando
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I got this off Netgalley and... I don't even know where to start. This was atrocious in every way. Poor story (what story?), abysmal writing and uninspired art; this comic is the reason why most comic book readers are victims of condescension. I would blame no one for laughing at the mediocrity on display in the 150-odd pages here.

It starts out in a morgue with a hint of suspicious activity going on, before we are treated to an overly verbose argument between Batman, Nightwing and Batwoman where we read, over and over and over, that Tim (Red Robin) has died. He was also the greatest and could science the **** out of everything. These points are mentioned several times, not because these guys can't quite get over the death and his greatness, but because every bad decision/command must be preceded by the reminder that this is why said bad choice is being made.

There are a lot of extraneous characters with idiotic codenames running about. Spoiler, Orphan, Duke (that may be his real name, actually) and Clayface bring up the rear. Oh, and there's Gotham Girl, who remains as ineffectual as the only other time I met her - in the equally atrocious Batman, Volume 1: I Am Gotham. The writers should rename her Useless Girl because it's evident they don't care for this character unless she's a gibbering mess making a hash of things.

Also, Duke, the only person of colour of note in the entire comic, spends his entire time pretending to science in the Batcave. He and Alfred, neither of whom appear to have any real scientific knowledge, are tasked with figuring out what is creating the monsters currently rampaging in Gotham. Fantastic, how logical. Let's forget there are actual scientists out there who could speed up the thinking process and leave it with these two bozos. Duke's other task during the comic is to argue back and forth with Bats about leaving the Cave and helping in the field, and being shot down in no uncertain terms. Happens in virtually every chapter/issue of this comic. Makes for really fun reading. #NOT

Batwoman, despite have a handful of cool moments, is wasted. She seems to spend most of her time hollering for people on comms. She's not on page much either.

The book had me so riled I pretty much had snarky annotations for every page. Which is unfortunate, because I'm the first person to want to champion comics, only to be faced with this utter trollop.

There are several cliched plot twists that make you want to roll your eyes so hard. In the beginning Commissioner Gordon, in no uncertain terms, mentions that the police can't be seen working with costumed vigilantes as they're classified as fugitives, but soon after the cops are taking orders from the kid vigilantes.

Then, at one point, two of our protagonists are turned into monsters (but, of course), and are quickly saved in the next issue. But when there is a remaining monster, no more of the cure appears to be available to stop it.

We also have a prolonged scene where a character is in free-fall, but has the time and wherewithal to come up with a cogent plan of action for the team to stop her fall. She also relates said plan and answers their queries - all while falling to her imminent death!

Additionally, Bats is shown as some kind of super-Batman, because we see him being able to breathe, threaten and give orders in a room that has essentially been blocked off from air. Yup - dude can now survive in a vacuum.

I haven't mentioned the art - it was confusing, to say the least. Couldn't figure out most of it, which made understanding the action even harder. And the monster men - ugh, honestly, it was kind of gross. I'm sorry I picked up this book at all.

The writing was the lowest of the low. I don't know why Tom King decided to remain attached to this atrocity, because this is bad to the power of infinity. Soon after the monsters are unleashed, Nightwing comes across a clue identifying the villain behind it all. Batman takes up an entire panel describing the person before revealing his name. This is even worse than '70s action films.

Even the cries of panicked citizens is written poorly, and that's saying something. I can't believe DC thought it was okay to publish this nonsense. It is just the worst.

It astounds me that DC is so behind in terms of diversity. You'll be hard-put to find any people or colour. I'm not saying Marvel is the best, but they're trying (irrespective of what stupid VP's of the company say).

Honestly, this comic should have been called 'Batman: Night of Not Following Orders', as that's pretty much what happens throughout. No one listens to Batman, everyone disobeys him at least once - so what's the point of him at all.

This comic was such a joke, I feel like it's pretty representative of how most of the Rebirth series is going. -5 stars if that was an option.

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