The first crossover of the Rebirth era has arrived! Night of The Monster Men kicks off in Batman #7. A hurricane is on target to destroy Gotham. Batman calls on Batwoman, Nightwing, Spoiler, Orphan, and Clayface to help him avert disaster and ensure that no Gothamites fall victim to the approaching storm. The forces of nature aren’t the only adversaries the Bat family will find themselves up against. As the storm grows near, Doctor Hugo Strange is ready to unleash his army of daikaju on the citizens of Gotham.
Since Tom King took over the flagship Batman series in Rebirth, we’ve been seeing a lot more of Batman’s leadership abilities, mentoring and guiding his team. This welcome theme continues into Batman #7, even though King has taken a back seat to Steve Orlando in this installment. Having Orlando write all of the Monster Men crossover scripts while consulting with the regular writers of the individual titles should lend a nice level of continuity to the crossover itself, but the writing here is noticeably different than King’s solo efforts in the series thus far.
Riley Rossmo’s artwork has a gritty, throwback quality to it. I probably could have gone my entire life without seeing Hugo Strange’s hairy backside, but the Monster Men themselves are exactly what they should be, monstrous abominations. Colorist Ivan Plascencia brings a muted palette offset by flashes of bright color that sets the table brilliantly for the oncoming storm(s).
This first chapter of Night of the Monster Men nicely sets up the second installment, found in Nightwing #5, also released September 21, 2016. Part three can be found in Detective Comics #941, releasing September 28, 2016. Parts four through six will conclude the storyline in Batman #8, Nightwing #6, and Detective Comics #942, all releasing next month.
Batman #7, DC Comics, released September 21, 2016, Rated T, plot by Steve Orlando and Tom King, script by Steve Orlando, pencils and inks by Riley Rossmo, colors by Ivan Plascencia, letters by Deron Bennett, cover by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn, variant cover by Tim Sale.
Review by Brendan Allen