Writer Tom King proved he knows his way around Gotham's Caped Crusader with his "I am Gotham" story arc.
Now, in issue #7, King gets to try his hand at leading the charge when it comes to Rebirth Batman's first crossover event. How does the first issue of "Night of the Monster Men" hold up? Read on for more.
Spoilers for Batman #7 below!
So far, it's exactly what the name implies. While some readers may have assumed "Night of the Monster Men" to mean that Batman might be facing off against some of his more monstrous villains like Killer Croc, Man Bat or Solomon Grundy, it turns out that the title "Monster Men" is far more literal.
Batman and his team are literally fighting giant monsters. The first "monster man" Batman faces off against is a massive (and grotesque) mutation of Robert Castro, the man who committed suicide in Commissioner Gordon's office back in issue #2. At the end of the issue, what can only be described as a "kaiju" emerges from the city's harbor with a roar.
Despite how awesome it sounds for Batman to be fighting giant sea monsters, it all feels a little too straightforward. For example, Batman already knows Hugo Strange is somehow behind the plot, though he doesn't know exactly how Strange is transforming people into ravenous beasts. Batman takes out the first creature, rather easily using a self-destructing glider, something that seems to be his go-to method for dealing with foes far stronger than him.
If nothing else, it is nice to see some crossover between this issue and the dramatic events of Detective Comics #940. That issue saw Red Robin heroically sacrifice himself against an army of drones, and it's an event that definitely factors into how Batman addresses handling Gotham's current flood/giant monster situation. He's adamant that no more lives will be lost, and if somebody is going to sacrifice himself for the rest of the city, it's going to be him.
Overall, it's a solid, if basic, setup for an event that continues in Nightwing #5. Here's hoping that the storyline manages to evolve somewhat in future issues beyond its simple "Batman vs. monsters" premise. A quick side-note about Hugo Strange; this issue also reveals that he enjoys working out in the nude. The more you know, I guess?