It has been one year since the mysterious Batman first appeared
to protect the people of Gotham. In that time, he has waged
war on the common criminals and members of organised crime
who have plagued his city. But the brutal massacre of some
of the city's most notorious gangsters reveals that a far
more dangerous threat is emerging, one for which the young
Bruce Wayne is woefully unprepared - genetically engineered,
horribly mutated men who have developed a taste for human
and the Monster
may not be the most original of titles but, at its heart,
it's a good old fashioned Batman tale with the added spin
off a bit of a love interest (shock, horror) thrown into the
Strange is on the brink of creating something which he thinks
will benefit mankind. Of course, like all mad scientists,
his perfect vision will result in the death of the human race
as we know it. Out will go imperfections, in will come an
endless sea of cloned bodies of perfection. But how far will
he go in his quest to create the perfect man? When his creations
get a taste for human blood will he actively kill innocent
humans to keep them alive?
is almost something naive and innocent about this collection
- as though Matt Wagner had never read a Batman story
in his life - instead half hearing snippets of tales from
his friends - and then went away and reinvented the character.
This works wonderfully and really helps to almost reinvent
the Batman universe.
also loved the homage to Frank Miller's classic The
Dark Knight Returns
- the broadcast interview copies the style and feel of Miller's
work by cleverly using a bank of TV screens to reproduce a
similar style to Miller's panels.
is also the odd spot of humour. The most notable inclusion
is Alfred's leg pulling about the design of the new batmobile,
but I also loved the fact that it is pointed out to Strange
that he is really conducting his experiments because he is
trying to make up for his own lack of perfection.
Batman stories go - and I never thought I'd say this
- Batman and the Monster Men is one of the most original
Batman tales I've read in a long time. Just ignore
the silly title.
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