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Batman #8 was released on October 5th, is the penultimate of the mini-cross over event, “Night of the Monster Men” which is spanning over 3 titles in the Batman Universe (Batman, Nightwing, and Detective Comics). Our Abel Loza takes a look at the newest installment of the Batman series.
Review: Batman #8
Batman #8 is the last issue of the “Night of Monster Men” story arc in the main Batman title, as the finale "Night of the Monster Men" will take place on Nightwing #6. which is a story that is building up to the inevitable clash between Batman and Bane and Dr. Strange. These mutants that Dr. Strange and Bane seem to have created will hopefully play a bigger part in the story than just on this arc. Overall this plays into a good transitional issue that builds up some momentum going forward.
To get caught up with the first 7 issues of the new Batman run, check out my last article which recaps the first 8 issues.
We join Batman, Batwoman and Duke (working logistics in the Bat-cave) trying to take down one of these mutated monsters in the middle of Gotham City. Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, Nightwing and Gotham Girl have been infected with said this virus that mutates people into monsters (Nightwing #5).
Duke finds out that the monster cells Dr. Strange infected the corpus are being amped up by super-steroids which have similar characteristics to Venom, the juice that makes Bane so powerful. In Batman #7 we found out that Doctor Strange had traded Psycho-Pirate to Bane for Venom.
After Batwoman saved Batman from falling to his death, they finally see the effects the monster cells have had on Nightwing and Gotham Girl. No faced with two different problems, Batwoman decides to fend off Nightwing and Gotham Girl while Batman continues to deal with the original
Once Batman disposes of the original monster threat, Clayface, helps cover Batman in a clay protective shield to help fight Gotham Girl.
In another part of the city, Spoiler and Orphan have successfully been able to remove the contagious algae from living people. This algae, very reminiscing to a symbiotic, runs off all the living people and forms into one giant monster who is ready to attach the city and people of Gotham.
Duke then appears from the sky, to the disapproval of Batman, with what might be the cure to turn Gotham Girl back to normal. He injects Claire with this cure, and it works.
The attention is then turned to Nightwing, as Batwoman continues to fight for her life.
Friction within the Bat-family, whether it’s internally gestated or externally provoked (the monster cells in this case), is always a good Batman trope to use when a plot needs thickening and the stakes need to be raised. King and Rossmo used this pretty effectively to bring tension within the Bat-Family and make Dr. Strange and Bane’s plan much more effective. I’m hoping, however, that this is only something that is used as a plot point and not something that will drag out to the end. A Batman/Bane or Batman/ Dr. Strange final confrontation is much more appealing to me, than a family fight. The mutated monster corpse, on the other hand, are a good tool to use, and one I hope is used until the end. I think this will be a way to bring back Gotham (the hero) back into the story.
Speaking of the monsters, the penciling of artist Riley Rossmo really brings out the monsters to life with these last two issues. One of my favourite series over the past 5 was Rossmo’s and James Tynion IV run on Constantine: The Hellblazer. Apart from the good story telling, what really made that run work for me was the fantastic visualization of the demon and ghosts by Rossmo. I think the same could be said for the way Rossmo draws his monsters in Batman.
Rossmo does a really good job drawing the occult and strange and the imagination used to draw some of these monsters is incredible unique. I really love when they mix Batman with the strange and the weird (i.e. Batman: Red Rain).So for now, I like the direction this issue seems to be setting up the rest of the story. King seems to be making both Dr. Strange and Bane a co-main event for Batman and I am excited for that possibility. I'm also really excited to see what sort of direction the rest of the new bat-family takes on side missions: Clayface, Duke, Gotham Girl, Orphan and Spoiler. Also keep the monsters.
Those are always cool.
What did you think of Batman #8?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Abel Loza is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @st_abel45
Source: DC Comics
Batman #8 helps transition the previous story to the next upcoming arc. This issue raises more questions than answers, but it does help build up momentum towards the new story line, "I am Suicide".