With Detective Comics #941—written by Steve Orlando with story help from James Tynion IV—the Bat line (including Detective, Batman, and Nightwing) reached the third installment of the crossover event ‘Night of the Monster Men’. Batman, Batwoman, Nightwing, Spoiler, Gotham Girl, Clayface, Orphan, Duke and Alfred are pitting their collective brains and brawn together to stop a series of giant Kaiju-like mutated humans unleashed on Gotham by Hugo Strange. There’s also a hurricane flooding Gotham and some kind of weird substance that makes people go crazy if it touches their skin. There’s a lot going on, and all three issues of the event so far have been packed with action on almost every page.
Which is cool, except for the fact that this event is completely unnecessary.
There’s been some pretty significant stuff going on in the Bat comics of late. In Detective Comics, Tim Drake just “died”. In Batman, Batman needs to go to Bane’s island fortress to capture the Psycho Pirate and use him to cure the traumatized Gotham Girl. In Nightwing, Nightwing’s been taking on the Parliament of Owls. There were numerous significant narrative threads set up in all three of these books, but instead of continuing to tell those stories the books have taken a massive digression into this ‘Monster Men’ story.
Don’t get me wrong, I like watching Batman fight Kaiju on a motorcycle as much as the next guy, but there are simply more interesting things that these books could be doing, and have been doing.
If there were nothing else going on in these books, I would probably be this arcs biggest fan. But it came at a time when it just feels like an editorially mandated interruption of the stories Tom King, Tim Seeley, and James Tynion IV were telling in their books. There are three issues left of ‘Night of the Monster Men’, and as fun as it is, I can’t wait for it to be over.