Comic Review: Detective Comics #942 (DC Comics)

“Focus them, Empower them, Make them their very best and Protect our city.” As revealed in Nightwing issue 6 “Night of the Monster Men” part 5, Hugo Strange’s whole monster […]

“Focus them, Empower them, Make them their very best and Protect our city.”

As revealed in Nightwing issue 6 “Night of the Monster Men” part 5, Hugo Strange’s whole monster attack on Gotham City, were all based on his psychologically unstable obsession of Batman.  The caped crusader will finally square off with Strange face to face and stop his evil scheme once and for all… or will he?

All will be revealed in Detective Comics #942 “Night of the Monster Men part 6”! Comes to a close with Batwoman, Nightwing, Orphan (Cassie Cain), and Spoiler proceeds to take on the last giant monster while Batman closes in on Stranges location. While the Bat Family are holding off the fifth and final monster, Nightwing has an epiphany about Strange and his obsession with Batman, that correlates into an interesting conversation between Batman and Hugo Strange. When the two opposing forces meet, Strange sets up a trap suggesting that If Batman physically hits or even lays a finger on Strange, the complex that they are confident in would explode and topple them. This confrontation is a matter of wits instead of brawn strength and testosterone.

Does Batman and the family find a way to end the monstrosities that plague the city of Gotham? And is how will Strange be defeated? There are some pretty good lines in this book, mostly stemming from Nightwing. One of my favorite lines is :

“..Strange got it wrong. He read the book, but he didn’t understand. All the Monstrous Faults he saw in Batman,They’re not faults. They’re Fuel.”

What a way to sum up Batman with a sentence such as that. At first, I remember stating back in my review of Batman #6 a few weeks back that I wasn’t so big on the whole tie-in stuff or this specific storyline Idea. But I have to admit that I was proud to be proven wrong since this storyline and the optional tie-in material ( Nightwing issue 5 and 6) actually helped strengthen the narrative. You don’t necessarily have to read those tie-ins, but when you actually read the event in this order : Batman #7, Nightwing #5, Detective Comics #941, Batman #8 Nightwing #6 and the current and final chapter r, It’s actually somewhat rewarding. It’s rare to find a cool mini event that is actually fun, surprisingly engaging and not a waste of time. In recent years tie-ins to events large and small haven’t been really good, or well thought out or planned out, but the team on this book really kept it tight knit, which helped to keep the story and narrative together and constant. I loved how the Bat Family worked together throughout the Monster Men story arc, and the team dynamic is something I’d hope to continue to see more often (especially in Tynion IV’s current Detective Comics book).

The writing by Steve Orlando and James Tynion IV have been exceedingly fun in execution and conclusion. I wasn’t originally looking forward to this event, but the more I started to read it, the more fun it became. It’s very different from what has been done before with Batman in terms of recent years, but it’s very reminiscent to what the Bat Family used to be like back in the late 90’s with stories like Cataclysm. Every character had their moment to shine in this arc which should be no surprise since they were a solid team when it came to their work on Batman & Robin: Eternal ( which was vastly superior to its predecessor Batman:Eternal). The conclusion to this story is satisfying enough that you don’t need a huge one on one bout between our main protagonist and main antagonist. Even that confrontation on its own was surprisingly entertaining and may leave readers satisfied. Hopefully, readers will get to see Strange become more prominent as a villain after this arc because he was surprisingly utilized in a good way since he is rarely used in stories these days. 

Andy Mcdonald (Illustrator) , John Rauch ( Colorist) and Marilyn Patrizio (Letterer) all did a commendable job in providing an energetic and fun aesthetic to the book , especially with this specific storyline. There is a cool moment on page 5 where the Bat Family enter their own respective Wayne Towers and sorta have a Power Rangers moment which I thought was Awesome and very subtle in execution. Hell, even Page 7, when we see the reveal of Strange, sitting in his own makeshift throne, is friggin awesome and clever to boot. Nonetheless, everything in terms of tie-in events will wind down for a bit, but the plot threads of Psycho Pirate , Amanda Waller and Bane’s connection to current events will continue in Batman #9 and Detective Comics #943.  I enjoyed this conclusion to the Monster Men arc, and I suggest getting Detective Comics #942 on your to-read list. But If you’re not into the whole batman fighting kaijus then I don’t know what to tell ya! But if you like Kaiju-like monsters and Batman, then this will be up your alley.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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