"Batman #7" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by DC Comics
Written by Steve Orlando and Tom King
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
2016, 32 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on September 21st, 2016
First off, let's get this out of the way. Yes, I'm reviewing a Batman comic for HorrorTalk. Traditionally, I don't cover super heroes here as they rarely have anything to do with horror aside from the odd Halloween variant cover or zombie story told out-of-continuity. This particular issue of Batman kicks off the first crossover of the DC Rebirth era and it's called “Night of the Monster Men.” The Caped Crusader and his colleagues deal with the sudden appearance of giant monsters in Gotham as a hurricane begins to pummel the city with rain and wind.
This would be hard enough on its own, but Batman is dealing with some recent emotional turmoil. If you've been keeping up with Detective Comics, you'll know that he just lost one of his own and he's not handling it well. I mean, Batman doesn't handle grief well at all. If he did, he wouldn't be Batman in the first place. He would have just gone to therapy after his parents were killed and become a well-adjusted member of society. Now he dresses up as a bat and punches criminals in the throat every night.
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Anyway, this issue starts out in such a creepy manner. Batman, Batwoman, and Nightwing are planning out the night's strategy to protect Gothamites from the coming storm. Meanwhile, a handful of corpses in the morgue start changing. Their flesh bubbles up and large tumor-like growths begin popping up all over their bodies. This sequence is brought to life in a brilliant series of panels, each smaller and more erratic than the last, focused on sprays of blood and close-ups of specific parts of the bodies. The end result is a giant monster baby with an oversized head with a giant eye on top.
My description of this creature is not doing it justice. Artist Riley Rossmo will make you have second thoughts about procreating after you see this. Every aspect of this thing's design is terrifying. It looks like it's in pain just standing there. It's confused as to why it's there and what's going on around it, which makes it a little sad, but no less scary and intimidating. Rossmo's style is tailor made for this, capturing the raw power of the creature along with the inner naiveté it must have.
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Ivan Plascencia's colors complement the artwork perfectly. As it's a dark and stormy night, the scenery is muted and filled with greys. This makes the blood spewing from the giant infant stand out, along with the explosions that are happening around it.
Batman handles this with efficiency. You'd think this monster baby was an average hoodlum with how he leaps into action. It's like he sees this kind of stuff every day. He's certainly prepared for it. He's Batman, after all. Being that he's the world's greatest detective, he's constantly putting the pieces together to stay one step ahead of his enemies. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean he can prevent a four-story-tall infant from rampaging down the streets for a bit.
Writers Steve Orlando and Tom King have brought a little slice of horror to Batman's world. The Night of the Monster Men is just beginning and this is one exciting and creepy way to kick it off. If this is how they start, I can't wait to see where they go next. Plus, I mean, where else are you going to see the Dark Knight fight a giant baby? Somehow I doubt that's going to be the story in the next movie.