So around the time when DC revealed that one of the first Batman cross over stories would feature Batman fighting against Kaiju which is something that off the bat I found gripping. I am a huge fan of monster movies and Batman and I was glad to see how good of a series this has been.
A slight bit of back story first, a few issues prior in the Batman series Robert Castro was in Commissioner Gordon’s office spouting off ramblings of pretty much madness and says that the ‘Monster Men are coming’ and then kills himself. Flash-forward to current day and here we have the start.
Batman #7: The issue starts out in a four panel page that goes from the exterior of the Tolliver Memorial Morgue and goes further in and shows four bodies lying on slabs whilst a radio announcer warning people about the storm that is about to come down on Gotham City and then we see the first signs of something bad about to happen.
One the rooftops in Gotham Batman and Batwoman talk about what has been happening then Nightwing appears as it appears that Batman has enlisted him to help in helping civilians out during the storm since that Batman doesn’t want any more deaths to happen since that in Detective Comics #940 Red Robin was ‘killed’. It then cuts over to a location in the Cauldron where we see what appears to be Hugo Strange in the buff working out where a person interrupts him by saying that ‘It’s almost time’ which then cuts over to the morgue where the bodies start to change and mutate. This then cuts to Gordon talking to Batman about how he seems rather hesitant about having his officers working with his new recruits (I think this is due to the Robin War which I need to get around getting) but Batman wants them to work together no matter what the uniform is. Batman has his team assembled and tells them that they are going to be helping with the evacuation of the city and during that a large boom can be heard and in the next page we see a large freaky Kaiju stomping through the city. Batman asks Alfred what is happening where Alfred just says ‘It’s a monster’. Batman splits off his team with the recruits dealing with the evacuation whilst he, Nightwing and Batwoman go off and deal with this monster. Batman then decides to try and take down the monster by driving the Bat-Plane right into the monster hoping to kill it but it really doesn’t do anything to the monster. He then gets caught by the monster and is then thrown into the air where he then uses his jetpack capsule and then has it to self-destruct which appears to be down for the count.
We then see that Spoiler is helping people get to safety in Alexander Olsen State Park since that it is a safe place to go during a storm. Batman sends a DNA sample of the monster to the Bat-Cave where they discover what the monster is and who is behind it which is Hugo Strange.
Nightwing #5: Part two begins in the Bat-Cave with Alfred and Duke going over the cell composition to see if they can come up with a cure for what has happened and Duke seems rather pissed that he has to stay in the cave but Alfred goes on to say that the reason he is here since he is still rather green and he still has some guilt about Red Robin’s ‘death’. Gotham Girl wonders what is happening since that she is in lockdown since what happened in Batman #6 and that she does seem rather worried about what has been happening.
Then heading over to the Gotham Factory district where another monster is destroying the buildings around the area. Nightwing brings up that the GCPD are outgunned and that he remembers about the contingencies that are in the Towers but Batman doesn’t want to activate them when there are people still in the city. Nightwing makes the remark of saying that they should activate the towers since that there shouldn’t be anyone in the city and Batwoman decides to increase the size of the evacuation zone. Batman has Batwoman stick with him and he sends Nightwing to the morgue to find where they came from and find Hugo Strange. Batman starts to antagonise the monster where he informs Duke to activate the Bat-Beacon in where Batman spreads a message through the lamplights where he informs people on what is happening and tells them to evacuate to their nearest evacuation site.
During the fight against the monster, Batman and Batwoman try to secure the monster down with their aerial lines but Nightwing notices something happening with the monster and the line snaps and a second head forms. Batman calls to Batwoman that the building is collapsing and that it’s blocking his access but Nightwing has it covered when he was able to save a civilian and manages to hook up with the monster with his aerial line. Dick asks why the person didn’t evacuate and Batman berates him on why he didn’t go to morgue where he says that Batman needs himself and Nightwing tells him that he is the detective but Batman tells him that it’s his turn to be the detective and find where Strange is whilst he and Batwoman distract the monster in the same way people distracted the T-Rex in any Jurassic Park film and run with a flare.
Batman bring Batwoman to a tech-site where he keeps some prototypes and in this one he has two sets of bikes where Batwoman proceeds to hit the monster with where it turns out that it has grown another head. Nightwing heads off to the morgue and is in contact with the Bat-Cave and asks for a update on the bio-sample of the first monster where it turns out that these monsters were once people but then what ever turned them into the monster seems to rebuilt the cells to make them more savage thanks to a chemical accelerant. With that in hand they have a idea on what the chemical could be which leads to a really good nod to people who played Arkham Asylum where a match was found for Lex-Corp 5-U-93-R pending patent by Doctor Penelope Young and Jackson Chappell, since that in the game Dr Young was using Titan and Venom in experiments in the asylum.
Meanwhile Batman manages to wrangle up a monster against an empty apartment building but it appears useless as it grows a fourth head. Meanwhile back in the Caves where Orphan notices that something bad is going to happen and red mud appears to be dripping onto people causing themselves to be more violent. Nightwing arrives in the morgue and where he finds out that Strange had been growing monsters but the even more grim news is that there are four bodies and they have only seen two monsters. Nightwing scans the remains left from the slabs and Alfred is able to identify the people used to make the monster men where they find out that one of the people was arrested multiple times and was a member of Kobra but before joining them he was a patient of Hugo Strange in Blackgate Penitentiary where a giant monster had appeared in the form of a giant spider. Nightwing decides to make the journey to Blackgate after heading to the nearest tech-site but Batman doesn’t want him to go alone so Gotham Girl decides to help but Batman ties to get her not to do it since that her powers could end up killing her but she ignores him and heads off to Blackgate zooming past Nightwing.
Detective Comics #941: Part three begins with Batwoman getting an update from the other members on how they are doing. Spoiler informs her that things are getting rather tense inside the cave, Nightwing is on route to Blackgate, Duke and Alfred are still going over the DNA of the monsters, Clayface is still helping evacuating neighbourhoods but the stress of replicating himself is starting to take a strain and Gotham Girl is still heading towards Blackgate. Back in the cave more things start get more stressful since the people are starting to act more violent towards each other and when a boy gets pushed over trying to find his parents everyone starts fighting.
Nightwing manages to get to arrive at Blackgate where Batman tells him that he needs to protect the inmates from Gotham Girl. When inside of the prison it looks like a scene from Aliens with all the small creatures jumping onto the inmates faces and infecting them. Meanwhile in Burnley a building is collapsing down and a piece of it comes crashing down onto Clayface who manages to save two civilians. It turns out that the monster managed to grow another head as well. Back in the cave with the evacuees Spoiler and Orphan with GCPD fend off the infected civilians where they decide to split up the numbers to make it easier to handle the mass of humanity. Spoiler tried to get in contact with Batwoman but due to possibly the something in the cave they can’t communicate with them which make Batman want to help them. However Batwoman says that it is more important for him to help contain the monster that they are currently fighting and the fact that she trained Spoiler for what is about to happen and she trusts that Spoiler can do the job well.
In the cave Orphan and Spoiler spilt up and Spoiler sets up a net trap to hold off the masses of humanity and she starts to think of a way to get rid of the sludge that is covering the people. With all the theories on what it could be Orphan brings up grass and that she realised that it is Green Leaf Volatiles which is a airborne compound that plants release and the one way that they can get rid of it is by raising the temperature and they use the flares to make it hot. Back at Blackgate Gotham Girl is using her abilities to get rid of the creatures but is also causing harm as well by attacking the prisoners. Nightwing introduces himself to her and that she is endangering the people around her as well as beating the creatures. Gotham Girl then gets attacked by a pack of the creatures and Nightwing manages to save some of the prisoners and he sees Gotham Girl bursting out of the group of creatures where she then discovers one of the other monsters. She confronts the monster asking wondering if it makes her scared which she isn’t and she rips off the arms of the creature. Nightwing gets her to calm down and she wants to kill the monster and she does by ripping it in half as she says I’ll kill you. She then apologises to Nightwing saying that she doesn’t know what had happened and then something starts to happen to them both, they start to become the monsters that they were fighting. Batwoman asks for another sitrep with Clayface the only one that could reply saying that he was able to clear the subway, still no word from the Spoiler and Orphan but they are progressing well but still no word from Blackgate.
Batman #8: Part four begins with Duke wanting to suit up and help Batman with the giant five headed monster that they have been trying to deal with for the past three issues. Batman keeps telling Duke to be the eyes and ears. Spoiler and Orphan are still planting the flares, Blackgate had gone quiet with Nightwing and Gotham Girl being unresponsive with Nightwing’s Biometry being spiking. But the biggest news to come out of this is that the monsters cells had been stripped down and they found a match to Venom. Batman then deduced that Strange had traded Psycho Pirate for Venom. Batman then gets thrown airborne by the monster and Batwoman manages to shoot her bike up in the air to help out Batman. Then on a rooftop they hear more booming sounds and it turns out that they see what was causing the sounds and it is monster Nightwing and Gotham Girl.
Batman decides that he wants to take down the monsters of his team but Batwoman calls him out saying that he is too close to them and that she will take them whilst he deals with the monster. Batman takes on the multi-headed monster and it gets closer to an un-evacuated area but Batman managed to find a way to stop it and that was to destroy the bike and electrocuting the monster. Back in the cave with Spoiler and Orphan they are still just holding off against the infected people and hopefully the flares can do their work.
Batwoman is starting to have problems with the monster Gotham Girl and Nightwing, Batman is heading her way and Alfred and Duke manage to come up with a cure for the monster and Duke is suiting up. But Batman doesn’t want to have him in the field since that he is still rather green. Batman gets to Batwoman’s location but she is in the air with monster Nightwing. Whilst on the ground Batman starts to talk to Gotham Girl and apologising for what has happened to her and is going to make sure that nothing bad is going to happen meanwhile all the Clayface clones start gathering around Batman which then forms around Batman giving him a clay power armour which looks rather awesome.
We then have a fight scene between the Clay Armour Batman against monster Gotham Girl and it seems to be going rather well until she claps and causes a Clayface to fall away from Batman where Duke drops in with a cure. Back in the cave with the infected it is coming down to the last parts and in a giant flash of light the sludge seems to have worn off and people are back to being their normal selves. But then notice the sludge moving around and into the cave where it then forms into the fourth and final monster. Back with the Duke and Monster Gotham Girl, Duke stabs her with the cure and it starts to change her back into her normal self. She only remembers that she ripped the monster up and then animal thoughts and she asks what happened to Nightwing since that he is still the monster and manages to wound Batwoman who is freefalling.
Nightwing #6: Part five begins a shot of Nightwing diving towards Batman and co with Batwoman introducing Duke to Nightwing. Batwoman manages to get a hold of Nightwing and wants them to give Nightwing the cure. However the lancet with the cure is a bit broken after it was used to cure Gotham Girl. However Gotham Girl is rather hesitant about it but she manages to pierce Nightwing’s monster hide and he goes through the same transformation that Gotham Girl had that to return herself to normal. In the caves with the evacuees it is shown that the slime just grew legs and took a walk and is walking towards to Gotham City.
The monster manages to get closer to the city it appears to have a train car in its hand and hurls it towards them. Gotham Girl manages to pick up Nightwing and Spoiler and takes them to the top of Wayne Tower were they both work on the trail for where Strange is at. They then start going through all the information that they had on Strange from where the money trail is but most important is how he managed to get these people and that is through manipulation, fear and grief and a child. Batman wants Nightwing and Spoiler to leave their location since the monsters is getting closer and closer to them but Nightwing knows that Batman still has one action left.
With that Batman then activates the Wayne Watchtowers and manages to shock the monster but it’s still climbing up the outside of the building. The building starts charging up however but Spoiler is still tracking down the leads and finds what it was. Back in the Bat-Cave Alfred alerts Nightwing that something is happening with the monsters and that it appears that they are forming together to create one giant monster in full page showing it destroying buildings.
The team manages to meet up in Downtown Gotham and Batman tells them on when he created the towers and what they are used for, plus each of the members of the team get to pilot them as well. But there was also good news Spoiler managed to find out where Strange is at but Nightwing noticed something else. In the treatment it turned out that Strange was actually making a statement and that they were his diagnosis of Batman. Nightwing then says that Strange is obsessed with Batman and wants him in a face to face encounter. Batman says that Strange wants to face him he has earned it and in the final page we see Strange dressed up in Batman’s costume.
Detective Comics #942: In part six it starts off Batwoman, Nightwing, Orphan and Spoiler heading off to the different watchtowers whilst Batman is closing on to Strange’s location. Then we get a two page spread of the mega monster destroying a church. The tower teams get into their assigned towers and we then see something rather cool and that is the tower each alit with the insignia with each hero which does look really awesome.
With Batman he breaks into Strange’s location and finds his papers and notes all strewn about with psychological pages with Batman’s faces and images on. Then Strange flips on a light switch which casts a Bat-Signal above Strange who sits in a throne of psychology books. Strange then tells Batman that then tells him that he is wearing a suicide suit that if he gets hit by a force harder than a football and he would die in which Batman says that he doesn’t need to attack Strange. Strange then tells him that he will be Batman’s replacement in a similar way to what he nearly tired to do in Arkham City.
Back in the city the team in the Watchtowers are having slight troubles trying to keep it down. But Nightwing is thinking more about something about the monster that could be key to defeating it. They then use the suspension wires to harpoon the monster and then realises what it is. Batwoman asks what Nightwing is doing but he manages to jumps into the monsters mouth. Strange then shows footage of Nightwing diving into the mouth of the monster to Batman and says that he has another dead partner and Batman seems rather pissed that Strange. It’s because Strange believes the stress of being Batman is getting to him in which Batman asks him to stop talking but Strange just keeps talking and it makes Batman nearly punch Strange. It then cuts over to the monster and it then starts to throw up. Batman punches to the side of Strange and it turns out that Strange is slowly loosing oxygen as Clayface is covering the building and he starts to suffocate.
Back with the monster, it explodes over the buildings and Nightwing is ejected out and Batwoman manages to rescue Nightwing. Back over to Batman and Strange Batman tells him that the Batman doesn’t run from the monsters but that he embraces the monsters and we see a rather freaky monster design for Batman giving him a large white bulbous head with tentacles coming down the side. Batman gets Clayface to unseal the room. Batman then informs them that Strange is down and that Nightwing had stopped the monster by defeating the Child inside by dealing with the ego. But the thing that Strange forgot is that what Batman’s faults is what fuels him.
Days later the Justice League along with the recruits clean up the city and Batman and Batwoman where they are in a graveyard looking over the graves of the four victims of Strange and they got a honourable burials. In addition to that Batman tells her that Strange is in custody in a more high security place since that Arkham doesn’t have a good reputation with villains staying in a safe place. Batman found out that the formula came from Santa Prisca and this seems like it is going to be the lead off to where the Batman story is going to be taking off to next.
Overall as a mini-series for something that has just started it has been really interesting. All the issues were fully flowing and it didn’t seem that it deviated from what the story is. The monsters were well designed and all had a rather creep factor to it as well. It was also good to see a whole team being banded together since that usually when it comes to other parts tend to focus more on that character such as in the first crossover event in Batman when the New 52 started when it would only be one character in that issue. I do hope to see more crossovers event to happen like this since that it is a lot of fun and I do hope to see some more titles appear in it, well that is more down to deadlines and what is going on in stories elsewhere because I think it would have been nice to see Batgirl in this series.
Overall Score 9/10