Brad's Reviews > Batman and the Mad Monk

Batman and the Mad Monk by Matt Wagner
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's review
Mar 16, 08

bookshelves: comics, dc
Read in July, 2007

Batman is such a well-defined archetype that so many of his memorable stories exist out of the preset day continuity. Examples include Year One, Batman Begins, Dark Victory, Dark Knight Returns, and Batman Year 100. Even Paul Dini’s recent “Detective” book has a timeless feel to it, although it does use Batman’s current trappings (meaning, Batman calls Robin “Tim” rather than Dick or Jason).
Matt Wagner’s “Dark Moon Rising” series (“Batman and the Monster Men” came before this book) goes on that list. Wagner’s art is gorgeous—he and colorist Dave Stewart combined to make a painted look that reminds me of Tim Sale or Darwyn Cooke, but is less histrionic. In both books, Wagner revives old Batman villains that are now unheard of, and makes them compelling, and threatening to an inexperienced Batman.
The Mad Monk is a vampire with a cult following who gets his teeth on Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend (another disposable Gotham socialite). He, and his castle, lay the hurt on Batman pretty good, but I was disappointed with how The Mad Monk was finished off. The moral of the story, at least for Batman, is to be careful who you let close to you.
This book was billed as a sequel to ”...and the Monster Men” and while the story with Wayne’s girlfriend and the mafia does continue, the villain is completely different. I was disappointed not to see Dr. Hugo Strange, creator of the Monster Men, at all connected to the Mad Monk. At first, I thought Strange himself might be the Mad Monk.
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