Justice League: Gods and Monsters - Batman #1 (DC) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Justice League: Gods and Monsters - Batman #1


Story by J.M. DeMatteis and Bruce Timm, Script by J.M. DeMatteis, Art by Matthew Dow Smith

Aug 20, 2015 DC Comics Bookmark and Share

Justice League: Gods and Monsters - Batman #1 is perhaps the least compelling of the three one-shot comics that set up the characters appearing in the new straight-to-DVD/Blu-ray animated movie Justice League: Gods and Monsters. The movie features an elseworlds take on the Justice League, with Superman the son of General Zod and adopted by Mexican immigrants and Wonder Woman a New God and a warrior from the planet Apokolips. That’s not to say that Gods and Monsters - Batman #1 doesn’t offer an interesting take on The Dark Knight, because it does.

This Batman is no millionaire playboy by day, vigilante by nighthe’s a straight up vampire, a man nearly consumed by his addition to blood who channels that by only feeding on criminals. Whereas the regular Batman only kills as an absolute last resort, for this one he’s judge, jury, executioner, and monster, all in one. One hopes he doesn’t accidently feed on the innocent. Bruce Wayne is nowhere to be found in this book. Its “hero” is Dr. Kirk Langstrom, a scientist who in trying to cure his cancer inadvertently transforms himself into a vampire. In the regularentist who becomes the Batman villain Man-Bat, trt/half-man creature when he swallows a special serum he created in an attempt to cure his deafness. It thus makes perfect sense that when Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett were coming up with the story for the Justice League: Gods and Monsters movie and were angling for a more twisted take on Batman, that they would turn to Langstrom.

This Batman is even more tortured than the Bruce Wayne version, a junky for blood haunted by all the lives he must take in order to feed and stay alive, even if most of them are bad people. In the opening scene he stops a man from abusing his wife, killing him in the process, only to have the battered wife turn on him; despite the abuse she still loved her husband and hates Langstrom for killing him. This one-off issue sets up a complicated relationship between Langstrom and his parents, and with the Nebraska hometown he escaped from to Gotham City. And it shows how he becomes a murderous vigilante. Unfortunately in this one-off prequel issue this Batman never dons his full costume and the setup isn’t quite as fascinating as the ones found in the Superman and Wonder Woman Gods and Monsters prequel issues. Still, if this was a continuing series, then I’d say it was off to a promising start, and the ending leaves you wanting more. Of course you can follow Langstrom’s Batman adventures in the three Gods and Monsters - Justice League prequel comics, as well as in the Gods and Monsters movie, but hopefully the character will make a more recurring welcome return later or even one day face off against the real Batman. (www.dccomics.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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