Sunday 29 September 2013

Detective Comic #23.4 Man-Bat Review

Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Scot Eaton

I was in two minds whether to get this issue or not originally but after I decided I'd be getting all the Batman related issues in Villains Month bar the Batman: The Dark Knight titles as well as enjoying Frank Tieri's work on the Penguin issue I thought I'd get this and give it a try.


Man-Bat (Dr. Kirk Langstrom) decides to make his deceitful wife, Dr. Francine Langstrom pay for betraying him, and decides to become Gotham City's hero at the same time.


This was overall a very good issue, as although it wasn't without it's flaws it was enjoyable. Frank Tieri goes with a completely different style that his Penguin issue that was out last week, as even the writing style is completely different. Tieri did a great job of showing Man-Bat for what he is, as although he didn't show much that we didn't already know, it allows Man-Bat fans who haven't been following this series a chance to see him in the New 52. I did however feel that the story had too quick a pace, as although some stories can drag this simply sped past, moving from one point to the next in rapid succession. The tone of the issue was however perfect and overall bar the faults Tieri did a great job with this issue.

The art in this issue was however simply outstanding, and Scot Eaton did a wonderful job of showing the Man-Bat in this issue. The detail in Eaton's art was also amazing as his artwork throughout the entire issue was very consistent, and I couldn't find any imperfections. I also loved Eaton's layouts, as although they weren't as unique as some artists, they were still very dynamic, adding a lot of depth to the story. Eaton also managed to show great emotion in this issue, also handling the action perfectly. I also felt that Jeromy Cox colours helped to keep a similar tone to previous Detective Comics issues, as it helps keep a level of consistency between Eaton's work and Jason Fabok's work.

The start of this issue would see Langstrom seek revenge against his wife, deciding to take her down. The fight that would embroil between these two Man-Bat's was amazing, as although it could have lasted a bit longer it was still very exciting. I also loved the dialogue near the end of the fight as well, as it was very dramatic. I did however still think it was rather short as given the build-up in the back-up features of this series I was expecting a bit more.

Langstrom would continue to try and perfect his formula throughout this issue, as without going into too much detail he's trying to make it much more better, and so that he can keep the transformation for longer. This sequence was again interesting, though I would much rather more fighting between him and his wife. It did however enjoy the atmosphere that Tieri added through his writing, as it made it very dramatic and suspenseful.

Another thing that Langstrom would try and do throughout this issue would be to become the hero that Gotham needs, as with Batman not around he sees it as his responsibility to protect the innocent. Besides the fighting sequence near the start of the issue this was probably the next best thing about the issue. I really enjoyed how Man-Bat was shown as trying to be a hero, whilst still being misunderstood to a certain extent. I also liked how his attitude to criminals seemed to change throughout the issue, making you question whether the serum is starting to corrupt him, or if this is his true intentions.

Final Verdict

This was a very enjoyable issue, but the pace was way too quick making it questionable whether it's value for money. It also didn't really show us much new, as although it was a nice development for Man-Bat it isn't a great deal off development. It was however still very exciting and dramatic and I'd highly recommend it to any Man-Bat fan, but otherwise I'd probably only recommend it if you want something that's a quick read, or if you have the spare cash to get it.

Rating: 7/10

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