Gotham City Monsters #4 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Amancay Nahuelpan, Artist; Trish Mulvihill, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Steve Orlando has been riffing off Grant Morrison’s work in several of his runs to great effect, and that continues with Gotham City Monsters #4, the fourth issue of this offbeat Gotham-set miniseries. Not only are elements of the supernatural side of Gotham a common refrain in Morrison’s Bat-verse, but this book is working as a stealth sequel to one of Morrison’s most ambitious works – Seven Soldiers, which introduced us to this version of Constantine.
Now that the six “monsters” have found their unconventional seventh in Batwoman, the main challenge facing the team is to get along with their new ally. Batwoman is trying to keep Gotham as safe as she can while awaiting word on Batman about how to break Bane’s stranglehold, and she’s not particularly interested in getting involved in Monster Town nonsense. But Orlando wisely doesn’t lose sight of Kate’s more compassionate side and a scene between her and Lady Clay is probably the issue’s best.
The villain Melmoth is one of the more generic parts of the series, as there are only so many times you can watch a crazy wizard order around an army of evil mandrills. Turning them into evil fire mandrills this issue is an interesting gonzo twist, but the main strength of this series is still in its main characters.
Many of them, like Croc, have been unfairly treated as genuine monsters for a long time, and this series brings them back to being human characters with odd appearances. The addition of a second team of monsters at the end of the is interesting – they’re called the Monster League of Evil, but they remind me a lot of the Creature Commandos and I’m wondering if DC is uniting decades of monster lore here. Orlando’s kicked off his biggest run yet on Wonder Woman, but I’m hoping he continues to find room in his schedule for unique projects like this.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.