Gotham City Monsters #6 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Amancay Nahuelpan, Artist; Trish Mulvihill, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Steve Orlando and Amancay Nahuelpan’s oddball superhero-horror miniseries has been a surprising treat over its run, and the last issue delivers a satisfying conclusion that does justice to all the players. Last issue saw Killer Croc betraying the team by seeming to kill Frankenstein in service to Melmoth. Things look grim as the issue kicks off, but things are rarely what they seem – especially when your teammate is an undead hulk who can shrug off a knife wound. Melmoth has been a compelling enemy for this run, with the story calling back to Seven Soldiers and giving him a plot almost as big-scale as that one. With an army of Grundies at his disposal and a pair of hostages unwillingly helping him bring about the apocalypse, it takes an unconventional solution and a assist from new member Red Phantom to put an end to his threat. Nahuelpan’s art is great when working with monstrous beings, and the final showdown doesn’t disappoint.
Even stronger, though, is the epilogue once we find out where the characters wind up. Some stick together, like reluctant allies Frankenstein and Andrew Bennett. Others, like Lady Clay and Orca, mourn their losses and find a new purpose in life. Red Phantom winds up back where he begins, but with a new mission and a new perspective on the afterlife. The best storyline, though, goes to Killer Croc, who finds a way to honor his friend and help others like him. Orlando’s been the best Killer Croc writer in years, the only one to treat the character as the troubled ex-criminal that he is rather than a reptilian monster. Croc has always been one of the misfits and underdogs of the Batman rogues gallery, and that makes him one of the more compelling and redeemable. Too many writers fall into the same trap that Batman does, letting his appearance determine how they write him. This version of Croc could sustain his own title.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.