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Batman and the Mad Monk

August 4, 2008

After the review of Batman and the Monster Men, I also read the second part of the Dark Moon Rising dichotomy. This story is, as the prequel, trying to emulate a strong monster movie feeling. The villain is a self-proclaimed vampire, who has created some kind of a cult, in order to obtain victims for his sacrificial black masses. His followers are promised that they will gain the gift of eternal life, if they attend these meetings and drink the blood of their victims. When Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend Julie Madison (introduced in the previous mini-series) is targeted by the cult, to gain access to her family’s riches, Batman tries to rescue her and break up the malevolent circle.

Interesting in this six issue series is especially the insight into Batman’s fears. We learn that he starts to feel responsible for all the masked villains that have started to amass in Gotham City. A quote from the first issue shows this perfectly: “Have I inadvertently given license to every crook with a flair for the dramatic?” It becomes clear to himself, but also to Gordon that his vendetta against the criminal element in Gotham, has some extreme side effects.

Batman and the Mad Monk, is a typical crime thriller with a bit of a supernatural feel to it. It reminded me of the old German Edgar Wallace movies and as such it was an ok read. But I must say that both stories of the Dark Moon Rising circle did not manage to make me a fan of Matt Wagner. Both stories just seemed a bit too predictable and I can’t warm up to his peculiar character design. The only good thing about them is that he gives us a small insight into Bruce Wayne’s private life and the consequences of him getting emotionally involved.

Story                  7

Art                      6

Reread Value     4

Overall rating    6/10

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