DETECTIVE COMICS #941 is part 3 of the Monster Men crossover event that is uniting the Bat-Family titles against the common enemy of Doctor Hugo Strange and his giant monster men. Part 1 of this story was found in BATMAN #7. This was followed up with part 2 in NIGHTWING #5.

Part 3 of the story begins on a high note, quickly establishing the status quo for anyone who may have missed the first two chapters: Nightwing is en route to Blackgate; Spoiler and Orphan are trying to assist the GCPD in rescuing the citizens of Gotham City from the impending flood waters caused by the ongoing hurricane; Batman and Batwoman are trying to take down one of the giant Monster Men; and Duke Thomas is with Alfred in the Batcave providing support.

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While exposition takes up the first couple of pages of the issue, most of the issue follows Spoiler and Orphan. The pair really meshes well together, and the way they understand each other is impressive. Orphan, who rarely says more than one word at a time, is nonetheless able to effectively influence Spoiler to discover a potential solution to part of the monster problem. There is a living mold that is attaching itself to the citizens of Gotham City and causing the people to act out aggressively. Fortunately, we’re treated to some impressive science and on-the-spot thinking from Spoiler. It’s a moment that is particularly impressive for Stephanie Brown, who is really becoming a better character than ever before.


While Clayface, Batwoman, and Batman all make minor appearances, Gotham Girl gets the most spotlight in the remainder of the issue. She gets to Blackgate Penitentiary before Nightwing does, and wreaks havoc. Gotham Girl is one of the most interesting new characters that has been introduced since DC’s Rebirth, and it’s great to see what happens when she loses her cool and goes WAY too far. Knowing from teases in earlier issues that she and Duke ultimately have a relationship, it’s going to be very interesting to see how the character gets from point A to point B. It’s going to be quite a path to redemption.

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Andy MacDonald’s art, complemented by the colors of John Rauch, captures the insanity in gory detail. The monsters look incredible; there are two brand new monsters introduced at the end of the issue that are particularly fun. Each hero is also represented well. Gotham Girl’s scenes are the real highlight from an artistic perspective.  Between the gore and the emotion, there’s a lot to appreciate.


As part of a crossover, there’s the challenge of making an issue stand well enough on its own while connecting to a larger story. This didn’t feel like the recent DETECTIVE COMICS titles due to the focus on Gotham Girl and Nightwing, who have been in the BATMAN and NIGHTWING series, respectively. This can’t really be held against the issue since it is part of a crossover, but the departure, if you’re following only this series and not the overall crossover, might be a bit jarring. This might also be the reason that Hugo Strange, the main villain of the crossover, wasn’t developed in this issue; perhaps that would have been TOO much of a departure.

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Nonetheless, there is a lot of action and a great ending with some shocking implications for the future of this story arc. It’s an enjoyable read on its own, and it makes a great chapter in this crossover so far. The story is a bit more fantastic than Batman fans might be used to, but it’s turning out to be a very fun rollercoaster ride.

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