Friday, December 09, 2005

Scenes we probably won't see in Batman and the Monster Men

In the new mini-series Batman and the Monster Men, Matt (Hurry up with Mage 3, will ya?) Wagner is doing a bang-up job on his retelling of the 2nd meeting of the evil Dr. Hugo Strange and the Darknight Detective from 1940's Batman #1. Of course, Matt is taking 6 issues to do what used to take 8 pages back in the day, but it's okay. This isn't umpty pages of photo-copied heads staring through the 4th wall and speaking with incomplete sentences a la Bendis. Nope...this is all story, folks.

In Strange's first appearance he wasn't so much the science-villain as he was in his following foray into crime. Way back in Detective Comics #36 (also from 1940), Hugo was just a bad guy criminal mastermind, albiet with the usual Golden Age kinks....
The mini looks like a nice return to the concept of Batman being a detective and going out and detecting things and doing the hard work of solving crimes, something which has been missing for far too long in the different Bat-books. A few short months ago as fans reckon time, Bats just used to be able to call on the members of his extended rodent family to give him the info he needed to solve a case. The departure of Oracle has banished all the quick-fix solutions and now Batman is forced to work late once again. Wagner is making Bats do his homework as he comes up against what was probably his first actual super-villain of his career, a guy is making monsters to steal money to further fund his monster-making experiements. It's awesome.

It wasn't so long ago that comic heroes either killed, or let die through their own misadventure, the villains they fought. I was confused by Batman's relatively recent insistence that he never killed...because the Bats I was familiar with often did, even if only in self defense or by being unable to rescue a criminal in time to prevent them falling into their own trap. In comparing the seperate versions of the Batman to the original story and the new series thus far, I have discovered some scenes from Batman #1 that are not likely to show up in the mini...

Batman machine guns mobsters from his plane

Batman euthanizes the unfortunate and innocent victim of Strange's medical experiments.

Batman anonomously disposes of the body from on high.
Some farmer will be surpised come morning.

Batman forces another victim to fall to his death from the spire of a building.
It's probably one he owns.

For more great Batman vs. Hugo Strange, pick up or order Strange Apparitions from your local Comic Store.


  1. Holy Hypocrisy, Batman! Murdering thugs left and right while you decry Wonder Woman's killing of Max Lord!

    Man, back in the day superheroes were almost as dangerous as the criminals.

  2. Even worse, this would fall under the auspices of the Golden-Age Batman, or the Earth-2 Batman. That means the Earth-2 Superman wants to bring back a world of criminal-killing Batmen!

  3. I was thinking about that. Imagine if the ending twist n the whole Infinite Crisis storylines would be what a tragic mistake it would be to bring the original heroes back. A murderous Flash, Hawkman, Batman et al...

    Just think, a woman-spanking Superman who gleefully told jokes as he threw bomb-wearing criminals into the sky to detonate....

    I imagine that for the fans who have a broader knowledge of DC comics history in their entirety see the new Crisis different than newer readers. When i read IC #2 I felt that the other Superman was being naive in what he thought the 'good old days' were like.


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