Batman and the Mad Monk
Batman and the Mad Monk (DC/Titan)
Matt Wagner, who remains best known for his own Dark Knight creation Grendel, continues to re-envision the early career of the caped crusader, a self-consciously old-school pulp fiction read, boasting appropriately lurid content and an old movie serial-style title. Here, Batman does battle with what he reluctantly comes to believe may be his first supernatural foe, an immortal medieval monk who lives in a gothic castle outside Gotham and who prolongs his life by draining nubile young women of their blood.
It’s all very intriguing in conception, but on paper Wagner’s execution is woefully amateur. The artwork is rushed looking, and there’s little attention to detail either in terms of characterisation or settings and props. Worse is the clumsy storytelling and bland dialogue. And worst of all, Wagner adds absolutely nothing new to the Dark Knight myth.