Featured Book Review: Sun Bleached Winter 0000
I admire how the author, D. Robert Grixit introduces the characters in this book and how he prepares his readers for what to expect. The author did a great job describing the atmosphere, scenery and how chaotic, gloomy, lifeless, dark, scary, eerie and dangerous his surrounding is in the wastelands.…
Batman and the Monster Men - Matt Wagner Horror Book Review
Horror books Review
Monster Men is an early, Gothic tale that introduces the character Dr. Strange to Gotham City and the world of Batman. The plot is set “...one year since the mysterious Batman first appeared…” (back cover) and post “Red Hood ...fall[ing] to [his] doom after [the] Ace Chemical heist attempt [was] foiled.” (pp. 3) Monster Men has a very Gothic touch that echoes the classic horror novel and film. The Monster Men title lettering droops and oozes in the classic horror film style. The front cover features the dark, mysterious protagonist standing atop a Gotham tower before a waxing moon and surrounded by creatures of the night - a scene evoking the essence of Dracula. Similarly on the back cover a menacing Batman, back lit by a blood-red sash, enraptures the reader with his cloak, as if he were about the drain his very life-blood. Inside, the frontispiece carries on the Gothic motif with Batman fleeing from an enormous, blood-drenched maw. Two additional scenes on the back of the frontispiece continue the Gothic suspense. One is of the Dark Knight brooding before a dungeon cell, while the other shows him carrying an overcome beauty in a white gown.
In its plot Monster Men echoes Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein. In an effort to improve man’s condition and the world, science has gone beyond the constrains of Christian morality and entered into a pragmatic “If it is possible and could work, do it” mentality epitomized by Dr. Hugo Strange. Like Frankenstein, Dr. Strange created Monster Men for the betterment of science. However, where Frankenstein stooped to grave robbery, Strange experimented on living humans by altering their genetic makeup. In the end, the result was the same - monsters that destroyed whatever came across their path. These twisted human forms lashed out at a world that denied them equal human dignity, but, at the same time, were unable to come to terms with civilization and either fled into an ice-cold isolation or cannibalized and murdered.
Monster Men proved to be a fun read - though it pales when compared to the better Shelley novel (Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text), which I highly recommend reading. I took one star off for the plot being unequal, in both staying power and content, to Frankenstein. I took an additional star off for the several scenes that promoted the Bruce Wayne playboy motif.