Gotham City Monsters #3
The monsters have united in the aftermath of Melmoth’s attack, but one of their own has gone missing! Andrew Bennett, a.k.a. I, Vampire, has gone straight to the source of the evil that threatens the city, but the fanged one finds attacking Melmoth’s acolytes is biting off a little more than he can chew. Frankenstein leads Killer Croc, Lady Clayface, Orca, and the mysterious Red Phantom on a chase through the Gotham underground to try to rescue Bennett and shut down whatever Melmoth has planned next. But will their showdown at the Gotham City Zoo attract the attention of any of Gotham’s other protectors? Batwoman, perhaps?
Steve Orlando is a fan of comics and it shows. Or perhaps a better way to put it is that he is a fan of comics continuity. Lost threads, forgotten details, little explored corners of the DC Universe– Orlando is a student of DC history. He has a clear respect for the storytellers that came before him along with a respect for his peers. As we saw in the first issue, Orlando accounts for the events taking place in Tom King’s Batman, Snyders’ Justice League, and Brian Michael Bendis’ Event Leviathan. In this third issue, though, Orlando really shines in connecting to older stories associated with these characters, particularly to Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers and the weekly maxiseries even, 52. The narrative work being done here by the veteran writer is noteworthy in the care he takes to weave his story around existing landmarks in history without being encumbered by those same landmarks.
Nahuelpan continues to be a force in the artistic world, bringing these disparate characters to frightening life. The intricate balance of detailed figure work and handling the details of the biggest character of all — Gotham City herself — does not go unnoticed here. The pacing of this book likewise is controlled by carefully constructed layouts, leading the reader along this violent pathway, taking time to slow down at all the right moments. Andrew Bennett’s loss of control thanks to his previous feast on Melmoth’s blood is a particularly striking sequence, slowed down by a miniaturized 9-panel grid that forces the reader to slow down and engage.
Odds are high that this series won’t be on any best-seller lists and that is near criminal. Gotham City Monsters has thrice proven to be one of the most carefully crafted books DC has to offer in an era where canon has become an afterthought.
Gotham City Monsters #3 (Orlando, Nahuelpan, Mulvihill, Napolitano) continues to be criminally under-rated and under-sold. With sharp storytelling and beautiful art, GCM is one of the top DC books today.
Gotham City Monsters #3: Holy Continuity, Batwoman!
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9.5/10
Color - 9.5/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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