Batman: Night of the Monster Men (also known simply as Night of the Monster Men) is a 6-issue Bat Family Crossover event, the first of the DC Rebirth era. It ran weekly from September 21 to October 12, 2016 through the Rebirth volumes of Batman, Detective Comics, and Nightwing.
On the night a massive hurricane is to make landfall, Batman, Batwoman, Nightwing, and others are preparing to help evacuate Gotham citizens to safety. However, giant, mutated monsters begin springing up all over the city and wreaking havoc. The team must not only get citizens to safety before the storm hits, but also neutralize several monsters before they can cause too much damage. And on top of this, they must develop a cure to stop others from mutating as well.
The crossover is not split up by title; that is, the Nightwing issues of the story don't focus primarily on Nightwing, for example. Instead, the story is presented linearly through the titles, rotating through Batman, Nightwing, and Detective Comics, and then repeating that order once.
The exact issues involved in the crossover are:
- Batman: #7 - #8 note
- Nightwing: #5 - #6 note
- Detective Comics: #941 - #942 note
The crossover was scripted and guided by Steve Orlando, with input from Tom King, Tim Seeley, and James Tynion IV (the writers of each of the series involved) to make sure continuity and storylines for the individual titles stayed straight. New artists were also brought in just for the event: Riley Rossmo for Batman, Roge Antonio for Nightwing, and Andy MacDonald for Detective Comics.
Night of the Monster Men contains examples of:
- Big Bad: Hugo Strange
- The first monster to appear was grown from the corpse of Robert Castro, a man who killed himself in Batman #2. Batman and company watch security footage of his suicide.
- Batwoman references her monster-fighting experiences (including name-dropping La Llorna, an antagonist from her solo series).
- The Cameo: The Justice League helps out with cleanup efforts after the hurricane in a single-page scene.
- Cool Bike: Batman and Batwoman get rocket-powered motorcycles in part 2.
- Batman and Duke Thomas created holographic pre-recorded evacuation messages and installed dozens of projectors around Gotham.
- The Wayne Watchtowers, complete with giant personalized glowing logos for each pilot.
- Eat Me: Nightwing jumps down the throat of the final monster and injects it with a serum that causes it to violently dissolve.
- Free-Fall Fight: Batwoman fights a monsterized Nightwing while falling through the air.
- Mythology Gag: The monster serum has similarities to patents by Dr Penelope Young and Dr Jackson Chappell. Young was part of the Titan project in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Chappell sold "slappers" in the Batman Beyond episode "The Winning Edge". Like Strange's formula, both of these were derived from Bane's Psycho Serum, Venom.
- Doubles as a Mythology Gag reference to the last Detective Comics story in which Batman used guns. That story also featured large mutated creatures created by Hugo Strange.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Averted with Batwoman and the monsterized Gotham Girl and Nightwing. She gets her line in, but is instantly forced back on the defensive when her weapon of choice is shattered faster than she can blink.
- Take a Third Option: When finally confronting Hugo Strange, Batman's left with two options - hit him and Strange dies or let him go and he wins. He has Clayface cover the building in the hopes that he can hold his breath longer than Strange.
- You Are The Demons: Gotham Girl and Nightwing become transformed into monsters in Part 4.