Harris, Jack C.


2 out of 5

(1 book)

Batman: Castle Of The Bat

(Art by Bo Hampton)

An Elseworlds story set in 1819 which combines the story of the Batman with Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'.  Traumatised by the murder of his parents as a child, Dr. Bruce Wayne dedicates himself to unconventional scientific study.  Using his knowledge of life-energies and the preserved brain of his father, Bruce attempts to return Dr. Thomas Wayne to life.  However, the experiment goes awry and instead creates a creature known as the Bat-Man.

The problem with this book is that it never really gets beyond how self-satisfied it is to have mashed-up Batman and Frankenstein, meaning that it never explores some of its more intriguing possibilities but instead just relies on retelling stories we all already know.  For example, the vast majority of this not-overly-long book is taken up with explaining the hows and whys of Bruce creating the creature, which is something anyone who's experienced any version of 'Frankenstein' will already know and understand (but seriously, if you've not read the original novel, go away and do that now).

Personally, I would've loved a bit more time dedicated to how the creature, spurred by its imperfect memory of its murder at the hands of a highwayman, attacks robbers and becomes a myth among the local villagers.  I felt that there could've been some real milage in the idea of Frankenstein's monster as a crimefighter, told in a gothic style.  Unfortunately it's an opportunity the writer doesn't take.

Basically if all you want is a mash-up then this'll do nicely, but I would've preferred a more intelligent exploration of the combination of these stories.

2 out of 5


DC (here)