Moench, Doug

About the Author:

Doug Moench lives in Pennsylvania, USA.

 

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

2.7 out of 5

(3 books)

Batman: Dark Joker - The Wild

(Art by Kelley Jones and John Beatty)

An Elseworlds story in which the evil sorcerer known as the Dark Joker kills his enemies Majister and Lilandra, only to be confronted decades later by their offspring, the Bat-Man.

This book is freakin' weird.  I know that the Elseworlds line was an opportunity to explore alternate versions of familiar characters, but Moench has taken a real leap off the deep end with this.  Set in a pseudo-medieval fantasy setting, here we're presented with a Joker who's not insane, just sadistic and enjoys eating the brains out of the decapitated skulls of his enemies.  We also get a Batman who is literally a man-sized bat and his sister who is a woman that can transform into a cat.  This isn't so much an alternate version of the Batman mythos as it is a mistranslation of it (it's like the Japanese Spider-Man who goes by Supaidaman and has a giant robot).  Honestly, only the town official Jaymes has any character correlation with who he's based on.

Had this been a completely original dark fantasy tale it might've had something going for it but the weirdly interpreted Batman elements mean that it doesn't work on any level.  Some nice artwork though.

2 out of 5

 

Batman Versus Predator II: Bloodmatch

(Art by Paul Gulacy and Terry Austin)

The sequel to Dave Gibbons' first clash between the Dark Knight and the alien manhunters.  This book sees a second Predator arrive in Gotham, stronger and more bloodthirsty than the last. 

Moench expands the concept of hunters in several new directions here by having a group of elite assassins hired to kill Batman, as well as including the Huntress.  It is this latter addition that proves the most interesting.  We get the Huntress' unique motivations and methods mixed up with those of Batman, not to mention a bit of sexual tension right at the end. 

Sadly, this book isn't as gothic or subtle as its predecessor, and the Predator isn't nearly as witty, but it's still an enjoyable and worthy crossover.

4 out of 5

 

Green Lantern: Dragon Lord - Book Three: Redemption Of Blood

(Art by Paul Gulacy and Josef Rubinstein)

Book three of three.  Jong Li, Earth's first Green Lantern has to restore the power of the Dragon Lords to prove himself worthy of wielding the power of his ring in overthrowing the cruel Emperor of China.

Okay, so I'll start by saying that I have not read books one and two of this series and that this book is little more than a comic with a spine, rather than a full-blown graphic novel.  So, coming into this short story in the third act was definitely not the best way of enjoying it, but I've always felt that any truly great series should be able to be enjoyed regardless of where you come on board.  That's not really the case here.

I was genuinely intrigued by the idea of a Green Lantern story which mixed in Chinese history and mythology, but there's just too little of those elements on show here.  In fact, you're halfway through the book before Jong Li even starts using his Green Lantern powers.  There are other interesting elements, such as the protagonist's lover being a former concubine to the villainous Emperor, but you'd need to have read the previous volumes to actually have gotten any depth or detail about that aspect.

So, whilst it's as much my fault for not reading the first two parts as it is this book's own fault, I didn't particularly enjoy it and I had sincerely hoped I would've.

2 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Batman: Knightfall Part One - Broken Bat (here)

Captain Marvel: Captain Marvel/Marvel Spotlight On Captain Marvel (here)

Read more...

DC Comics (here)

Marvel Comics (here)

Predator (here)