Batman: Castle of the Bat – Jack C. Harris

This is part of DC’s extensive Elseworlds series that relocates familiar characters to different settings. This work transposes the Bat-man into the classic story Frankenstein.

For the most part this works well. There are enough gothic trappings in the Batman mythos for him to fit right into a genuine gothic novel. It is fun seeing Alfred become Alfredo the hunchbacked Igoresque manservant: likewise with Bürgermeister Gordon. The Mary Shelly story is strong enough to hold the whole thing together and it proves more than a forgettable novelty. You can also see the 1931 Boris Karloff movie influence woven in too.

The art is soft watercolour. The subdued tones are perfect for evoking the misty horror of nocturnal business and period Europe. The lighting and poses echo the early Universal Pictures cinematography from the early monster movies and the whole thing works well.

This isn’t just a Batman rehash, there is a whodunit and some powerful moral questions for those who chose to look for them. It is certainly a Thumbs Up!

228/137

Tomorrow: Mr Punch – Neil Gaiman

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