Man-Bat #4 hits comic stores on May 4th, continuing DC Comics’ gripping series. Dave Wielgosz writes this issue’s narrative around the exploitation of a characters’ innermost desires. Sumi Kumar enhances this narrative by illustrating how the characters present themselves. The colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr. meanwhile make the environments look like they’re overwhelming the characters. Tom Napolitano’s lettering finalizes how monstrous these characters can be.
Man-Bat #4: The Delusions
Wielgosz is making the titular monster evermore sympathetic. Throughout Man-Bat #4, the reader can feel Man-Bat’s frustrations at both Kirk Langstrom and Scarecrow. While Man-Bat’s human self, Kirk, has the life he dreams of, it’s at a great expense. Not only is Kirk denying his other-self autonomy, he’s taking out his character flaws on his ex-wife Francine. Even worse, Kirk and Francine’s innermost desires reveal an unhealthy codependence between them. It’s something that Scarecrow is more than willing to exploit for his own ends. The fact that Man-Bat is completely aware of this situation while Kirk is controlling his body gives the reader a strong sense of how Man-Bat feels violated.
Throughout Man-Bat #4 Kumar presents the power of a character’s presence. Scarecrow, watching over the Langstroms, feels like an all encompassing presence of terror looming over them. Jonathan Crane, Scarecrow’s alter-ego, sets himself above Man-Bat, making him look terrifying. Man-Bat, in the meantime, displays vulnerability in his body language, almost like a marionette helplessly under Scarecrow’s control. In comparison, Batman’s mere presence casts a big shadow that makes him look monstrous.
Fajardo colors the backgrounds to showcase character’s mindsets. In Batman’s interrogation of a thug for example, Batman’s dark shadow obscures the warm orange lights. Then, there’s a sound wave that lightly colors a page to further display a factor changing the Langstroms’ moods. This, in addition to the changing background colors, makes the reader feel their happiness turn into rage.
Finally Napolitano provides word balloons that demonstrate characters progressively shedding limitations. Kirk and Crane speak with regular round word balloons unlike Man-Bat and Scarecrow whose word balloons warp. After Scarecrow holds Man-Bat down, Man-Bat screeches in a different font with bigger words making him look like he’s fully unleashed.
Get Man-Bat #4
Man-Bat #4 reaches the series’ thrilling climax. The titular character is ready to show what he’s made of after Kirk and Scarecrow have held him back. Now, all the reader can do is wait until the grand finale.