Its recommended that you read Batman and the Monster Men before reading this story as it continues on directly from that story. After the events of the previous story, Hugo Strange is still running free and Sal Maroni is trying to forget the events that transpired. Young women that have been completely drained of their blood are found dead on the streets of Gotham. At first glance, it appears to be ritualistic and both Batman and Jim Gordon have to work together to find the killer.
One of the subplots of this story involves Bruce Wayne’s love interest Julie Madson and her father. First of all, due to Bruce’s cancellations, poor punctuality and lame excuses for regular cuts and bruises, Julie lets paranoia get the best of her as she starts to spy on Bruce in attempt to catch him out as she believes he may be cheating. At the same time, due to the events that transpired in the finale of Batman and the Monster Men her father is also suffering from paranoia. He is constantly in fear of the Batman getting him. This illustrates that although the image of the Bat is used to scare criminals, it also has the same effect on civilians. This is reiterated at one point Jim Gordon thinks that despite Batman being an ally, he still scares him from time to time.
Another plot point that this story explores is Gotham City Police Departments corruption. The new commissioner has officers that will do his dirty work which is apparent when they attack Jim Gordon on the GCPD rooftop. Despite this happening later on in the story, a different officer advises Jim Gordon that he and some other officers are happy that Batman helps out.
At heart, this story is about Batman taking on what he believes to be partly supernatural. We get to see that Batman tries to come to Rational conclusions but isn’t afraid to consider the unknown. In this case, he has to deal with vampirism. This is illustrated when Batman melts down all the solid silver he can find around Wayne Manor to make solid silver batarangs. This allows us to see that Batman plans for every possible outcome and ensures that he has all of the necessary tools needed to come out on top.
Overall this is am enjoyable Batman story that has everything you expect from a Batman story. The detective work, death traps and an air of mystery are all here. If you want a story that shows how the good of Batman outweighs the bad then this is worth a read.
Purchase Batman & The Mad Monk