Monsters Unleashed! (Marvel)


CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 3.5/5 – Standard Superhero Slugfest Redeemed by an Intriguing Last Page
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Marvel’s latest event, Monsters Unleashed!, kicked off with their now standard event comic pricing of $4.99.   Cullen Bunn is handling the writing chores this time, with art by “event series regular” Steve McNiven.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that McNiven’s standard slow art production rate is not going to cause a months long delays in this short event, that’s something that has plagued far too many recent Marvel events.

Let’s run down the 32 heroes who make an appearance (each one is introduced in a multi-hero panel with each hero’s name highlighted in a box): Black Panther, Captain America[Sam Wilson], Crystal, Cyclops, Drax, Elsa Bloodstone, Gamora, Groot, Hercules, Hulk[Amadeus Cho], Human Torch, Iceman, Inferno, Jean Grey, Karnak, Medusa, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Ms. Marvel, Nightcrawler, Nova, Old Man Logan, Rocket Raccoon, Shuri[Black Panter’s sister], Spider-Man[Peter Parker], Spider-Man[Miles Morales], Star-Lord, Storm, Thor[Jane Foster], Vision, Viv Vision, Wasp.  For those keeping track, that was Marvel spotlighting their biggest team franchises: The Avengers, The Champions, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Inhumans, and The X-Men, with a few extra heroes thrown in around the edges.  Seeing everyone in the same book together I find it interesting that I needed to disambiguate several heroes, since there are 2 versions of Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man, and Thor active in the Marvel Universe (although technically ‘Thor classic’ is calling himself Odinson nowadays).

This is a really strange review for me to write, and I apologize for mostly listing the characters who appear, but that’s pretty much what happens.  This debut issue is monsters from space causing mayhem followed by groups of heroes being introduced so they can punch those monsters.  Fans of “Hey look at the super-cool giant monster getting hit!!” are going to absolutely love this.  I’m sure I would have thought this was a LOT cooler 20 years ago.  But all was not lost.  Cullen Bunn grabbed my attention at the very end with a really intriguing concept that he set up in the last few pages, really sealing the deal on the final page of the issue.  This hook, by itself, is going to bring me back for #2.  It makes me hopeful that Bunn is going to bring the story up a level from “look at these heroes punching monsters!”.  By itself, this 1st issue was $4.99 eye candy with a solid closing hook.  I didn’t feel like I got $4.99 worth of story, but Your Mileage May Vary.  This wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t something that I’d put in the top 30% of all the comics I’ve read in the past month…

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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