Rating: 3/5 – Monsters Without Any Personality.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
When Bob reviewed the first issue of Monsters Unleashed, he described it as a “standard superhero slugfest” and now that we’re three issues in, nothing has really changed. When I think of Monsters Unleashed, I don’t think of the classic Kirby Monsters like this series has brought back. Instead, I think of the wonderful black and white Marvel magazine from the early to mid 1970s that starred the Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, and many more. Much like this current series, that magazine had some really great art, but the writing was much more to my liking than what I’ve read here so far. Much of that has to do with the fact that I was hoping we’d get more personalities and insight into the monsters, rather than an abundance of superheroes and yet another story with roots tied to the Inhumans (who Marvel are really pushing hard lately).
After a big fight between the monsters and heroes, we go back to the character introduced in the first issue who has the power to “draw” monsters into existence. We learn his origin, which to me was a bit of a let down, even though writer Cullen Bunn does a nice job of explaining just what he’s capable of. The issue serves as a transitional story that sets up the rest of the series, but it failed to get me excited. There are plenty of appearances by Marvel characters, but the monsters seem like just a generic threat. Only three of the monsters have any sort of dialogue in this third issue, none of it providing any insight on what makes them interesting or unique. It’s definitely a personal feeling, but some of the story elements involving Inhuman origins and characters seems too easy. I enjoy the Inhumans, but the simple cocoon-hatching origin feels like an easy out for writers to create new characters. The art by Leinil Francis Yu is solid throughout and does make up for some of my dislike for the story. His opening pages are packed with monsters like Fin Fang Foom and Googam, Son of Goom. The action is easy to follow and while the colors seem a tad too dark at times, the overall package was a delight to look at.
Unfortunately, I’m just not that excited about this series. The monsters are too generic with little in the story to flesh them out. There are plenty of tie-in issues to this event where these monsters may be explored more (issues numbered “.MU” in a variety of Marvel series), but I avoided buying most of those since I didn’t feel as though they’d be required reading. If I can find some of the tie-ins on the cheap at a convention this summer, that may give me a bit more of what I was hoping for. On the bright side, I can still go back to those great black and white magazines with the same name!
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture