World Comic Book Review

30th November 2023

Monsters Unleashed #1 (Review)

Monsters Unleashed #1 (Review)
Marvel Comics, January 18, 2017
Writer: Cullen Bunn

“Monsters Unleashed” is a new crossover miniseries from American comic book publisher Marvel Comics. This story brings together majority of its mainstream character properties in a single story, and gives them the unenviable task of dealing with the onset of a prophesized apocalyptic event. The prophesy is grim: gigantic monsters attack the Earth en masse and rid it of human beings.

Perhaps we are jaded, but the first issue feels unique for a superhero crossover event, as it does not involve the heroes fighting each other on some artificial pretext. This is clearly a premise from which American superhero comic books should take a break. Instead, the story starts with the Avengers fighting a giant tentacled monster, and then greeted by yet another giant monster falling from the sky.

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Kaiju, History, Rage, and Mythology – Godzilla: Rage Across Time

Godzilla: Rage Across Time IDW Publishing, August, 2016-ongoing Writer: Jeremy Robinson (#1), Chris Mowry & Kahlil Schweitzer (#2) The globally famous, fictional giant reptilian monster “Godzilla” was originally introduced in a 1954 Japanese motion picture. The movie was a way of addressing the consequences of nuclear warfare, a concept all too real to Japan. Over … Read more

Monster of the Week #1 (review)

“Monster of the Week” #1 (review)
Self-Published, October 2016
Writer: Ryan Little

The Kickstarter blurb for this comic opens with the following elevator-pitch: “A Giant Monster Kaiju book in the wonky tone of Adventure Time.”

(“Kaiju”, as we have previously discussed, is a Japanese type of comic book dealing with enormous city-destroying creatures, in the manner of “Godzilla”.)

The overarching plot is amusing. Each year, once a week, every week for three months, a giant monster inexplicably appears from the sky, in the American Mid-West. The US Army generally disposes of these enormous beasts using rockets and tanks, but little seems to be known about them.


Importantly, in a faux-competition with the US Army in the destruction of these kaiju are amateur monster hunters. We meet two examples of these:

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Land of the Rats – Gastrolithicus (review)

“Land of the Rats – Gastrolithicus” (review)
The Underground Forrest, 2016
Writer: Mark Nasso

In 1851 American writer Herman Melville wrote “Moby Dick”. Ostensibly a tale about the perils of whaling in pre-industrialised America, “Moby Dick” was one of the first novels which:

a. focussed upon “will to power”, in a Nietzschean sense, but thirty years before Friedrich Nietzsche wrote his texts beginning with “Thus Spake Zarathustra” (1883). The fundamental concept is that a person through sheer force of will can overcome any adversity;

b. anger with fate, as a fuel to that will to succeed. Many writers and philosophers have for centuries noted that the fates are cruel. In “Moby Dick”, Captain Ahab rages against God, embodied by the white whale, and drew strength from his fury.

In this fantasy work, entitled “Land of the Rats – Gastrolithicus”, a combination of narrative text and free-flowing art, the unnamed protagonist, wandering a strange and icy land, is subjected to various twists and turns of fate- enslavement, escape and recapture, being eaten by a giant monster, a fight to the death, and the decimation of his liberated comrades. The grim tale is punctuated by amusing monologue – reference to “ass-kicking” and the rise and fall of “stones” depending upon the protagonist’s mental state will draw a wry smile. Any additional humour, given the dire predicaments faced by the protagonist, would potentially have taken the fantasy across the line into farce along the lines of Voltaire’s “Candide”. But the humour is dry, such as it is, and is applied by Mark Nasso, writer and artist of this work, with minimal application.

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