Monsters Unleashed

Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2005
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Monsters Unleashed Creator(s): Craig Stephens
Publishers: Self Published
From: USA
Price: $3.50 (inc. shipping)(US)

Twenty-one pages containing three stories of aliens and demons that will appeal to all readers who revel in the domain of X- Files conspiracy theories. In the case of this comic this issue is dealt with in a fairly straightforward manner but that in itself is no bad thing. The first story is an "aliens amongst us" tale with an enjoyable twist at the end. It works nicely as a self-contained story but visually suffers from the fact that too many frames employ a Spartan use of background, which combine to give the comic a bland and empty feel.

The second tale features the debut of a very promising character, a grotesque alien by the name of Zuto the Mighty. Visually he is not a million miles away from Paul Chadwick's Concrete in appearance but without that characters rational philosophical brain. In fact Zuto is an alien of the angry kind, hell bent on overthrowing Earth. A promising character, visually interesting and a story that builds tension well. The ending though is disappointing mainly due to the fact that it has been done before in Sci Fi short stories and movies like MIB 2. Bit of a shame really as the story and character promised so much.

Similar comments apply to the third and last tale presented here. Another very promising character, in this case the demonic Kahalith, and a promising premise. The storyline though is a little predictable and lacks originality. It just feels a little clichéd.

Overall then "Monsters Unleashed" is a mixed bag. Heaps of promise but in the case of the three stories here ultimately a little disappointing.

This is Volume One though and as such it is a worthy debut and well worth having a look at and watching for further development. Personally I believe that as the storytelling skills develop so will the effectiveness of this title. The art is strong and the characters promising, watch this space•

In a Word: Gestating.

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