Graphic Novel Review: Monsters Unleashed

Monsters Unleashed

Monsters Unleashed - Credit: Archant

The bigger they are, the harder they fall...

(Panini Books)

Tentacles, teeth and tails… Stomping and smashing… Wanton destruction on a truly epic scale. Unfortunately it sounds a lot more interesting than it actually is.

Marvel has a long history of big monsters dating back to its predecessor Atlas during the 1950s, and then in various anthology books before the debut of the Fantastic Four in 1961, with many of those bizarrely-named creatures appearing in this series (the most famous of course being the dragon Fin Fang Foom).

When colossal monsters begin falling to Earth and bulldozing their way through major population centres, the world’s superheroes mobilise to tackle the threat, but find themselves massively outmatched by the marauding menaces. It’s up to teen heroes Moon Girl and Miles (Spider-Man) Morales, plus Inhumans Medusa and Karnak, to discover the truth behind the invasion and enlist the help of the only person on the planet who can possibly prevent Armageddon…

Featuring the Avengers, the X-Men, the Black Panther, the Champions and the Guardians of the Galaxy, with cameos from various other lesser-known heroes, there’s no denying the sense of scale which this story aims to achieve. Major cities are wrecked, precious landmarks are lost, and thousands of people are, er, possibly rescued – that last bit isn’t too clear, as there’s no mention of the substantial death toll these attacks should have caused, rather like you’d expect in a Michael Bay movie.

Writer Cullen Bunn is ably assisted by the likes of Steve McNiven, Greg Land, Adam Kubert and Lenil Francis Yu, so Marvel were really throwing A-list talent at this series, which also span-off into various tie-in titles, just in case you hadn’t had enough of giant monsters fighting superheroes over and over again…

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Unfortunately its key story, of a “chosen one” whose mission it is to foil the monster invasion, smacks of cliché and a general lack of imagination, leaving this reader cold.