The Blood Theatre Review: Legion of Monsters TPB

This is a review I’ve done up for The Blood Theatre. If you love horror, blood, guts, gore, violence, and all that other stuff that’s against the norm, I’d check it out. I write for them after all. . .

But on to the review!

Legion of Monsters

Legion of Monsters TPB
Dennis Hopeless (writer), Juan Doe (artist, cover), Wil Quintana (colours), Dave Lanphear (letters). $15.99

If you’re the person who enjoys having fun while reading your horror, look no further than Marvel’s Legion of Monsters mini-series. Collecting issues #1-4, LoM is a hilariously intriguing look at some of Marvel’s most prominent creatures of the night: The Legion’s leader, the vampire Morbius; with Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night; The Living Mummy, and Manphibian all leads in the story.

Acting as a monster policing force, the anti-heroes are work to round up stray monsters and pull them into the depths of New York City where they can live freely. Naturally, something stirs up problems with the underworld leaving the monsters in a state of chaos. Monsters start attacking each other and begin rampaging amongst the surface world.

Enter Elisa Bloodstone – monster slayer. She is set up early in the story as someone who tricks monsters into trying to kill her via stereotypical monster-movie lore: Elisa dancing in a bedroom in her underwear while the monster sniffs her “innocence” out. Unfortunately for the unnamed monster, this means total doom.

Elisa realizes there is a problem with the monsters and teams up with Morbius’ monster police to help solve the problem. Quickly established as funny with tons of wit, the story turns into a murder mystery the characters trying to solve the reason why monsters are trying to kill everything.
Writer Dennis Hopeless hits the nail in the coffin with this story. Each page is guaranteed to make you feel worried for the team, wonder what could happen next, or even just laugh out loud.

Monster-driven dialogue is not something that is seen too often with stories, let alone comic books. Hopeless manages to give each character a distinct voice, as well as their own sense of humour. While Morbius and Bloodstone are shown as the leads of the story, the supporting roles are necessary as well as natural feeling as any friendship would be – whether you’re a monster or not.

Playing off that, Hopeless shows the reader that monsters aren’t entirely monsters either. The characters have emotions, feelings, and love for one another. Despite being hideously grotesque, monsters like Manphibian reminds the reader of that ‘loser kid’ from grade school who grew up to embrace his loser-dom. Morbius is smart, witty, and is looking for love in all of the wrong places. Although they are monsters, they are just as human and colourful as everyone else in our lives we could think of.

And colourful does not even begin to explain the excitement and thrills that comes from Juan Doe’s art. Images are flashy, tastefully cartoony, and brilliantly executed. Everything moves with excellent fluidity. Lines are clean when needed and disrupted when required. Doe has such a strong feel about the mood Hopeless wants to create that it would be as if they were in each other’s heads.

Meanwhile colourist Wil Quintana excels at trying the mood of the story together between Hopeless and Doe. Bright colours are never overdone, while even the darkest of colours still compliment Doe’s pencils and inks. Given the mix of the monsters available, Quintana has a lot of room to play around with colours, and he doesn’t seem to fool around at all with it.

While the series only lasted four issues, the trade paperback is an excellent way to make this book quickly accessible to enjoy at your own leisure and pass around to your friends. Although we may not see anything from the Legion of Monsters any time soon due to poor sales figures, this story stands out as being one of the best monster-books in a long time. Easily re-readable, action-packed, and funny, you’ll be demanding more from the Legion as soon as you close the book.

Grade: 9/10

Keep on Space Truckin’!

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It’s About Time!

It’s definitely been over a month since I last talked about comics on this site which is about – hey! Comics!

What have I been enjoying?

Legion Of Monsters was an excellent four-part mini series that was killed in sales. It was so disheartening to see such a good book falter in sales the way it did. Dennis Hopeless and Juan Doe rocked the entire story. It was funny, sad, action-packed, and most of all – it worked. When this comes out as a TPB, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get it. It really was too good to pass-up. The best part is that you do not require any past knowledge of the characters to pick it up.

As of this week, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and the Lopez duo brought upon New Mutants #37:

This story stole my heart as being simply adorable. Not to mention it was great for Amara to finally get some page-time. In a nutshell, many issues back, Amara made a deal with Mephisto to go on a date with him in order to save her friends. In NM #37, the devil’s come to claim his due. The results are magnificent. Please pick this up. It’s well worth your $2.99.

Old News & New News

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, DC is planning the prequel to The Watchmen. My take on this is that I don’t really care. While I am definitely interested in what DC is going to do, I definitely am shocked that they are going to be tampering with such a classic story.

I don’t know how well they’ll sort it all out – or even if it will do that well in sales. The catch is this: Comics are still a dying medium. DC, in two years, have pumped the world up with excitement over comics. Their reboot with the New 52 put sales of comics from all publishers up. Interest in comics are back. Even at my LCS, I’ve seen that it’s been busier. This is incredible. With DC rebooting an already popular franchise, surely this can only mean more sales not just for them – but the reinvigoration of comics in general.

Keep it up DC! You’re helping the medium tremendously.

The other big comic news was just dropped today: Tony Moore is suing Robert Kirkman over The Walking Dead.

For those who do not know, Tony Moore drew the first six issues of the series and did quite a few covers until issue 24. Apparently when Moore left The Walking Dead contracts were signed for him to get finances for movies and what-not. However, this didn’t include television shows. In a nutshell, he wants his due.

The clincher to the whole story is that Moore and Kirkman have been best friends since they were children. It’s heartbreaking to see something like this happen. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the results pan-out.

Until next time, keep on Space Truckin’!

Review: Legion of Monsters

I’ll have to admit, I was a bit skeptical to pick up Legion of Monsters. I didn’t really jump on the Fraken-Castle craze – although I found it hilarious. I really didn’t know what to expect going in. What I got was – well – read on!

Legion of Monsters

Legion of Monsters #1 of 4
Dennis Hopeless (writer), Juan Doe (artist, cover), Wil Quintana (colours), Dave Lanphear (letters). $3.99

Just in time for Hallowe’en! The fun-filled Legion of Monsters miniseries – featuring some of Marvel’s most prominent horror creatures: Morbius, the vampire, Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night, The Living Mummy and Manphibian, bring terror and hilarity to a new level. The series kicks-off featuring monster slayer, Elisa Bloodstone, tempting an unknown monster through stereotypical slasher-lore: her dancing in a bedroom in her underwear while the monster sniffs her “innocence” out. Unfortunately for the unnamed monster, this means total doom.

Now enter the Legion of Monsters. Underneath New York City, Morbius runs a tight ship, housing hundreds of thousands of monsters in order to prevent them from harming anyone on the surface. Acting as the monster police, Jack, the Living Mummy and Manphibian help quell any problems the monsters give the surface world – with hilarious results. But what Bloodstone’s role is with the legion only becomes revealed by the final few pages – setting up a really awesome and exciting story for the remaining three issues.

And that’s where Dennis Hopeless really shines. If you want funny, monster-driven dialogue, this book is for you. In fact, if you’re a fan of slapstick comedy mixed with violence, science, mystery, and unusual team-ups, this book is your you. Yes, Hopeless seems to fit everything and the kitchen sink into the first part of this series. But most importantly, this story is good. Every tiny detail of set-up is given in this book, creating a world for new readers to jump on to who have no prior knowledge to any of the characters.

To match Hopeless’ world, Juan Doe hits the nail on the head with his art style. While it’s ultimately cartoony, it fits the mood of the book with near-perfection. Clean lines appear rough when headshots are presented in particular panels, but it allows you to see the grit of the monsters while still seeing their human-like traits. Each panel is used properly, showing everything that is needed to keep the story moving along. Doe essentially put a ton of effort into this book and it shows. Matching Doe with Quintana on colours must have been a dream come true for Doe. Quintana never overdoes brights or darks and shows all of Doe’s pencils without drowning any of it out. With such a versatile set of characters, Quintana has a lot to play with, and he spares no expense in having fun with that.

The Legion of Monsters is a ton of fun for fans of horror and people who just want a good laugh. It’s unfortunate that it is only four issues, because the first one went by too fast!

Grade: 9/10

Keep on Space Truckin’!