It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Who knew that the answer to all the stress in my life was a comic where good and evil are so perfectly clear? A massive team-up event where no one’s allegiances are questioned or motives scrutinized. Just a book filled with page after page of heroes punching monsters.
Let’s put aside the genuine catharsis that much of this book is for me and, I believe, many readers. The story involves seemingly random monster attacks around the world. Not standard Marvel monsters, but true, Lovecraftian horrors. With little hope of defeating them, a lone monster hunter, Elsa Bloodstone, finds the key to their appearance and, hopefully, their downfall. Kei Kawade, a pre-teen Inhuman, draws the monsters he sees, pulling them to him through time and space. The creatures have attacked worlds inhabited by Inhumans before and won. The monsters of the Marvel Universe, including Fin Fang Foom, Groot, Devil Dinosaur, and others are brought together by Kei to fight the invasion, much as his Inhuman ancestor did many centuries before.
The moment of truth arrives when Kei, encouraged by the young Inhuman, Moon Girl, draws monsters of his own to join the fray. In a move worthy of Voltron itself, Kei combines his monsters to create a single creature capable of doing what no other could: defeating the Leviathon Mother and saving the world. In the end, Kid Kaiju, as he asks to be named, saves the day for everyone.
All right, plot aside, this book is cover-to-cover FUN. The art is unreal, covering page after page with monster battles against pretty much every top and second-tier hero you can imagine. Any team-up you can dream-up punching monsters in whatever substitute they have for faces. Every fight panel is splashed with color and action without wasting an inch of space. Cullen Bunn has put together a fun comic with a great future, but without Steve McNiven’s fantastic art, this might have been just another unneeded mash-up. Instead, we get a cinematic series that’s got legs for years to come. With constant events pitting superhero against superhero, this comic is pure popcorn-munching fun. Can Monsters Unleashed be in the next phase of the MCU?