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Comic Review: Monocyte #1
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Review by Matthew Manarino

IDW Publishing: Monocyte #1Monocyte #1
Created and written by Menton3, Kasra Ghanbari
Art by Menton3
IDW Publishing
Release Date: October 19, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

Let me start off by saying Monocyte is dark, I mean really dark. With the exception of some spilled blood here and there the entire comic is done monochromatically. Characters’ bodies are either detailed masses of flesh and bone painstakingly drafted in black and grays, or they are huge black masses with unidentifiable torsos. Of course there will be H.R. Giger comparisons to artist Menton3‘s style and scope, and in this lies my issue with Monocyte. Each panel is so beautifully drawn and inked that they deserve to be single-standing illustrations, the words within each panel seemed like an afterthought. This was enhanced more by the fact that with art so meticulously rendered, the story seemed rushed and unevenly paced at many points in this issue.

Monocyte follows the war between two immortal cultures, The Olignostics and The Antedeluvians. Both races have become immortal and use humans as a form of sustenance to keep themselves undying. To top that off each race uses an army of weaponless, naked human slaves to do their fighting for them. It’s not a stretch to say that the human experience is not valued very highly among The Olignostics and The Antedeluvians. The simple fact that the reader has no one to connect to besides these super intelligent, completely apathetic beings makes Monocyte a very hard comic to care about. The introduction of the one-eyed “hero” Monocyte (mono-sight get it?) Azrael’s immortal minion is possibly the point were I was suppose to latch onto someone to root for, but the lack of background and development made Monocyte no more than a puppet for death in my eyes.

When writers Menton3 and Kasra Ghanbari could have fleshed out Monocyte‘s character and actually developed him as the anti-hero we need, they instead created gorgeous page filling illustrations with no more dialogue then “Meet Me By Nature” scrawled across them. I am a huge supporter of comics written artistically and poetically, but only if characters and stories are being full developed within the poetry. I know Monocyte is there to bring back the glory of death, and I know that Azrael is tired of the immortals but in no way do I care which side is obliterated and which side is victorious.

Within this issue there was also two sample chapters of other Monocyte storylines “The Chronicle of The Shepherd” and “The Chronicle of The Messenger.” The Shepherd had far to little in all aspects to be called a proper storyline. However The Messenger was a very solid piece of writing that set us up for a strong character driven story in the future.

Of course this is only issue #1 of Monocyte and there will be much time to develop characters that I can stand behind. But for now Monocyte stands as an artistically stunning yet one dimensional dark fantasy comic worth picking up for the art but not so much for what’s holding it together.

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