Marvel Pick Of The Week – January 18, 2017: Monsters Unleashed #1


Monsters Unleashed reminds us what we’ve missed in the recent crossovers – heroes joining together for high-stakes action and boundless imagination!

Pick Of The Week: Monsters Unleashed #1, by Cullen Bunn and Steve McNiven

After slogging through what feels like a year of Civil War II, thinking of another crossover turned my stomach. And Monsters Unleashed should not have dragged me back in. I don’t watch Godzilla movies, I’m not fond of the Silver Age giant monster comics, and I’m not excited to track this story into a dozen tie-in one-shots. But I was wrong. Monsters Unleashed is exactly what I needed this week.

The pitch, that Marvel Universe’s most popular heroes fight a bunch of giant monsters, sells this thing short. I mean, you get that. You get a lot of that. Mark Waid’s Avengers stop three creatures from knocking over too many Manhattan skyscrapers. Black Panther hunts a beast in Wakanda while the Guardians Of The Galaxy pull a snake-nightmare off the Space Needle. Bunn and McNiven team up for winning peeks into these battles, entertaining the reader while politely hinting at the tie-ins to get more of the story.

But the secret heart of the book is a story about wonder. Because while the flashy supers keep scaly foes off monuments, my favorite foul-mouthed monster hunter has to solve the mystery of why these things are here. And the answer may trace back to a cryptic little boy who draws just like Jack Kirby.

This book honors its legacy without losing itself in the kooky Kirby trappings. Avengers evacuate buildings, but the buildings fall. Bunn makes sure we see the desperate police trying to keep everyone safe, but he keeps the tone of the book in that sweet spot between goofy and grim. I don’t want a crossover of monster punches; I want a reminder that heroes don’t always fight each other, that people still save the day, that we can take our dreams seriously. And that comes out in force this week.

Honorable Mentions:

Rage is dropping statistics this country needs to read, and I love the way he plans to use the media circus around his trial to make those facts widespread.

Because yes, if you have technology to raise the dead, 2016 gave us ample candidates.

Charles Soule’s Maximus is just adorable.

Teenage Iceman finally had his first kiss! Worth the wait!

Next: Check out the last Pick Of The Week!