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Monster - Graphic Novel - Rebellion Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Severed Cinema Comic Book Review of Monster from Rebellion

Comic: Monster
Issue: Graphic Novel
Written by: Alan Grant, John Wagner, Alan Moore.
Inked by: Jesus Redondo, Heinzl
Lettering by: Paul Bensberg, Tim Skomski
Year: 2016

Published by: Rebellion
 

Many years ago, at a time when British publication brute, 2000AD, ran the imaginations of thousands upon thousands of kids (plus adults), there were a few more comics out and about capturing the same feel as this ahead-of-its-time realm of reading. For instance, The Eagle made a startling comeback using art and photographic stories. Then there was the short lived, but absolutely stunning horror comic, Scream which arrived in 1984.

Writers and artists from 2000AD contributed and made some truly ghastly and chilling tales. It was a bit too much, I suppose, because Scream was cancelled after 15 issues due to public outcry. A handful of the serial stories leapt into The Eagle where they ran their course. 

One such serial, Monster, has recently made its way into reprint heaven via Rebellion, who deal with all 2000AD graphic novels. What is amusing is how on the cover and spine, the first name leaping out is, Alan Moore. Mr. Moore only wrote the powerful pilot episode – 4 pages to be exact. However, John Wagner and Alan Grant, took over duties and, in fact, built up a colossal epic for that era of comics.

Helped by the dark and brooding art, courtesy of Jesus (M.A.C.H 1, Star Trek: Voyager, Nemesis the Warlock bk 2) and for the début episode, Alberto Giolotti/ aka Heinzl (Doomlord, Turok). Monster was violent from the beginning – at least one killing per two pages on average.

Monster follows a teenager, Kenny Corman, who has always been told by his belt wielding Dad, never to venture into their attic. One evening, hearing a commotion, Kenny finds his Father dead by the attic door. From that moment on, when he creeps inside the attic, his life becomes a nightmare of death and avoiding the police.

Living in the attic is his Uncle Terry, a deformed hulking man, left there since birth and fed by family members. Kenny is the last person in the house, so, realising his Uncle is simply a scared confused child in a man's body, he decides to look after him. Unfortunately, Terry has a habit of killing anybody who may harm either of them. Thus begins an epic on-the-run journey town to town as the duo try and hide, plus reach a doctor who may be able to 'cure' Terry. Kenny tries his best to prevent Terry from losing his cool with so many foes, but to no avail.

Monster is a tragic working on the Frankenstein mythology. A misunderstood and frightened creature chased by near enough everybody who sees him. Of course, Terry has brutally and gorily murdered men who would do them wrong, so the police are on a manhunt. Along the way, crooked people try to use him for their gains as well. Terry's biggest fear is being separated from his nephew, who he sees as the only person in this new outside world he can trust – his “frenn....” as he says.

Midway through the tale, they are split apart, Kenny in hospital, then sent to relatives in Australia. Terry has only himself, his survival instincts and animal like strength to aid his own passage to “'straliaa..” Along the way, he's attacked by humans, dogs, shot at, nearly torn apart by a shark, oh yes it all happens to poor Uncle Terry.

Heads are crushed, necks are snapped aplenty. There's a nifty zombie dream sequence thrown in for good measure. If one fault could be found, once Kenny has vacated the story, Monster becomes somewhat predictable, but the characters are always well plotted and the whole thing tries to be as realistic as possible.

John Wagner is more known as the man behind Judge Dredd, Ace Trucking Co, A History of Violence, and many more, whilst Alan Grant is known for Lobo, Strontium Dog and a few Batman bits n pieces, etcetera. Monster is one of their greatest achievements and it holds its head high, able to be alongside many memorable UK characters from that decade. It would have been interesting to see where Alan Moore planned on taking their adventures, but, like his never finished Ballad of Halo Jones books, we will never know.

 

 RATING:
 Writing: 1 
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 Artwork: 1 
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