Monsters Unleashed Again!
Marvel comics has a long and proud history with unleashed monsters and probably even a few leashed monsters. Before the return of super-heroes to Marvel in the 1960’s, popular comic books often had love stories, westerns, sci-fi and monster stories. Up-and-coming creators in the 1950’s, such as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko often wrote and created monsters that they never quite let go of when the industry shifted towards super-hero stories. Embedded in early Marvel comics such as the Fantastic Four, monsters clearly staked their place in the Marvel Universe.
In January 2017, Marvel will introduce their new crossover event, Monsters Unleashed. This event will showcase Marvel’s monsters in all their glory against the Marvel heroes in a Pacific Rim-style threat. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marvel’s editor-in-chief Alex Alonso stated:
“If there ever were a monster who stood 10 stories high or taller and created mayhem in the Marvel Universe over the last several decades, they’re gonna be in the story.”
An uncomplicated crossover event
Monsters Unleashed appears to be the first crossover event post-Civil War II. In recent years, Marvel has weathered severe criticism for the lateness of their major annual crossover events. In 2015, Secret Wars was months behind schedule and 2016’s Civil War is following the same distressing pattern. Both of those troubled crossovers had a significant number of tie-in’s as well.
Monsters Unleashed may shift to a more simplified structure as well as a typical “hero vs bad guy” approach. Scheduled as a five issue bi-weekly series, with limited tie-ins, CBR has called this a “reader friendly” approach. Given the complexity and lateness of recent crossover events, “reader friendly” sounds enticing . This means costs are a little lower, and for those who are a little tired of “good guys fighting good guys”, it appears we’ll have a good old fashioned super-heroes trying to save the world from the monsters’ story. Of course, there is bound to be some internal struggles. It’s likely some friends will turn to foes and that we’ll learn just exactly what defines a monster.
As usual, Marvel has established an all-star creative team with Cullen Bunn writing and Adam Kubert, Salvatore Larocca, Greg Land, Steve McNiven and Leinel Yu headlining the visuals. It will be interesting to see how Greg Land handles his monsters, given his glamourous style. Unlike Secret Wars and Civil War II, each issue of the mini-series is illustrated by a different artist. This should help Monsters Unleashed to be released on schedule, but hopefully not adversely affect the story given the wide-range of illustrators.
Monsters Unleashed has tremendous potential to be a breath of fresh air to readers who want a simpler event. For Marvel fans, get ready to see your favorite heroes aligned together in a clash against a clear “monster-ific” threat.