Published on August 6th, 2013 | by Rich McAuliffe1
Department of Monsterology #1 comic review
This first issue introduces us to two factions of the titular department, Team Challenger and Team Carnacki, both of which contain a mixed bag of weird members. I won’t go into details on these as it’s more fun to find out as you read it but whilst not being “monsters” themselves they aren’t exactly your off the shelf good guys either.
The book is split into two halves, the first detailing Team Challenger’s run in with an army of deep sea monsters and the second showing Team Carnacki taking on ancient Chinese Vampires. We learn that both teams are aware of the other but they’re obviously saving the interaction for a later issue.
The obvious comparison for a book like this would be Hellboy or more likely it’s spin-off B.P.R.D. seeing as it’s dealing with an organisation dedicated to solving problems of a “getting your face eaten off” nature but it’s to the books credit that it keeps its own identity. It has much more of a sense of fun to it and if anything would be more akin to the Hellboy movies which were less dark and serious than their source material. Not to say this is light and fluffy in any way just that it’s more action/horror than straight horror.
Been a big fan of Gordon Rennie’s work for years now and Absalom is probably my favourite of the newer 2000AD properties but after his last Dredd arc really left me cold this is a serious return to form. Great dialogue, cool set pieces and manages to introduce a lot of characters and information about the world the story is set in without ever feeling forced or expositiony… which isn’t a word but you know what I mean.
As for PJ Holden’s art, well his last 2000AD run was impressive as hell but this stuff is even better. The script calls for lots of creepy monsters in dark and dingy environments and this totally delivers and manages to be atmospheric while still letting you see what’s going on. Especially loved the Chinese vampires who were just cool and even appeared to be hoppers which as every good nerd knows is the correct way for them to get around
Pretty much does everything you’d want from a first issue of a new title. One issue in, I’m a fan.
Bottom line I defy anyone to read this and not think “Fuck yeah, bring on issue 2″. Pick it up. In a few years you can be a smug annoying bastard and tell everyone you were into this before it was cool to be into this.
Originally posted on ECBT2000AD.