Monocyte #1 Full Review (Comic Blog #9)

Posted: January 16, 2012 in Art, comics, Horror, Vampire
Tags: , , , , ,

Two warring immortal races rule a scarred world where time has no meaning.

Death (Azrael) sits impotent, quietly planning his restoration. He summons Monocyte, a forgotten immortal necromancer who long ago chose sleep in his failed quest to die. With a fatal pact sealed, Monoctye strikes out as Azrael’s vicious proxy.

The Olignostics
A race of immortals who came together through the convergence of politics and technology. Their seminal moment was their development of absolute zero by a MIT scientist. They used their knowledge of technology to create an ‘immortality conduit’. Once the conduit was brought online, the Olignistic race was born.
Once able to flaunt their true nature publicly, they soon established a hyper controlled and harmonic social system for the remaining humans that subjugated them to feed the conduit. 
Not satisfied with this control they soon ravaged and destroyed social, political, financial, natural and other ecosystems, driving the world into a barren wasteland. Towards the end of their global pillage, the Antedeluvians resurfaced… and the great war began.

Antedeluvians
Have walked the earth since its beginnings. They are a secretive collective if individuals, bound together for a thirst of knowledge with an ancient code governing their activities.
Al Khidr, the Green Man, was the first immortal and the originator of their species. Legend speaks of him turning barren land into lush habitat, in having those deemed worthy transmitted to divine secrets so as to be filled by their own capacity towards confronting their divines.
For centuries, the Antedeluvians subsisted on withdrawing psychic energy from their unknowing prey. Through time individuals would leave the shadows and perform extraordinary achievements for no reason but play.
The near overnight formation and ascendancy of the Olignostics for the Green Man to reemerge ordering the Council to bring all Antedeluvians together, with a collection of humans to feed on. 

I can appreciate that is an intense introduction to a review, however the comic itself is very demanding and requires commitment from the reader, both in story and visually.

The two warring races have destroyed the earth though their eternal battles, and mankind are nothing more than food to both. Death releases the Monocyte to destroy both races and restore the land. A demon who is able to remove the immortal souls, tear the skin from bone and use as weapons as if they become part of him.

Grod is introduced as a dispossessed nobleman from the Olignostic city, forever bearing the mark of shame on his face. After losing two of his human slaves, he demands the ‘Shepherd’ provides two more, once humiliated by her denial he receives the same shame by the high council. 

Meanwhile, Grods brother Ryal is sent to battle the oncoming Monocyte, and in doing so becomes the first immortal to perish. Beatrice is sent to gather the humans before they flee and stands opposite the Monocyte. Both recognise each other and acknowledge so, although nothing more is mentioned at this time. The comic concludes with Monocyte standing tall new to fallen victims ‘Meet Me By Nature, Then Fall By The Same, Death Will Know Your Name’.

The detail in the bi-monthly 4 part series is outstanding, and is enhanced further by the two small additional stories included at the back of the comic. ‘Chronicles of the Shepherd’ is also written by Ghanbari and illustrated by Riley Rossmo and illustrates how the humans are farmed. ‘Chronicles of the Messenger’ is written and illustrated by David Stoupakis’, and tells of a young girl Beatrice taken to see a Doctor due to her ‘imagination’. Beatrice can see the immortals and understands the human role in their society. Although kept over night the final panel shows he in the described barren land alongside the adult Beatrice discussed in the main story.

Story 4/5 – I am a really fan of dark horror and this is one of the most intense and suffocating comics I have read. Each panel requires attention and commitment from the reader. Both Menton3 & Ghanbari have provided a bleak landscape,  with no heroes or characters to support. The Monocyte has no loyalty, only a mission and no past described. I am sure more will be discovered of this necromancers past, however it is refreshing reading a tale that doesn’t ‘spoon feed’ the reader too much to quickly. This was my favourite #1 issue of 2011.

Art 5/5 – It is easy to make a lazy H.R Geiger comparison with Menton3’s artwork however there is so much more to his creation. Each page is completely different, from  irregular panels to full page layouts. Each panel (let alone page) could be sold as artwork, the detail in the background takes must take more work than a lot of illustrators put into their main characters. Each read something new is noticed, a detail that was missed previously.

Cover 4/5 – I saw the cover in the appropriate months ‘Previews’, and that was encouraged me to look further. Much like the rest of the book, it’s only once you have a copy in your hands that you appreciate the detail that is involved. The only reason I didn’t give it a five, was that it opens the argument of H.R Geiger before people might actually give it a proper look.

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