"Escape from Monster Island #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Joe Tyler
Illustrated by Carlos Granda
Colored by Jorge Cortes
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 3rd, 2016
When I watched Ocean's Eleven, I remember thinking “You know what would make this movie better? Monsters!” It seems that someone out there was thinking the same thing, as Escape From Monster Island plays with that idea a bit. The government put together an island to serve as a prison for monsters. Something happened and the humans had to evacuate, leaving something valuable behind. Now they're planning to break in to retrieve this priceless item, fighting their way through all sorts of creatures big and small.
This introductory issue of the series serves mostly to set up the premise. We get a rundown of the area and the information on the maguffin. The book ends with the team setting foot on the island itself, which is when the story really gets going. I'm not going to spoil the prize they're all after. Suffice it to say that it's something that would literally change the world.
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The real draw with Escape from Monster Island is, of course, the monsters. We get a truly awesome battle with a giant sea serpent spread across two pages. Artist Carlos Granda delivers an incredible underwater fight in snippets of smaller panels laid out on top of a huge image of the creature in all its glory. Jorge Cortes' colors make everything pop off the page. This “wow factor” is only surpassed by the final two-page spread showcasing an overhead shot of the island teeming with all different kinds of beasts. I cannot wait to see what the artists have in store for future issues.
The team sent in to retrieve this item fills your stereotypical soldier roles. You've got a wise-cracking skinny dude, a smart woman, and a tough, silent guy, among others. You just know that all but maybe one or two of them is about to become monster chow. Most aren't even given names, as there's no need to get attached to them. None of them, aside from the doctor who escaped the island and is leading the mission back in, stands out. This means I'll probably be routing for the monsters to tear them to shreds, as they're little more than cannon fodder.
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Escape from Monster Island has a killer premise. That alone is what will get me coming back for the next issue. The human characters are pretty interchangeable and there's not much in the way of development. The focus here is going to be all about monsters, and it looks like we're going to get them in droves over the course of this series. It seems as if no creature if off limits, from folklore to fantasy and everything in between.
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