"Monster Motors: The Curse of Minivan Helsing #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Brian Lynch
Illustrated by Nick Roche
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 4th, 2015
Moments after stopping the evil Cadillacula with his new creation, Frankenride, genius mechanic Vic Frankenstein is confronted by Minivan Helsing and his gang of monster motor hunters. Although Vic created his undead automobile with good intentions, it's still a monster and Helsing aims to put it down. Joining him in this battle are his daughter April (who is not a car), Lagoon Buggy, and Wheelwolf. It's a motor vehicle battle royale in Transylvania, Kentucky, as Monster Motors drives from the comic shelves and right into my heart.
There is a lovable cluelessness in most of the characters. Vic has not changed at all. He's still a pompous yet charming intellectual that can't get enough of himself. He's quick to pat himself on the back after saving the town from Cadillacula. When he first starts speaking with April, he says, "Am I a hero? That's not for me to say..." which pretty much sums up how highly he thinks of himself. Despite his flaws, you can't help but love him. Vic never gives up and doesn't run from anything, even when he's shot by a ghost arrow or facing down demonic motor vehicles.
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Opposing him is Minivan Helsing, an old monster hunter who had to evolve with the times. His enemies were going mechanical, so he decided to continue the fight after his frail body gave out by sending his spirit into a fierce tank-like vehicle. That didn't work out too well for him. Instead he ended up in a minivan which has since been tricked out with all kinds of weaponry. Both Helsing and his daughter work with a singular goal of eliminating the monster motors of the world. It seems that Cadillacula was far from the only one out there. I can't wait to see what the other puns will be.
Writer Brian Lynch weaves aspects of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein novel as well as werewolf lore into the characters in Monster Motors, which is a very nice touch. It comes through organically and never feels forced. When something new is revealed, it makes complete sense. Of course, these points have been retrofitted to work on automobiles instead of people.
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Artist Nick Roche draws cars that make me want to collect Hot Wheels again. They just look so cool that I'm instantly turned into a little kid, pushing a toy car across the couch while making a "vroom" sound. Each of the vehicles carries aspects of their movie monster counterparts. Wheelwolf looks like he has pointy ears and a gaping jaw. Lagoon Buggy is covered in scales. Frankenride has a big front end that looks like a large forehead. If there aren't collectible car versions of these things soon, it's a damn shame.
To say that Monster Motors is a fun comic is an understatement. It's the kind of comic you'll read with a smile on your face from page one. It's an intelligently written comic that will resonate with all ages. Lynch expands on the mythology first seen in the original one-shot and seamlessly continues the story right where he left off. The existence of even more monster motors opens the door for what I hope will be many more stories, if for nothing else than to see what other pun-filled car names Lynch can come up with.