“Legion of Monsters” is one of those mini-series that you find yourself wishing was an ongoing immediately. Easily one of the best books I’ve been reading from Marvel of late, this series is completely fun, full of great characters, and tightly plotted.
In this issue, premiere monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone and the Legion of Monsters hunt down and investigate an infection running through the local demon population, making them even more dangerous than usual. While N’Kantu and Manphibian go to Hellstrom for assistance, Elsa and Jack head down into hell itself. At the same time, Morbius is up to something mysterious and possibly no good.
Dennis Hopeless’ script strikes just the right tone with a lot of humor to cut through the potentially dark ideas and characters. The result is a well-balanced tale that is a rollicking good time with just enough substance to keep things significant. Hopeless gives his characters compelling and nicely distinctive voices, and you can feel the relationships naturally and without a lot of forced exposition. I find myself with more affection for these characters in two short issues than most books can do in a full arc.
Juan Doe’s art is a fantastic mix of cartoony and gritty that is a perfect fit for the tone Hopeless has set. Doe has a kinetic loose style full of energy and creativity. The looseness creates some occasional inconsistency, but it’s a small price to pay for the expressive, enthusiastic, and straight up bold visuals we get. Doe’s character design is smart and fun. Perhaps more importantly, his take on each of these characters is particularly effective in that they all look different from one another and true to what they are, but also like they belong in the same world and book. Wil Quintana’s colors are an excellent complement to Doe’s style, surprisingly understated and thus not fighting for attention, but popping in all the right places.
Two issues in, “Legion of Monsters” is a wildly fun layered romp, with a significant mystery buried at the center. Solid character work, strong writing, and recklessly wonderful art have come together to make one hell of a book.