Hats off to the creative team behind KILL ALL MONSTERS (published by Alterna Comics.) Michael May (writer,) spins a yarn here that’s filled with plenty of characters who readers of all ages can identify with and care about. Jason Copland (illustrator,) draws/inks with a pleasantly-minimalist style that really brings the tale to life in admirable fashion. From a panel layout standpoint, the book plays it safe, but it morphs incrementally from one page to the next, keeping things fresh as the tale unfolds. There is a powerful mindfulness at work here; a mindfulness devoted to both the aesthetic and the form. Ed Brisson (letterer,) really packs a wallop, giving every FOOSH, SPLOOSH, BOOM, SQUEEE, and AAAAAAHHH the emphasis that sound effects (of this magnitude) so richly deserve. After all, what’s a kaiju tale without face-melting sound effects?
Paris is fraught with peril, and the first thirty (30!) pages are more action-packed than an upside-down corkscrew rollercoaster ride. Protagonists Akemi, Dressen, and Spencer will steal your hearts, as they combine to form mankind’s last line of defense against the kaiju in the City of Lights. Michael May raises the stakes when the characters of Meshal, Cosa, and Rena are introduced; survivors making do with what little they can, while seeking refuge in the city’s vast underground sewers and tunnels.
Another protagonist (Archer) emerges into the tale slowly, evenly, having been sent to Paris to join the others in their fight against the kaiju. It is Archer who ultimately emerges as one of the more fascinating characters in the tale. The story’s pacing with the Archer character is noteworthy. Watch this character’s development closely.
A wide spectrum of naughty monsters appear here, as one might expect with a title of KILL ALL MONSTERS – including what can only be described as a ginormous gelatinous brain monster. Where the monsters come from is unclear to the reader. Clues appear along the way, as the story unfolds. Readers will have fun piecing the clues together, and the cliffhanger ending seals the deal. Readers will want more of this. Lots more.
Dialogue dandy: “Dressen, they don’t understand electricity. We’re lucky they’re not worshipping the bots as gods.” — Akemi
Runner-up: “Dammit! We’re stuck in Spencer’s elevator!” — Dressen
GODZILLA: RESURGENCE made a big splash (pun intended) in theaters this month. KONG: SKULL ISLAND drops in 2017. PACIFIC RIM: MAELSTROM drops in 2018. This decade is likely to go down in pop culture history as a golden age for the kaiju, thanks also to a helping hand from quality indie graphic lit (KILL ALL MONSTERS.)
Highly recommended, especially for fans of eye-popping kaiju action.
Watch for the continuation coming from Dark Horse Comics in 2017.