The Bastards did a group review on the first issue and there were some pretty mixed opinions. But I’m going to tackle this issue by myself and see if I can convince you one way or the other. Gordon Rennie and PJ Holden have brought in some pretty interesting subject matter here. Dept. of Monsterology kind of reminds me of some classic Whedon-created television shows. Is his stuff too recent to be considered classic? Just in case you were wondering, that’s a good thing. Plus, I see a little resemblance of the B.P.R.D. universe in here. I don’t see any problem at all with mixing these two worlds. There are some really strong characters in this series. It being a mini-series, I don’t know if there will be enough time to really get to know them all, but I’m liking how they interact with each other so far. If you read the first issue you saw that there are parallel storylines being told in this series. That has always been something that I’ve been drawn to. One specific aspect about this issue is the addition of an antagonist group. These guys don’t seem to be as interested in collecting historical artifacts in a peaceful way as Team Challenger or Team Carnacki. This particularly sadistic group of bastards is known as The Lamont Institute. We get to see that their approach to historical exploration is a tad bit extreme. Not to mention that they don’t seem to have any regard for other forms of intelligent life. That kind of defeats the purpose of being a villain in the first place. You have to be a bully of sorts. Unfortunately for Team Carnacki, they get to find out what The Lamont Institute is all about in this issue. And it looks like there is some history here. Next month should be interesting.
I consider myself an educated person, but I have a hard time getting through all of the scientific terms sometimes when they’re all tied into the same dialogue bubble. That would be my only beef with the book so far. I actually looked some stuff up online during my read-through’s. Luckily, they don’t keep you totally in the dark about the terminology. Some of it is explained as the story goes on. But further concerning the writing, I like the dialogue. It’s funny and character specific. You don’t always see that. That’s one reason that I’ll be surprised if this series doesn’t continue on after the end of this initial arc. Gordon Rennie knows what he’s doing.
The art is good. There are really only so many things that you can say about art sometimes, but I think that the best part of it is the fact that it fits the writing. PJ Holden makes that happen. Now brace yourself for this odd sounding compliment, but the art seems familiar to me, in a good way. The art doesn’t distract me from the story because I feel comfortable with it. That sounds good, right? I have a feeling that you’ll feel the same way after you think about it for a second.
I’ve had a lot of luck lately. I’ve really enjoyed most of the stuff that I’ve reviewed and actually just read in general. This is a good time for comics and this series just adds to that. If this were a group review, I’d be giving this issue a bold “buy” all in caps. I may have even thrown an exclamation point in there. Hopefully I’ll see you all here next month.
Writer: Gordon Rennie Artist: PJ Holden Publisher: Renegade Arts Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/20/13