Monarch tells of the story of an alien invasion and Travon, a young survivor from Compton.
Monarch #1 is a stellar beginning in the newest series from writer Rodney Barnes. From the first panel to the last page, the story that unfolds is engrossing and will quickly hook readers.
This first issue introduces readers to Travon, a young high school kid in Compton. After being harassed by a bully, his day gets even worse when aliens attack the planet forcing him and other survivors to hide in the school.
It’s a unique setup, and issue #1 does a great job of introducing a host of characters. Readers see Travon as he goes about his day before the attack; everyone he talks with has a unique voice that lends itself to Travon’s world. It’s a nice touch and makes Travon, an already likable character, even more, relatable in how he is intentional with people he is close to.
This issue goes back and forth on the timeline of the alien invasion in a way that keeps the story easy to follow. Similar to Killadelphia, a critically acclaimed comic also written by Monarch’s Barnes, the use of narration from the main character adds depth to how Travon is feeling in his new situation. Readers feel the energy of a teenage boy trying to account for what is happening, and it gives Travon his voice.
The art by Alex Lins and the colors by Luis NCT is very well done. As mentioned previously, there is a timeline of the story switches, and with that is an excellent use of colors to help convey the tone and action happening in the issue. Lins’s art is well-designed, and the details are done with a focused effort. This is noticeable in panels, as the art may limit background details to emphasize the characters and their expressions. NCT’s colors add a moody tone throughout, and the shift to bright blue colors from the alien invasion feels otherworldly when it occurs.
This review was hard to write because of how well this first issue was. This new entry into the sci-fi horror genre feels fresh, and when I got to the last panel, I was bummed it would be a whole month before I could learn more.
Monarch #1 is a great start and addition to the sci-fi horror genre. It manages to feel epic while down to earth and should be on your pull list.
Monarch #1: A Gripping First Issue
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10