“Legion of Monsters” started out as one of the best Big Two minis of the year. It was fun and insane and gorgeous. It’s still gorgeous, but the fun and insanity stand aside for a moment to let the plot mechanics grind into play. There is a lot of exposition at play, including the groan-worthy cliche of a new flashback finally revealed to come into play. The mini can surely get back on track with Morbius knowing the whole deal now.
Dennis Hopeless and Juan Doe work best when juxtaposing these frightening characters with simpler emotions and interactions. There is a page where Morbius and Manphibian loiter in the fallout of their emotionally charged fight. The heat has passed, each creature is just sorry, and they sip their coffee in silence. I’d much rather see these things room together in Manhattan with hilarious results than have them battle together against Dracula. The first comic might never happen, but it doesn’t mean the same spirit can’t be infused into the second. Hopeless was managing this and now struggles to juggle it with all the plot exposition.
Elsa Bloodstone has been a shinning gem in this mini as a strange female lead that both brings more masculinity to the page than her ferocious co-stars and manages to be warped for laughs. The montage pages of Bloodstone gearing up for battle are delivered seriously, but will make you smile. She is the lucid glue that holds this dreamscape together.
Juan Doe draws a panel where Bloodstone stakes one vampire while uppercutting another with her hair. It’s this moment that is the poster child for this entire concept of a book. Another fantastic choice made is how the current Morbius is depicted as opposed to his fashion choices in the flashback. The open collar and massive belt over painfully tight jeans is gloriously hilarious and works for the narrative. Every color feels chosen by Wil Quintana for its ability to deliver a shade of emotion over the reader. The grainy vibe makes it all feel extremely schlocky before the writing comes in to still make you care. The balance of this comic is Swiss in construction.
If comics showed on drive-in double bills then this would be staple viewing. It’s funny and strange, though the middle of the story slowed to focus on the details. Doe makes each page feel like something you want to buy and wrap a frame around. This monster feature is crazy and beautiful.