In Marvel's current event series, “Monsters Unleashed” writer Cullen Bunn and an all-star team of artists are showing readers how much fun it is to pit giant kaiju against the big name heroes of the Marvel Universe. The debut issue of the series featured several high profile battles between super teams and rampaging behemoths, and in the aftermath of the big event it will become clear that one of the best ways to prevent future monster assaults is to fight fire with fire.
This April, that's exactly what happens. In the wake of the event's finale, several kaiju will band together under the leadership of Kid Kaiju and Elsa Bloodstone to literally form the Marvel Universe's biggest super team in the new “Monsters Unleashed” ongoing series by Bunn and artist David Baldeon. The sheer size of the team and it's unique make up means the entire Marvel Universe will be watching these monstrous heroes closely and that they'll have to prove themselves against some colossal threats.
CBR spoke with Bunn about his cast of characters, their role in the larger Marvel Universe, how Elsa Bloodstone and Kid Kaiju's views on monsters will impact the team, and the initial threats his cast will be up against. Plus, we have the first look at Arthur Adams' cover for the series' first issue.
CBR: Let's start with the big news: "Monsters Unleashed" will live on as an ongoing series after the current mini wraps! What can readers expect from this series? How does it compare to the current "Monsters Unleashed" miniseries?
Cullen Bunn: I’m thrilled to be writing this series, because it’s something completely different, a team book unlike anything else on the stands. This book is even something altogether different from the miniseries it spins out of. It’s brand new territory! The series will be fun and dramatic and action packed, and we’ll be exploring the personalities and development of a group of (mostly) new characters. But the nature of this team and the challenges they face opens doors to some unique storytelling opportunities.
At the center of "Monsters Unleashed" is a team of giant-sized kaiju heroes. What can you tell us about these characters? How intelligent are they, and what kind of dynamic will they have?
In so many ways, I’m approaching this group of monsters the way I might approach a superhero team -- but these monsters can’t be treated as your typical superheroes. Their origins (not to mention the scale of their adventures) sets them apart. These monsters are intelligent, and they each have their own personality, their own hopes and dreams, and their own character arcs.
In the team, we’ve got Aegis, an armored brute who fancies himself the team leader. We have Slizzik, a dragon that is highly intelligent even though he doesn’t speak. There’s Mekara; she is a fun-loving robotic giant. Hi-Vo is a creature of relatively simple intelligence and childlike wonder. And there is Scragg, a monstrous insect who is a pacifist.
Rounding out your cast of characters are Kid Kaiju and Elsa Bloodstone. What's it like bouncing these characters off each other and the team's monstrous members? How does Elsa, who used to hunt monsters, feel about working alongside them?
Kid Kaiju and Elsa help to keep the team grounded. They’re the humans who interact with these giant monsters and help to make them more relatable. Kid Kaiju and Elsa have very different beliefs when it comes to monsters. Kid Kaiju is a monster superfan. He loves them. Elsa loves to kill them. That’s going to put them at odds sometimes, but they might also learn something from one another. Of course, Elsa has to vent her monster-killing aggression somewhere, and we’ll see her doing so in some ways that might be a little more traditional for her.
A team of giant monsters operating in the Marvel Universe is bound to generate concern from groups S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers. Initially, what kind of presence will the larger Marvel Universe have in this series? Will they even be aware of your cast's existence?
This book is firmly set in the Marvel Universe, and we’re not going to shy away from interaction between these monsters and the world at large. You’re absolutely right. The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Damage Control and other groups are very interested in what these giant creatures are up to, and they will be keeping a very close eye on them. If you think the monsters might chafe under such scrutiny, you’re right again.
David Baldeon drew a variety of weird and wonderful things during his run on "Web Warriors" including giant robots and monsters. What's it like working with him on this series? What do you enjoy most about his style?
David and I have wanted to work together on something for a long time, so I’m pleased that this is the book where we can finally make that happen. As you mentioned, he’s no stranger to monsters and robots and the like, and he shines when it comes to fun, bombastic action.
Finally, can you leave us with some teases about the initial antagonists your cast will battle with?
The enemies they face are going to be real movers and shakers in the villainous world. They should be very well known to Marvel readers, very dangerous, and very interested in Kid Kaiju. Yes, I’m talking about villains—plural—and they represent some interesting segments of Marvel bad guys, some of them dating back to the early, early days of superhero books.
"Monsters Unleashed," by Cullen Bunn and David Baldeon, with covers by Arthur Adams, stops into comic stores in April.