Posted on December 12, 2013 by Steven Dawes
Available at DriveThruComics.com
“Officially, it’s the Department of Cryptozoology, Mythological Studies, Parapsychology and Fortean Phenomena. But to the rest of the students and staff at the Dunsany College, baffled by the cloak of secrecy that surrounds the Department and its affairs, it has another, more dismissive, name: The Department of Monsterology. Their brief: to investigate the dark and unexplored corners of our world – the places we’ve forgotten, lost or believe to be mythical. And to study those things that may still be lurking there.”
Looking at the cover of “Dept. of Monsterology” from Renegade Arts Entertainment, I knew right off the bat that it had potential. The color palette is minimal and bleak, with plenty of blackness and shadows mixed in to compliment the mysterious tone of the comic. Artwork wise, it’s vast in scope while being minimalistic, reminding me of other horror comic favorites of mine, such as “Hellboy” and “Caballistics, Inc.”, the latter is appropriate as they both have the same script writer in Gordon Rennie. His dialogue is interesting and amusing, emitting at least a little bit of a “Joss Whedon” vibe to it. Other inspirations could be felt in varying degrees within its 32 pages as well, including H.P. Lovecraft, Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones, and even a pinch of Bio-Shock was thrown in for good measure.
The first issue is predominately a roll call of who’s who in the series being told in parallel stories while dropping hints of what’s to come in future issues (4 issues are planned). The cast is made up of two teams: Team Challenger and Team Carnacki. I don’t want to ruin the surprises of what the team members are and can do, but I will say that Challenger is more physical oriented while Carnacki is more mental. Both teams have some very interesting and varied characters and I’m interested in reading more about them, and what they can do.
The story arcs introduces the reader to the abysmally dark depths of the ocean (where ancient monsters and long lost cities roam), and the resurfacing of a long forgotten ancient Chinese evil. I suspect that more supernatural elements and an antagonist group or rivals will appear in future issues. While I wish there were more pages to this issue, there were just enough to get my attention and to keep me wanting to come back for more.
I have to keep this review short this time around, but I hope to read more issues in the future, and as I do I’ll be glad to review the Dept. of Monsterology in greater detail and depth.
Review by Steven Dawes
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