Friday, April 12, 2013

Kill All Monsters - The Cave Of Cool Review

Anyone who reads 'KILL ALL MONSTERS' by Brother Michael May may think it looks like it was created after we learned about 'Pacific Rim'. In fact I have been reading snippets of this creation for years and if anyone has a lawsuit against the upcoming movie it's the creators of this new comic.

The story of Robots vs Monsters moves quick and involves a group of soldiers who run their own personal robots to fight a cadre of monsters who have been making trouble on the Earth for over 60 years. Apparently our nuclear testing was just the vitamins the creatures needed to grown into massive monsters of destruction. Don't those aliens ever learn that we humans will build anything we need to protect our planet and do maximum damage to our invaders? Killing is what we do best as a species.

The robots fighters are equipped with all kind of special weaponry but that doesn't mean that they don't take damage and are in need of constant repairs. In that way they are always upgrading their fighting abilities. The robots and their 'drivers' are not invincible and that makes you care about them all the more.

The art work by Jason Copeland  is very cinematic and I can see it translate to live action or animation very easily. Copeland takes you right into the action. It's like Power Rangers for adults.

Michael May does a terrific job not only telling the tale but placing us right in the action while creating strong individual characters committed to this battle against the alien scum making trouble on our world. He also has created a mystery and characters that I want to know more about.

The key to any good comic is it makes me want to know more about the world that the creators have invented. I want to know the pasts of all the characters and why they have issues with each other. How did they get chosen for their role as monster fighters? Where did the robots come from in the first place? What past issues are they still carrying with them - issues that affect their role as soldiers? Can they trust their leaders or are they just cannon fodder serving another agenda?

In very few pages, May and have created an entire world that I haven't seen before. Also, he doesn't have to give us pages and pages of exposition to explain every little thing. I hate when a comic book does that. It's so lazy. Here each page and conversation advances the story and assumes that the reader is not an idiot. Michael doesn't spoon feed me story and that is appreciated.

And just when we think things can't get anymore complicated, we discover that one of the newest robot is a A.I. and is not liked very much by the humans who pilot the other robots. Trust is a hard thing to develop especially when you have to count on someone or something else to have your back when the shit goes down. This is another interesting twist to the story.

There are mysteries aplenty to solve here and I had that same feeling I always get when I read a good comic - it leaves me wanting more. That last page just opened up a ton of questions that I can't wait for the next volume to answer.

I have to be honest and tell you that Michael May is a blog buddy of mine. He was one of the first blogs I discovered through his (blank hates cephalopods) posts. He has always been a big supporter of the Cave of Cool.

He asked me to review this comic and I was at first reluctant but decided that he deserved the truth from me more than to have smoke blown up his butt. He is too good a buddy to lie to him if I hated this comic. Thank the gods that I could be honest tell him (and you all) that I was very impressed with the effort. I know from experience how difficult it is to write a comic, to keep the story interesting and to leave the reader wanting more. In this case he succeeded on all fronts as did his co-creators.

The artwork is great and varied enough to progress the story. After seeing the colored cover the only fault I can find with this first volume of 'Kill All Monsters' is that the entire thing isn't in color. That would make something that is already cool, even cooler.



Anonymous said...

Looks cool. The giant mech vs. monster trope has been a staple of anime for years - I'm surprised it took this long for American cinema to pick it up.

The Pacific Rim trailer immediately put me in mind of Neon Genesis Evangelion, an anime featuring giant mechs (well...not quite, but...spoilers) piloted by humans, battling the often gigantic Angels (many of whom also rose from the sea) with the existence of mankind at stake.

Jason Copland said...

Thanks for the kind words about our book, Calvin!