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Dept. of Monsterology Issue 3 Digital
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/08/2014 20:20:49

I gotta tell you, I was pretty excited about diving into issue #3 of the Dept. of Monsterology. So far the issue has been well written, possesses some good, witty dialogue, and the artwork has been spot on in setting the feel and tone of this pulp-supernatural series. Issues 1 & 2 were interesting rides while building up to some serious trouble for both Team Challenger and Team Carnacki. Things were already going downhill for Carnacki by the end of issue #2, and trouble loomed on the horizon for Team Challenger. So how does issue #3 fare?

Simply put, the third issue picks up right where 2nd issue left off. Team Challenger is suddenly in a jackpot with an eldritch behemoth, while Team Carnacki is still trapped underground and suddenly in a race against time while facing down an army of zombie vampires. Along the way, members of both teams get to show off some of their talents we’ve not had the chance to see as of yet (I will never look at Amelia Court nor Professor De Tovar the same way again). Those who’ve been craving action in this series will find it in issue 3 (and undoubtedly issue 4).

In the middle of all the action, there’s a new wrinkle forming with Team Carnacki member Samwi who looks to be an unwitting piece of a larger puzzle being put together by a supernatural evil mastermind. This issue even shoehorns in a few more details about the missing Team Carter.

My excitement and intrigue are peak and I can’t wait to read the conclusion for this four part series (and you know I’ll post a review when I do). I was bummed out after realizing that after issue 4 there’s might not be anything to look forward to from the department. But after doing some digging, I’m happy to say that it sounds like Renegade Arts plans to release a graphic novel with all four issues. I’m also happy to mention that a new series of Dept. of Monsterology series will be coming later this year.

For those of you still on the fence about joining the Department of Monsterology…this is a great time to get in on the ground level.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. of Monsterology Issue 3 Digital
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Dept. of Monsterology Issue 2 Digital
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/25/2014 19:37:44

As a reviewer, I make it a point to not give out any spoilers if I don’t have to. However, after reading issue Department of Monsterology Issue #2 (and #3 once I finish this review), a few spoilers tidbits will have to start coming out. If you don’t want to risk any spoilers, I’ll give you the short version here; “I’m enjoying this comic and I think it’s worth the purchase, go out and get it”. Once you’ve read #1 and #2 (and you will need to read #1 to understand what’s going on in #2), your welcome to come back for the rest of this review. For you more intrepid readers… lets dive in shall we?

Department of Monsterology Issue #2 starts off by introducing us to a field team from the “Lamont Institute” (led by siblings Sebastian & Jocasta Lamont), which looks to be rivals, and even antagonists to the Department. We find them somewhere deep within a cave in the Slovenian Alps (this comic displays an extreme fondness for exotic places and I for one encourage it) in the middle of relic hunting while dealing with the native creatures. Here we get an idea of what they are about, what they’re after, what kind of threat they present, and offers a sample of the unique abilities the Lamont’s possess.

From there, it goes right back into the parallel storylines; Team Carnacki is following the trail of where the two Chinese vampires came from, while team Challenger is dealing with the local wildlife “somewhere in the Pacific”. In between these two group activities is the addition of a third storyline with Professor Booker that takes place at home base; Dunsany College.

This third storyline was hinted at in an exclusive USA Today prologue and interview article, and it had a nice, tidy blurb about why the department investigates the things and sites that they do (“this department isn’t the only body interested in the things we study, but we are one of the few whose interest is wholly benign…”). I look forward to learning more about what goes on at the college; the prologue mentioned a third team (Team Carter), which has been on an “extended sabbatical”. This is code for “they’ve been missing for some time”, and I for one what to know what’s happened to them.

By the end of this issue the action and danger is ramping up. Team Carnacki runs into interference with the “Lamont Institute” while searching for the long lost tomb of an evil Chinese emperor (it seems that magician Dominic Belasco and Jocasta Lamont have history together). Meanwhile, team Challenger has its hands full with a “quite rare species” of dinosaur while the exploration that Professor Wilmington’s undertaking is about to reach a critical stage (fans of H.P. Lovecraft will understand just how critical).

On a side note, I love the name droppings that come up periodically in the series; Lamont, Carnacki, Challenger, Miskatonic, Carter… these names are intentional and means something to the fans of this kind of material. And while I’m still not happy that issue #2 keeps the 32 page count, the fun and pulp-fiction action style of the Department manages to cram a lot of material into this issue. The writing, the characters, the artwork, and the colors are all gelling together very well. None of it feels out of place here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. of Monsterology Issue 2 Digital
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Dept. of Monsterology Issue 1 Digital
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/18/2013 06:55:16

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.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dept. of Monsterology Issue 1 Digital
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