Dept. of Monsterology #4 of 4 Advance Review

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One of my favorite miniseries of the last several months is coming to a conclusion this Wednesday, January 15. I appreciate receiving an advance copy because it’s been a great and scary ride!


DEPT. OF MONSTEROLOGY #4
Writer: Gordon Rennie
Artist:
PJ Holden
Publisher: Renegade Arts Entertainment

Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in DEPT. OF MONSTEROLOGY: 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. Funded by the mysterious Hampton Foundation, the Dept. operates several field teams that roam the globe on extended research expeditions.

The department follows up on the Chinese vampire attack, only to find that someone has beaten them to it!

MYSTERIES ARE REVEALED, BUT NOT ALL OF THEM

I’ve enjoyed the storytelling in this comic, which has thrown some scary things at me that I hadn’t seen before, something I always like!

Dept. of Monsterology throws a lot of surprises at readers, including Taisui’s origins and learning something about just how powerful she is. For instance, how can she be two places at the same time? And does her teacher really want to lose her to Acarya? I was surprised and fascinated by the answers. She’s the most intriguing character in this series to me.

We get teased something gross and interesting about Javier. It makes me wonder if dragons still exist in the world and if they’ve mutated into something equally as dangerous as the huge, fire-breathing creates they’ve been previously known as.

My favorite part of the book was the first sequence, which showed Taisui’s past. The last page of that portion stunned me. Seems that Taisui’s been tremendously powerful from the day she was born.

There’s another sequence that takes place back at the Lamont Institute, when two people decide they “really must have her.” I want to know what that means!

Then we reach the final pages of the comic, which perfectly sets up a sequel. Based on what Alexander Finbow states in the back of the book, we’ll get to see more of this universe! I’m a happy guy!

I like a conclusion that not only satisfies me with revelations, but also piques my interest in future storylines. This issue did that for me extremely well!

My only concern with this issue was that Taisui really got the lion’s share of attention. As much as I like her, I would have liked to see other characters get a little more exposure.

THE ART PORTRAYS THE STORY VERY WELL

I particularly enjoyed how monsters were portrayed in this issue. Creepy! Some are blood-soaked, one talks even though decapitated, one made me think of an octopus, and finally those vampires really continue to be as scary as any I’ve seen before.

Interesting use of color here as well. Some pages make use of more subdued tones while the blood is bright red and the shading of the magic in green really made that stand out to me.

One of my favorite techniques the creative team uses is full-page panels to show us significant developments or to tell us something we need to know. That added a lot of power to the pages and what we’re seeing. I also liked how both “average” situations and the more unusual ones were displayed with equal strength.

BOTTOM LINE: DEPT. OF MONSTEROLOGY HAS INTRODUCED US TO A NEW UNIVERSE OF HORROR IN COMICS

Dept. of Monsterology has been a very satisfying and also a creepy experience. The book’s creators have proven themselves adept at handling many different kinds of supernatural situations, and I’m anxious to see more!

As the aforementioned Mr. Finbow, states in his column, “Will we find out what happened to Team Carter? Will De Tovar part company with his unlikely parasite? And will we find out the true origin of Samwi? Maybe! Gordon has outlined some of the story’s main points, but I am going to do my best to keep as many of them hidden until the comic comes out. There’s nothing like a mystery to engage the mind.” I agree!

If you haven’t had the chance to explore it, I’m hoping this run of Dept. of Monsterology will be collected into a trade. If you’re already a fan of horror or just starting to explore it, this series is worth your money and time!