REVIEW: Dept. of Monsterology #2

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When the first issue of this comic hit the stands, I had the chance to preview it. I’m not always a fan of horror, but Dept. of Monsterology really worked for me. Now that the second issue is out, is it as good?

SUMMARY

Pros
Strong art and quick plotting make it a real page-turner!
Monsters, monsters – and even human monsters! What else would you want from a horror book?
Cons
Be sure to get the first issue so you can understand what’s happening properly.

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

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DEPT. OF MONSTEROLOGY #2
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!

MONSTERS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES.

I still love the book’s catch phrase, “Investigating the dark, forgotten corners of our world, one monster at a time.”

What separates Dept. of Monsterology from the other horror books out today is that we don’t only see ONE monster wreaking havoc. In this second issue, we also get to see man showing his own monster within. That sequence actually bothered me as much as or more than the rest of the issue. Sometimes the soldiers have to fire at the smaller creatures for minutes in order to eliminate them all. I wanted to yell at them to stop!

I did enjoy seeing Chinese vampires. I’m not nearly as familiar with them as I should be, I guess, but are they ever destructive and plentiful!

As in the first issue, the different teams continue to act, well, differently. That’s good for us because it’s important we care about the individuals (as well as some of the monsters). We see each person as he or she sees themselves, and that helps us approach their missions as they do. It also makes me understand the threats they’re facing.

This time, I really came to understand Pupil Samwi, a young Oriental girl with an amazing array of powers. She seems to be newer to her team, and she acts like a teen just might in these circumstances, resisting authority and kicking butt as much as she can.

I also came away with a darker impression of the Lamont Institute. I’m sure we’ll discover more about them moving forward.

As in issue one, I greatly like Rennie’s fast-paced plotting, which continues to provide a LOT of action interspersed with the dialogue necessary to move the story along. Again,  he doesn’t give us much time to wonder what’s happening, something I love in a comic!

THE ART IS JUST AS POWERFUL AS LAST TIME.

Holden’s art continues to shine, as he portrays everything from a plane in the sky to a dinosaur chasing members of Team Challenger. He also makes good use of backgrounds, sometimes without any at all versus ones that show beautiful skyscapes. My acrophobia actually kicked in when Samwi was riding the plane’s wing. Nicely done!

The variety of page layouts keep readers like me engrossed in what’s happening. They also add power to panels that deserve them and take some away from those that don’t require as much attention.

BOTTOM LINE: DEPT. OF MONSTEROLOGY CONTINUES TO SHOCK AND SURPRISE TERRIFICALLY.

Dept. of Monsterology is making a habit of teaching me more about horrors I’ve rarely seen before and caring about the people in the comic. The action keeps me turning the pages in a hurry to see what’s going to happen next!

I have to repeat myself here: If you want to read a comic that delivers bigger and better horror, Dept. of Monsterology is just what you’ve been looking for!

Rating: ★★★★½