Comic Reviews: Gotham City Monsters and Trees: Three Fates!
Gotham City Monsters #1 (DC Comics)
It’s not quite October yet, but DC is getting their spooky on with Gotham City Monsters, a new series from Steve Orlando and Amancay Nahuelpan that brings together some of the weirdest monsters and misfits in the DC universe to battle an ancient evil that’s been resurrected to wreak havoc on the multiverse. With a cast that ranges from Killer Croc to Frankenstein’s Monster to the vampire Andrew Bennet, Gotham City Monsters is definitely one of the biggest reaches for the publisher, but it’s not without it’s own charms.
Vampire Andrew Bennet and Frankenstein’s Monster are both hunting the same foe: Melmoth. Believing that forces are working behind the scenes to resurrect the ancient demonic entity, the two supernatural saviors eventually find themselves reluctantly working together to hunt him down. Or that would be the case if Frankenstein hadn’t just cut Bennett in half.
The interplay between Bennet and Frankenstein makes up a large majority of Steve Orlando’s script, and it’s pretty entertaining. What’s less entertaining is the random sections of the issue that deal with the other members of this monster team. While they’re fine snippets into what each character is currently doing, there’s little to no connective tissue for how these characters are going to fit into the team, or the current plot of the first issue. And by the issue’s end, they’re no closer to joining Frank and Bennett, so it doesn’t make me very confident that they’ll be joining those characters any time soon.
Amancay Nahuelpan made a big splash with Black Mask Comics, and it’s really neat to see his art on a big two book like Gotham City Monsters. His style is both cartoony but expressive, and this series should do wonders to increase his visibility in the industry. He can handle the dark visuals needed for this series, but also the super cool action sequences as well. If you’ve never experienced his art before, you’re in for a real treat.
Gotham City Monsters may not live up to it’s title yet, but it could get there in a few issues. For fans of New 52 series Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE and I,Vampire, this is a must get, as those two lead characters feature very prominently in this opening issue. Fans of characters like Killer Croc and….Orca, I guess? Well, you might be disappointed.
Trees: Three Fates #1 (Image Comics)
Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Trees has been running for a while now, and with the third installment in the series, Three Fates, arriving, I decided to finally give it a shot….which may have been a mistake. As a continuation of the Trees series, I’m sure it was great. But as a introduction to the Trees universe, it leaves a lot to be desired.
The basic plot of this new series revolves around the investigation of a dead body by local investigator Klara. After a bunch of giant pillars called “Trees” arrive on Earth, Humans needed to learn how to live with these new strange visitors. Eleven years later, humanity has accepted this as a new way of life, and the world keeps going, albeit now there’s a strange murder that may have ties to a deeper conspiracy.
That “lived in Sci-Fi” feeling is always welcome in my book, and while you can jump into this series with the basic information provided, I really do feel like I’m missing some larger revelations that probably arrived in one of the previous Trees series. Of course, this is partially on me for picking this up sight unseen, but at the same time, if Ellis wants people to come back to this series, or pick up the older series, then maybe he should have considered giving readers a little more tantalizing reasons behind the Trees to pique our interest.
Jason Howard’s art is an interesting mix of Ryan Ottley and Mike Avon Oeming, and it suits the series really well. Three Fates seems to be a much smaller event than the previous series, but that suits Howard’s style really well, as he gives the pages a nice sense of mood and pacing throughout the book. This wouldn’t be that far out of the realm of an HBO procedural drama, and it shows throughout the issue in Howard’s art.
Will I go back and check out the rest of Trees? I’m not so sure. But I do appreciate the fact that Ellis and Howard are using the backdrop they’ve set up to tell an interesting spin on the tried and true murder mystery, and it is neat to see this little indie book slowly set up it’s own universe, I can’t deny that I wish I was given a little more background information in this world to make it more interesting.
Posted on September 11, 2019, in Comic reviews and tagged Amancay Nahuelpan, DC Comics, Gotham City Monsters, Image Comics, Jason Howard, Steve Orlando, Trees, Trees: Three Fates, Warren Ellis. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.