The Monocyte series has a certain level of charm based on the fact that the dialogue of this book is so intellectual that it is oftentimes incomprehensible. From the dark and textured artwork of Menton3 to the profound script of Kasra Ghanbari, Monocyte screams “˜NOT FOR EVERYONE!’ That being said, Monocyte #3 is by far the most linear issue of this comic to date. Even though this comic may seem intimidating to newcomers, if you give it chance, Monocyte will change what you expect from comics.
Monocyte #3 deals explicitly with the origin of Azrael’s favorite death dealer, Monocyte. It is a bold move by the creative team to interject an origin story on only the third issue. Luckily this gamble pays off. Once the history of this comic’s protagonist is displayed, much of this story begins to move from mystifying to intelligible. It is almost as if Ghanbari began the story with a mystery and slowly, over the course of three issues, unlocked the secrets of this universe.
Monocyte #3 also puts the immortal Monocyte in a situation that, for the first time paints him as extremely tangible. Ghanbari shows us Monocyte at his weakest during his humble beginnings so that when he is actually brought down a peg, it is easier to swallow. It is a clever trick to deploy and speaks to the masterful planning that this book contains.
As usual the artwork by Menton3 is stunning and requires little in terms of refinement. Menton3 knows his subjects and the world that they inhabit as if he were living in it himself. Again, the creative team behind this book plays with light and color to reveal events not only as they should be, but also as they should be felt. Menton3 embraces the cold world that Monocyte lives in and renders buildings, people and backgrounds to reflect its desperation. Every illustration in this comic is slightly twisted or stretched to remind you that the people and places are skewed and twisted appropriately.
Monocyte #3 is much more appreciated once you begin to understand the subtle tricks of story telling that this creative team has injected into this issue. Even though Monocyte in its entirety is not the easiest comic to understand, that is no reason to dismiss it. I don’t know about you, but I read comics not only for entertainment, but also to be challenged. If you are looking for the same, there are few books that will challenge you quite like Monocyte.