Monarchy #8

Posted: Wednesday, October 31
By: Bruce Tartaglia
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Writer: Doselle Young
Artist: John McCrea

Publisher: DC Wildstorm

It will come as no surprise that I think this issue is quite good. It might be a bit more surprising to hear that I think most people would enjoy this issue. The series seems to be shifting gears and moving into a faster pace. The groundwork laid thus far is starting to be tilled. Elements bearing fruit include the Tungva god, King's arrogance and the fate of Lost Angel. Other elements continue to progress well especially the intrateam dialogue, specifically between Addie and Q and among Condition Red, Union and Farmer.

The rough plot is that Christine checks in with her grandmother as the reader learns a bit more about her backstory. Also, she prevents the hold up of a zeppelin taken hold of by terrorists. Addie and Q continue their discussion among the infants as they effectively discuss whether life is worth the effort. King continues to manipulate Bram and starts to infuse him with the Tungva god. Meanwhile, Condition Red, Union and Jon Farmer discuss their various thoughts and feelings about life in the Monarchy. Lastly, someone who does not agree with what King is up to makes efforts to interrupt his machinations.

The Monarchy title has been both hailed and criticized for being unlike any of its Wildstorm predecessors and, to some extent, being unlike many other comics in general. Some feel that the pace is not successful, others enjoy the suspense: the dialogue goes back and forth. The reason I mention this disparity however is because issue 8, more than its predecessors, reads a bit like a more "traditional" comic book. This issue contains very clear villians which makes the conflicts more stark. This means that the team is shifting away from "building" up to a war and starting to actually engage in one. Clearly this is transitional for the book and does not happen entirely in one issue. King is still starting to upgrade Bram; Q is converting Addie; Christine is securing transport for Jackson. However, there are enough villians in the book to give the issue some local conflict while still progressing its broader far reaching objectives. As is often the case, I am left eagerly anticipating the next issue.

It has been rumored that this title may be cancelled. That would be a shame. It has sometimes been levelled that the author, Doselle Young, has no overall game plan in mind for the book. As an avid reader of the book, such claims seem ludicrous as more and more elements start to congeal into a cohesive unit. The exciting aspect of all of this is that, in my opinion, The Monarchy truly does continue to distinguish itself with a strong storyline and multidimensional characterization. Unfortunately, it's possible that the series will not be able to bear much fruit. I would again encourage readers to try this series specifically this issue. It contains its usual doses of levity and intimacy while increasing the stakes considerably and considerably increasing the pace of the book.

As always, I would love to know what other reader think so I would encourage discussion. Feel free to drop me a line or post on the silverbullets message boards and let me know what you think.

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