Legion of Monsters #1

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
A monster has been eating teenagers in a small English village. The Doctor's not available to stop him, so Elsa Bloodstone intervenes. Meanwhile, crime has erupted in the Legion of Monsters' domain. Could these things be connected? "Myeah, could be."

Elsa Bloodstone arrived inauspiciously in the Marvel Universe. Introduced in a mostly forgotten mini-series, the immortal Elsa Bloodstone became a fan favorite in Nextwave. The Legion of Monsters was merely an umbrella title for a Marvel Magazine anthology, but soon Morbius, the Living Mummy, Jack Ryder the Werewolf by Night and Manphibian banded together and resurfaced in the Punisher's awesome, painfully short Franken-Castle era.

Writer Dennis Hopeless creates a successful synthesis of understated humor. You would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between Warren Ellis' Elsa Bloodstone and Hopeless' version of the character. We first meet her aerobicizing in a small flat to lure the teenage-eating beast out of hiding. She then drops witty bon mots as astride a motorbike she chases the monster into the secret home of the Legion of Monsters. Hopeless then alludes the comedy of Rick Remender. The Legion's behavior is identical to that seen in Franken-Castle .The collision between Elsa Bloodstone and the Legion of Monsters provides endless amusement.

Artist Juan Doe replicates the work of Stuart Immonen and Tony Moore for a satisfying bona fide look. Elsa appears long, lean and elegant as if a posh princess got suckered into fighting monsters. When the Legion arrests her for practically everything in their lawbooks, she wears handcuffs and incarceration as gracefully as she would an evening gown. The monsters are in hilarious form. Doe makes his original creatures hulking beasts, and he derives comedy from conflict between relatively smaller law enforcers, but supernaturally bestowed with superior might, like Jack Ryder and these creatures who have gone mad from a disease so far only affecting a few beasts. It's this disease that convinces Elsa to throw her lot in with Morbius and the Scooby Gang. Let the games begin.

Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.

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