Monarchy #1

Posted: Monday, February 19
By: Alan Donald
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Writer: Doselle Young
Artists: John McCrea (p), Gary Leach (i)

Publisher: Wildstorm

Plot: Thick as tar, and twice as opaque.

WHAT THE F**K IS THIS? Big rave reviews in Wizard and in here for Authority, although not recently I notice, and especially not the Authority/Monarchy setup issue (#21), which would be Monarchy #0 by any other name. There's been a big push behind this title, which led me to blieve I was in for something special...and besides, it's an issue one, right?

I don't think I've ever come across a more impenetrable mess than this.

I'm sure (honestly) that this is well written, and I know the art is amazing, but that is irrelevant. As comicbooks are a monthly medium, constantly picking up new readers as they go, ANY and EVERY comicbook should be ok for anyone to pick up for the first time. A comic should reward long term readers, yet still be a good read for new ones. If you can't accept that then at least accept this should be true of a number 1.

I had no idea at any point in this issue what was happening, who was who, and whatever. This wasn't like the murky and confusing first issues of Deadenders or Invisibles (both of which I have re-read recently) as I couldn't perceive any story or central figure (a mast to lash onto in a storm) to follow.

Sorry, I gave up. I'm sure that Authority fans may enjoy this, but frankly I feel cheated by all the coverage in Wizard that promised a "REAL, GRITTY JLA". Where is the real world? This is an alternate universe, psychedelic visuals ran rampant...AAARRRGGGHHH. Ed, got anything to add.

[Editor's note: Yes, I do actually. Cash-in springs to mind when you mention Monarchy. You have the sledgehammer that is the Authority, and the scalpel that is the Monarchy, but you might as well just rename Monarchy "Stormwatch" and you'll be there. I don't like the writer's assertation at the end that some things were left deliberately vague, because I don't really think that they were, but maybe I've just read too many comics. I did like the cameos of the kids that were pretending to be the Authority (Jenny Sparks et al) thanks to the out-of-control powers of another kid, but the situation and characters involved just didn't interest me as much as they should have. And Alan is spot on when he points out this is far too obtuse for new readers. The audience for this book is immediately limited to those of us familiar with Authority (so if you don't like that, then leave this alone) and even that, to me, has outstayed its welcome. Very, very disappointed.]

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