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Beasties run amok in the Marvel U in Monsters Unleashed

Hundreds of giant monsters will be rampaging across the Marvel Universe this January.


Well, not Kaiju really, as some of these monsters are from the archives of Marvel. Years ago, Marvel Comics wasn’t all superheroes and gigantic crossover events. There were beasts back then, big beasts that laid waste to the world, nary a hero in sight.

I think one of the first books to really marry monsters and superheroes was Fantastic Four, which had that theme right from the jump. Remember the Mole Man? Well, if you don’t, it was he that first intro’d the whole ‘giant monster’ thing to the Marvel U proper.

Since that early era, we haven’t seen much in the way of them honestly. Of course, that’s about to change.

Here, there be monsters

We first told you about Monsters Unleashed a few months back. It sounded cool then, and it still does. Things start up in January, with a series of crossover issues, but it seems like not every book will be involved.

“Monsters Unleashed is rampaging across the Marvel Universe and a select few of your favorite titles this January,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “Eight oversized .MU one-shots that add even more over-the-top widescreen action than the main Monsters Unleashed series can contain. Who doesn’t want to see the Avengers, Spider-Man and Deadpool throw down with some giant monsters?”

It’s a marked difference, given how Marvel usually does these kinds of things. The crossovers will all be marked with .MU branding and will be special issues, including the heroes mentioned above.

It all kicks off in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #1.MU, as the Marvel’s resident odd couple comes face-to-face(-to face?) with one of the hundreds of giant behemoths smashing and stomping their way across the Marvel Universe! Spider-Man swings into action, but what can one wallcrawler do against just one of these massive monstrosities? Thankfully he has Deadpool backing him up! Just kidding, Deadpool is going to be about as helpful as he usually is.

Then, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes take the fight to the monsters in AVENGERS #1. MU! Can a team of some of the strongest characters around hold the line against the monster invasion? Or will they be crushed like everyone else?

I love that not every hero will be included in MU, and also that not every issue that the publisher is set to print will be a crossover. In fact, it kind of sounds like there won’t be any crossover issues, just the series of jumbo one-shots that Gabriel mentioned above.

An optional event?

Coming off of a few years that were absolutely loaded with all-encompassing event books, it’s something of a relief not to have to go all in on something. Not that you should expect this to be a one month and done event mind you. Monsters Unleashed will have a total of five issues after all. And the one-shot parade? That’ll roll on through not just January, but February and March as well.

Still, that’s no six-month (or longer) stint. And it sure doesn’t spill over into every comic Marvel publishes, which is what we were seeing. Again too, everything seems more or less optional for fans. So if you’re happy reading Amazing Spider-Man and other books, no worries. It doesn’t look like you’ll have to buy into Monsters Unleashed.

The main event

As for the main book, Marvel has also revealed a set alt covers for all five issues. That might seem a little unorthodox, you don’t see it happen that every cover is announced all at once after all… even if they are variants. But when you’ve got the talent that they do signed on, well you kind of want to talk about it.

Here’s how the series shapes up and who’s on for the variant covers:

  • Vision vs. Insect Man by Mike Mignola (Monsters Unleashed #1)
  • Ms. Marvel vs Rorgg by Art Adams (Monsters Unleashed #2)
  • Spider-Man vs. Devil Dinosaur by Ed McGuinness (Monsters Unleashed #3)
  • Totally Awesome Hulk vs. Magog by Bill Sienkewicz (Monsters Unleashed #4)
  • Thor vs. The Stone Men by Sara Pichelli (Monsters Unleashed #5)

Yes, that’s the Mike Mignola. And yes, that’s awesome. Not that the rest of the talent is anything to laugh at, but come on- this is Mignola we’re talking about.

Check out the covers for the five-issue series in the gallery below. And don’t forget that things start up on January 18th with Monsters Unleashed #1.

About Jason

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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