Saturday, 23 January 2016

American Monster #1 Review (Brian Azzarello, Juan Doe)

A pair of thugs invade the home of a wealthy couple, taking them prisoner. Elsewhere, a badly-burned veteran appears in a small town carrying mad stacks of cash. What does it all mean? This is American Monster. 

Brian Azzarello’s latest title is published by new startup, Aftershock Comics, co-created by former Marvel Exec Editor Mike Marts. They’re an interesting new label with some big names like Garth Ennis, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Jenkins, and Justin Jordan putting out exciting and “edgy” comics. Azzarello’s American Monster certainly doesn’t pull its punches! 

It’s unclear what the story is intended to be from this first issue. We see how the vet became burned in a flashback to his time in the military and it looks like he’s always been a bad egg. But where did he get so much money - is it connected to a bank heist? Is that what he’s in town for?

We also see the two kidnappers abducting a rich couple - the man, it seems, made a bad investment for one of the kidnappers, so maybe he’s meant to be a banker stand-in and this is cathartic comics justice? And a group of young people are taking advantage of a perv with money who’s paying to see the girl’s boobs. 

So overall: kinda lives up to its title! Lotta unpleasant people doing dark things, some worse than others. Juan Doe’s art isn’t bad though it’s not too impressive either which could also be said about Azzarello’s script, but the final scene of the issue is pretty exciting. 

American Monster #1 definitely immerses the reader in the dark underbelly of contemporary American culture and it’s supposedly going to be about the burned vet and the modern-day Frankenstein’s Monster he’s become. No real storyline emerges in this first issue however there’s enough intrigue here to make me want to keep reading and find out how these disparate characters connect and where it all goes.

American Monster #1

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