Reviews

Review – Monarchs #1 (Scout Comics)

Monarchs #1 (Scout Comics) cover (detail) by Fernando Pinto
Monarchs #1
Overall
6.3/10
6.3/10
  • Writing - 5/10
    5/10
  • Art - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Overall - 6.3/10
    6.3/10
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User Review
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Summary

Writer: A.C. Medina
Artist: Fernando Pinto 
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Micah Myers
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Scout Comics
Release Date: December 4, 2018

As four young scientists embark to learn what makes a good leader, they will learn more about each other than they ever expected in Monarchs #1.

 

“King Nothing” Monarchs #1

Four young scientists, Hakim, Shaunda, Brigitte, and Osmael, land on the planet Vida in the far future. They are there to conduct an experiment. Each of these young people has very different qualities. All have combat skills, authority, influence, education, and virtue to varying degrees. The experiment is to know which of these skills make a great leader. The planet Vida is inhabited by a race that relies on leadership to thrive. These four young people will take their individual skills in those areas and see who thrives and who fails. It seems simple until you realize people and leaders are not always just and right. Ego gets the better of people and war breaks out in Monarchs #1.

Writing

Monarchs #1 (Scout Comics) cover by Fernando Pinto
Cover by Fernando Pinto

The basic plot for Monarchs #1 is very interesting. It almost feels like a video game plot at the beginning. You get these four very different young people with varying skill levels in each of the combat, authority, influence, education, and virtue traits. They land in different zones of the world and set up their “colonies.” Medina does a good job of setting up these characters right off the bat in Monarchs #1. We get a little slice of each one as they land in different zones of the planet with varying terrain and weather. It is a nice glimpse of who they are and gives us an idea of what is coming and how they will lead their “people.”

I won’t spoil anything, but things go downhill fast as this experiment turns bad quickly. It is an interesting character study of how different people with different traits can affect others. You can kind of tell when the characters are introduced where the story is going. Overall I liked the general premise of Monarchs #1. It is a new story point that I don’t think I have seen in a comic book before.

It does feel as though something is missing in Monarchs #1. We are thrown right into the story with the young adults landing on this planet. We are not given much of an explanation other than the experiment. That is not a bad thing, but it feels like it needed like one sentence or something giving the reader some clarity on what this is all about. There is no anchor to what is really happening. Everything happens very fast as well. I wish the first issue would have slowed down some to let the story set up more.

Art

Fernando Pinto does some delightful art in Monarchs #1. It has a nice cartoony/animated feel to it while still being very detailed and realistic at the same time. The characters all have a great individualistic design to them and that animated style feels right at home with the story. I like the looser ink style Pinto uses. It gives a “rougher” texture and feel to the characters. You can see his line marks throughout the book and it gives Monarchs #1 a nice texture. The action sequences also have a nice flow to them. There is a nice sense of movement and energy to those pages.

Triona Farrell does an excellent job on colors. The different landscapes and regions of the alien world are brought to life by her colors. Whether it be snowy mountains, a scenic beach, or a tree-covered forest, she brings it to life with some wonderful coloring work. Each of the leaders has a color scheme as well, so that helps tremendously when the battle starts happening to tell the “troops” apart.

Conclusion

I liked the basic plot of Monarchs #1. It is very interesting and something I have not read in a comic book before. It just felt like storywise it was missing a piece or two to fully complete it for the first issue. The art, though, was very good and fitting for the story. I am also interested in what Scout Comics is doing with this series. Monarchs #1 is a part of their Binge! imprint. Which means after this first issue they are just releasing a 120-page vol. 1 of the story. So, no more single issues after this.

That seems like a great idea; the one downfall is that trade does not come out until March. That is a long time in comic books. I would be interested in that trade, but so many things will come out between now and then. Will I or other people remember? I wish they could release it closer to the first issue. It is a really good idea but not sure how it will work out.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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