Review: Mono #4 (Madefire)

Mono #4Our titular hero faces up to a the threat of a Samurai Gorilla and uncovers a dastardly Japanese trap for the Allied forces in Mono #4. But can this Madefire original retain it’s high quality with it’s new regular release schedule?

Mono #4Publisher: Madefire
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Sergio Sandoval
Colors: Diego Rodriguez
Covers: Sergio Sandoval & Diego Rodriguez
Price: 69p from Madefire

Mono #4 continues right where writer Brian Wood left us in #3: Mono awakens from his slumber after being surprised (and knocked out) by a genetically enhanced Samurai Gorilla. We hear a ship approaching (God-bless the SFX team) and Mono realizes that the Allies have fallen into the (as yet still unknown) trap that was set up last time around. Mono rushes through the jungle and down to the shoreline to catch a glimpse of the horror that is to come.

The Japanese scientists have weaponized the sea with their bio-engineering! As the Americans approach the shoreline they are battered by a humongous whale. As they open fire and scatter they are attacked by the second wave. Massive red squid leap from the ocean and take on the panicked men one on one. Eventually they overpower the vessel and it sinks slowly into the abyss.

As Mono struggles to come to terms with the horror he has witnessed, he is approached once again by his eight-foot Samurai foe! What follows is some of the best ape-on-ape hybrid action seen in comics. Both participants are honorable fellows and fight hard but clean. Sergio Sandoval really has a knack for these types of scenes and makes really good use of panel sizes to move the viewer around the page. His Samurai Gorilla is immense – taking up loads of page space and dwarfing our hero.

The previously mentioned SFX team are clearly having a ball. There are wonderful ambient jungle noises and splashing waves, which are punctured by the sound of crashing metal and gunfire. The synthesizer effects in the squid attack are particularly eerie and unsettling. The score also deserves praise for staying quiet in the background until needed during the wonderful action scenes.

pd_review5“With Brian Wood at the helm our hybrid hero has never been in better hands. Mono: Pacific effortlessly blends aspects of pulp serials of yesteryear with the intricate twists of modern books. It’s short runtime – in terms of actual page length and wait between issues – is perfect for this digital age. Mono: Pacific is now top of the Pipedream must-read pile. Roll on episode #5.”