Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Where Monsters Dwell #3 - Marvel Comics

WHERE MONSTERS DWELL No. 3, September 2015
There’s a very interesting, if not disturbing, change to the tone of this third instalment of “Where Monsters Dwell”, and the comic’s cover warning proclaiming “Parental Advisory! Not For Kids!” rather succinctly spells out just how much this mini-series’ once humorously fun action-packed narrative now differs. Indeed apart from Russ Braun’s consistent and wonderful lavishly-drawn artwork, along with the occasional Karl Kaufman frustrated chauvinistic quip, it genuinely is hard to believe that Garth Ennis’ mature-orientated script is apparently a continuation of what has previously gone on before within this “dangerous region of Battleworld...”

For starters the rather jolly dinosaur-chasing capers of the title’s previous two issues have been entirely replaced with a rather tediously lack-lustre depiction of idyllic life hidden within an Amazonian jungle-based fortification. In fact it isn’t until the book’s second half, when the “flying ace” inadvertently stumbles upon the imprisoned and wizened Chief Petty Officer Harkins and the equally elderly Bill the Cabin Boy, that the story’s main protagonist suddenly finds himself in jeopardy… And that is simply because he loses his temper and demands “Single combat. Me against the best you’ve got! To the death!”

However such sedentary plot pacing is actually the least of this magazine’s problems, as for whatever reason, Ennis veers away from the family-friendly entertainment his ‘time-travelling’ tale has previously provided and instead embarks upon a twenty-page depiction of scantily-clad bikini-wearing homosexuality and eye-watering male genital abuse; “Swollen. Turned me on an’ orf like a tap, they did… pumpin’ away… treated me like a blinkin’ object…”

Admittedly the Northern Irish-born American writer handles such subjects through the use of some rather tongue-in-cheek moments and the ample use of innuendo as opposed to anything more blatantly explicit. But even so, as the Phantom Eagle is stripped naked and frogmarched to the chopping block, where a heavily-muscled long-haired executioner prepares her sharp axe in order to remove him of his ‘manhood’, it's abundantly clear that the Eisner Award-winner’s ‘Land That Time Forgot’ influenced dino-fest has suddenly become far more akin to one of its publishing company’s extremely controversial “Max Comics” imprint titles rather than something conjured up from the limitless imagination of author Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Writer: Garth Ennis, Artist: Russ Braun and Color Artist: Dono Sanchez Almara


  1. A word to the wise, Simon. This is Garth Ennis we're talking about here. Subtlety is not his forte at all. I am a big fan of his work and much of it would make you squirm at how offensive he can be. I love his work and his "I don't give a shit who I offend" attitude. I was planning on purchasing this series when the TPB comes out. Now, I know I definitely will! Great review, my friend!

    1. Bryan, funnily I thought this review would make you want the tpb even more ;-) I have no problem with Ennis as such, and am a big fan of some of his other works. I was disappointed by this though as the first two issues seemed such good family friendly fun, so to suddenly see the feel change half-way through the mini-series simply disappointed me, as it wasn't what I was expecting, nor actually what was originally advertised - with Ennis himself stating this was going to a far less serious title.