Sunday, 1 November 2015

Where Monsters Dwell #5 - Marvel Comics

WHERE MONSTERS DWELL No. 5, December 2015
Almost entirely devoted to an incredibly dull dialogue between the Phantom Eagle and Clemmie Franklin-Cox, this concluding instalment of “Where Monsters Dwell” proves to be a poignant reminder that “having a pint with [“Marvel Worldwide”] editor Nick Lowe” may not have been the best motivation for Garth Ennis to pen a mini-series. For whilst the Northern Irish-born American’s “Secret Wars” five-issue mini-series has undoubtedly had its highpoints with its giant dinosaurs, underwater leviathans, “diminutive cannibals” and Amazonian goddesses. This particular twenty-page periodical doesn’t contain any of them, and instead could arguably have avoided being printed at all, if its previous edition had simply been lengthened by a couple of pages at most.

Indeed all the Eagle Award-winner has happen within this comic book is for Karl Kaufmann to swiftly “repair his plane” using “an engine and propeller [stolen] from the beautiful warrior women” of Battleworld and fly away. Something which is essentially inferred within the final few panels of this title’s preceding publication and hardly seems to warrant having an entire magazine dedicated to its telling.

Admittedly Ennis does use this opportunity to exceedingly expand the backstory of Clementine by having the widow of Lord Bertie Cox explain how her husband “fell off a boat and drowned” during “a cruise in the South Seas” and her subsequent detention on suspicion of the rich man’s murder by “the captain and crew”. But whilst some of this character development is mildly interesting, the vast majority of the callous would-be killer’s lengthy discourse is nauseating nonsense and even wincingly vulgar at times, such as when the “well-heeled” woman describes her wedding night and ‘doing the necessary’.

Ultimately however this comic’s narrative disappoints because the “English socialite” is portrayed as being so callous and dislikeable that it is genuinely hard for the reader to actually care what impelled her to be as equally disagreeable a “piece of work” as Kaufmann. As a result by the time the flying ace’s passenger has decided not to shoot the “general jerk” dead with her pistol, and instead allows him to depart into the sky unmolested, its doubtful many readers will be even remotely interested in what is taking place...
Writer: Garth Ennis, Artist: Russ Braun and Color Artist: Dono Sanchez Almara


  1. I honestly expected better from this series and was all set to buy the TPB, but your honest opinion leads me to think to leave well alone. A shame, as I normally like Garth Ennis's work.

    1. Bryan, I'm really not sure what went wrong with this title, as the first two issues were superb, and even the next couple weren't too bad, despite my Victorian stance to its morality being deeply offended. But this final issue was dreadful imho, and I'd actually have preferred it if they'd left well enough alone and ended it with #4. However the artwork is tremendous so if you see this cheap I'd still recommend it. Just don't expect much from its drawn-out ending imho.

    2. Simon, your opinions always matter to me. I do admire your honesty in your reviews and if you think this series ends on a stinker, that's good enough for me.

    3. Very kind of you Bryan. If I ever come across the first two issues as spares then I'll be sure to send them your way :-)