MON­STER Mas­sive At­tic

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! Pub­lisher re­bel­lion

Writ­ers alan Moore, John Wag­ner, alan Grant Artists Heinzl, Je­sus re­dondo

Tune out the hype: this isn’t some long-lost mas­ter­work by the mighty Alan Moore, fi­nally dis­in­terred from the dusty bow­els of Scream! comic. In fact the Northamp­ton ma­gus only wrote the open­ing in­stal­ment be­fore Judge Dredd’s Wag­ner and Grant took charge.

So it’s no proto-Watch­men, then – but it is the last gasp of a pe­cu­liarly Bri­tish strand of comic sto­ry­telling, one that piled Dick­en­sian mis­ery on blind bal­leri­nas and one-legged foot­ballers, and wal­lowed in shadow and in­sur­mount­able de­spair. Inky gothic, let’s call it. Mon­ster pos­i­tively drips with it.

Moore sets up the mys­tery: a young boy, a vi­o­lent fa­ther, some­thing aw­ful in a locked at­tic room. Then we go be­hind the door: the room holds Un­cle Terry, a drool­ing, pop-eyed Quasi­modo with an es­sen­tially good heart be­neath the boils and the talons. Boy and beast go on the run, corpses and mis­un­der­stand­ings pil­ing up around them as they mix with thugs, flee from cops and, in one glo­ri­ously lurid mo­ment, fight a shark. A shark!

Re­dondo’s art has a macabre charm – it’s al­most sticky with dark­ness, im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine in colour – and there’s just enough liquorice-black com­edy to keep the bleak­ness at bay. Nick Setch­field

Span­ish artist Je­sus Re­dondo was a 2000 AD reg­u­lar, draw­ing every­thing from MACH 1 to Neme­sis The War­lock.

Okay, who let him watch Ques­tion Time?

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