Pullbox Reviews: Monica Bleue #2 – The perfect scary story for a younger generation!

Monica Bleue #2 (of 5) – Storm King Comics – Steve Niles (W) / Damien Worm (A)

After the death of her mother, a young girl moves away to the country with her father. Angry and grief-stricken, Monica Bleue must find a new life away from her friends, her school and everything that was familiar to her. Though she’s not speaking to her dad, she begins to find her way out of her heartache from the country serenity around them. But while out wandering the forests near their home, she comes face to face with a hidden horror that changes their lives forever.

Monica and her father search for answers to her newly transformed state, and together they bond as she learns to harness the monstrous powers she now possesses. But there’s a sinister evil lying low in their small country town… and the number of missing children is climbing. Monica may be the only one with the power to uncover the secret, but as she begins to unravel the mystery, finding a savage killer only puts her and her father deeper in danger. [series blurb from SKC]

Monica turns to her father for help after she is attacked in the forest, yet nothing is what it seems. Was she actually hurt? As she begins to have nightmares about the violent encounter, something monstrous begins to stir within her… [issue blurb from SKC]

DIAMOND ITEM CODE: NOV191896

For the last eight years, Storm King Comics has been a leading indie comic company for Sci-fi and horror stories. Headed by two storytelling icons, John Carpenter and Sandy King Monica Bleue is a part of Storm King Comics’ younger readers imprint Storm Kids

For the better part of a decade, Storm King Comics has been making a huge impact in the indie comic market.  Spearheaded by two storytelling icons, John Carpenter and Sandy King, Storm King Comics (SKC) sets an expert precedent for sci-fi and horror comics.  Monica Bleue is a five part series that is under the Storm Kids imprint, written and developed for younger readers.

For the sake of reader sanity, I am not going to do a recap – the blurbs above from SKC do a great job of summarizing the storyline of both the series and ish for you. If you skipped that and floated right down to the review, do yourself a favor and put in the twenty seconds of time to read it for context.  You owe it to yourself 🙂

The literary trope of a teen feeling “other” due to internal or external factors (in Monica’s case, the death of her mother and the displacement of her entire life) is fairly common, less common is then having that teen actually becoming an “other”. It’s hard being in a new high school and having to make new friends, might be harder as a lycanthrope.  On the surface, Monica Bleue seems like a supernatural tale held together by young adult drama / angst driven by an overall mystery, making it worthy to sit on the shelf between Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the CW’s Riverdale. And while this description is not wholly inaccurate, Monica Bleue is so much more! Author Steve Niles keeps it fresh and does an amazing job of creating a driven narrative that, while being singularly focused, allows the reader to buy in and attach themselves to Monica. Through her interactions with her father and her actions, beautiful rendered by Damien Worm (more on that in a sec), Mr. Niles brings the audience into the main character’s lens.  We,as the readers, wholeheartedly buy in and willingly go on this life-changing ride with Monica As mentioned, this is a singular point of narrative, which is perfect for the emerging reading.

The visuals, while dark in tone and somewhat brooding in nature, are nothing less than gorgeous. Damien Worm has given the audience images that drive the action of the story and allow no ambiguity on what is going on (which sometimes the norm in a supernatural themed book). The color palette of the book enhances the heightened anxiety of the tale and is a fantastic mix of high adrenaline and anticipated terror. 

Between Worm’s brilliant imagery and the expert page layout, the art team, has given us an amazingly digestible horror tale that this is still suitable for pre-teen.

This series is the perfect jumping on place for any reader (including an emerging reader) who would like to start reading the supernatural horror genre.

Score:11 (out of 13)

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