Pullbox Reviews The Monster’s Cleanup Guy #1, a hefty hunk o’ blood & guts

Terry works for the monster community. He’s their cleanup guy, covering up their misdeeds in order to keep monsters a secret. Terry operates by only two rules: 1 (listen to the Lycan King’s orders, and 2) don’t kill any monsters!

Playing fixer for the shadowy world of monsters is a tough job and Terry’s arrangement with Damien, appointed leader of the tribes of monsters, keeps him busy. The source of the arrangement, and just how deep the connection between the two goes, is the plot point that drives the action in this darker-themed urban fantasy. Before we get there, we’re going to get schooled in the ways of this world where monsters dwell, hunt, and feed. It’s a world of secrets, hidden hierarchies, and most importantly, a world of rules.

Leading the charge into Damien’s world of lycans, vampires, & werewolves is creator/writer Drew D. Lenhart. What impressed me the most with The Monster’s Cleanup Guy is the extent of world-building Drew has gone to. The concept of secretive societies made up of all things going bump in the night isn’t new. Just ask any World of Darkness gamer. But that isn’t the interesting part of this book, it’s just a little extra seasoning in the sauce. Another cool part of Drew’s story is that there really aren’t any obvious good guys or bad guys (except maybe for that Hansen guy… total creeper). Some of the dialogue may come over as a little stiff, but those snags are overshadowed by a comic that’s a little more complicated than I was expecting.

The other thing that helped smooth over any possible rough spots was Rowel Roque’s artwork. There’s a general level of disdain for black & white comics, and unfortunately, it’s often deserved. It’s usually got less to do with detail or design and more to do with contrast (or lack of). Personally, I love a good black & white comic. They’ve got their own special kind of mood, and they take me back to some of my first indie comics, the names of which most people have never heard. Rowel’s work in The Monster’s Cleanup Guy is clean, it’s easy to follow, and very little detail is lost along the way. With just a little work on perspective, his game would make a fair jump up.

The Monster’s Cleanup Guy is a great example of urban fantasy, crafted more from the monsters’ perspective than most. There were a few hiccups along the way, but nothing at all that stuck in my craw or broke the flow of the story. As an introduction to a broader stage, the first issue does a fine job of setting readers up for bigger & better things.

Final Score: 10/13

No… that’s not Constantine
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