Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Monolith

 About halfway through THE MONOLITH, I could see pretty clearly why DC canceled this book the first time around. Creators Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, with Artist Phil Winslade, have crafted a modern-day retelling of The Golem myth, set in a New York City slum, populated with hookers, junkies, thugs, murderers, and pimps. This should have been a no-brainer, but the story unfolds painfully slowly, to the point where the sheer wordiness of the book becomes nearly unbearable. Phil Winslade is a wonderful illustrator......His art does a lot of the heavy lifting by SHOWING....we really didn't need giant blocks of text to TELL us what we're seeing. Image's hardcover collects the first three issues, and I cannot for the life of me imagine the thought process behind a massive hardcover that collects three issues of a twelve issue canceled series, especially when a huge chunk of those twelve issues CAN'T be collected, due to their featuring DC's Batman. As it stands, THE MONOLITH is an overlong curiosity that is sure to disappoint new readers......Even if you like this first volume, subsequent volumes will only re-present part of the tale. Go hunt through the back-issue bins, and you can get the whole series for a fraction of the price of this hardcover.

 Addendum: I posted this review on Amazon.com last Summer, and a few months after I posted it, I received an e-mail from Amazon alerting me that Monolith co-creator Jimmy Palmiotti left the following comment about the review:

"To correct, it is over 80 pages of story since the first issue was a double issue. It is printed in a larger size for feature the artwork and has the highest quality printing and cover stock . The rest will be collected in Volume 2 and without Batman, since the story has been reworked. The price point is equal and even less than other hardcovers of this size and page count."

 For some reason, the Palmiotti post vanished from Amazon the next day.....I'm not sure if Amazon took it down for some reason, or if Mr. Palmiotti himself removed it. Either way, I don't see anything wrong with his comments, and I certainly appreciated his response. I still stand by my initial review: I thought it was extremely overpriced for the page count. To date, there has been no Volume 2, so I'm probably not alone in my thinking. Interested parties can get the back issues dirt-cheap on Amazon or e-bay.