The plot of the first two Monster Matador issues is a very simple origin story. (I don’t want to give too many details about what inspires the lead to fighter monsters since it’s the bulk of the tale.) The most amazing part of Ramon’s rise as the fighter against the monsters is his extreme ordinariness. He fought bulls in the ring with great skill, but he doesn’t possess any super-powered abilities or special gear, just his bullfighter’s suit and sword. One could argue that his passion to protect those he loves is a super power, but I prefer to believe that all of us could step up to the plate for our friends and families if life required it. (I know, I know, I’m probably a little naïve.) Prince doesn’t deal with the politics of bullfighting in his comic, and while the sport has fallen out of favor with animal welfare/rights activists, it provides Ramon with the sword skills to defend against the gargantuan invaders. Also, the story revolves around Spain (I presume with the bullfight-centric hero.), so there is a nice smattering of Spanish throughout the text, which I appreciated. The covers for Monster Matador are the only full-color portions of the books, but the black-and-white images adequately express the tale. While the artwork is not always photo-perfect, the amount of detail put into Ramon’s matador outfit delighted me, and all of the characters are easy to distinguish. Where Prince’s artwork really shines is with his monsters. We don’t see many in the first two issues, but the ones that show up are well designed and impressive. Fans of creatures will be more than satisfied at their ferocity!
The first two issues of Monster Matador are a bit of a slow burn since they’re introducing Ramon’s background and motivation, but I love the idea of a bullfighter turned superhero of sorts. I personally haven’t seen many comics set outside of the US (I know they exist, but they don’t often come my way.), so the different setting and non-American protagonist charms me. I suspect later installments of the series will up the ante with monster whomping and action, so the mellow interlude to get to know the main character is a good start.
4 Well-Placed Cuts to the Ankle out of 5