Like the legendary archangels of Biblical mythology, Monomyth #2 does exactly what it has to. Writer Siike Donnelly and artist Eric Ninaltowski add layers, history, and complexity to their alternate reality in the Garden of Eden, while still maintaining the action and excitement from the premiere issue.
Monomyth #2 continues Donnelly’s alternate Biblical timeline where Lucifer is a badass female archangel who never fell from grace and where mankind has never left the Garden of Eden, by continuing the tale of the Enoch, a young male human who has been “chosen” for some special purpose. Enoch, desperate to help his friend, Tinac, chases after the boy as he’s abducted from Eden by dragon-like creatures. Lucifer attempts to protect Enoch from the danger he is racing into, but in a matter of minutes, the fallen-archangel, Michael, and his cast-out followers are on the attack. The conflict is intense (featuring angel vs. dragon battles that would do Zack Snyder proud) and exhilarating, the results are personal and brutal, and Donnelly and Ninaltowski leave us with a hell of a cliffhanger!
Donnelly’s skill as a writer is clearly on display in this issue. He shows a clear and professional understanding of the sequential art format with his great use of flashbacks to round out his characters and the history of the world around him and doesn’t hold back when it comes to advancing the story and raising the stakes. The book feels incredibly cinematic in scale and tone, especially with the use of “teaser” pages conveying an opening to each issue before the title page appears, almost like the opening to a serialized TV program. Donnelly also moves his female Lucifer front-and-center this issue, and it makes all the difference. Readers will be unable to resist getting caught up in the action as this Valkyrie of Heaven takes on her arch-enemy, Michael, who seems to never get enough of stabbing people through the chest. Donnelly also enriches his own take on the creation myth by showing us his vision of how demons came to be while amping up the personal elements of the conflict between Michael, Lucifer, and the human Enoch. Also, without being too spoilery, Donnelly’s final page suggests that we have not yet seen Michael’s full transition to becoming The Devil and that the writer might be interested in a storyline closer to the descent of Anakin Skywalker or the creation of Deathlok on the recently wrapped season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where we witness the creation of a villain, piece by piece and scar by scar. I anticipate that readers have a lot to look forward to when it comes to the future issues of Monomyth!
Ninaltowski’s artwork continues to give awesome visuals to Donnelly’s intriguing story and brings a style to action scenes that gives them the kinetic energy of a video game. Ninaltowski’s villains are ominous, his heroes are epic, and he gives Lucifer the strength and dignity of Wonder Woman, while allowing her the raw, battle prowess of Red Sonja. She’s a warrior that looks ready to hop on to the cover of Marvel’s Thor & Loki/Original Sin book and go toe-to-toe with both Angela AND Thor, and a lot of that god-like “oomph!” is coming from the power and authority Ninaltowski’s depictions conveys.
If I had any critique at all, it was the sparse use of sound effects. While it in no way fatally harms the book or the joy of reading this excellent issue, I do think a few scenes (such as Uriel’s death and when Enoch’s strike breaks Michael’s helm) felt a bit “quiet” and could benefit from the addition of some well-placed sound effects.
FINAL VERDICT: While Monomyth started out good, this issue definitely raises the bar and makes it a pull list worthy addition in my opinion. The characters are becoming more fleshed out, the world-building is more complex, and the creative team is not holding back when it comes the epic, brutal, and personal conflict between Lucifer and Michael. If you’re a fan of epic fantasy and tragedy sagas (anywhere from Star Wars to 300 to Paradise Lost), then Monomyth is definitely a comic series you should be reading.
You can also check out my review of the first issue of Monomyth at the link below:
In addition, here is a link to FBC’s video interview from Comic-Con with Monomyth writer Siike Donnelly and artist Eric Ninaltowski:
SDCC 2014: Fanboy Comics Delves Deep with the Creators of ‘Monomyth’
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers! Don’t let the demons get ya!
’Till the end of the world,
Bryant the Comic Book Slayer