Issue #7 ends the chupacabra story arc from the previous issue, and Issue #8 starts a new storyline with an aquatic monster off the coast of Santa Monica, which makes them a little awkward to review together; however, these installments emphasize that, in many ways, Ramon is the mysterious stranger from a Western who shows up and defends little towns from the local baddie and disappears once peace has been restored. He leaves nothing other than the memories of his heroics and the better future he fought to create.
Prince takes an interesting turn in the eighth installment of Monster Matador by eschewing the regular monster battle. He reveals some panels of the Santa Monica creature, but Ramon and Adelita’s primary focus is getting a ride to the beleaguered city. The pair head into a remote outpost that reminded me of Mos Eisley Cantina to find a pilot, only to discover the man isn’t interested in risking his life to fight monsters (and he has a dog/wolf for a co-pilot!). A dedicated man like Ramon never accepts no for any answer, though, and he’s not leaving Santa Monica without a protector.
A little research revealed that Prince stuck closely to the general consensus of a chupacabra’s physical appearance. Fortunately for an artist, most of the details are very vague! The almost cat-like creature with spines down its back looked menacing, and the long claws and sharp teeth wreaked havoc on anything in its path. The Santa Monica creature reminded me a little of the kaiju in Pacific Rim, but it may be because this monster came from the sea. Again, the designs were completely distinct and unique, which is highly enjoyable.
Overall, I thought Issues 7 and 8 of Monster Matador tied up one story and sent our protagonist off on a new adventure with panache. The Santa Monica monster remains relatively unknown, so my curiosity is piqued. Will Ramon arrive in time to prevent serious destruction? What abilities does this latest creature have? Why does it hate Santa Monic (or does it)? Only the next installment knows!
4 Daring Acts by Children out of 5
Creative Team: Steven Prince (Writer, artist, and creator)
Publisher: 2510 Press
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