Friday 22nd May 2015,
Comic Booked

Review: Mono Episode #4

David Gillette 07/10/2013 Reviews

Artist Ben Wolstenholme and writer/artist Liam Sharp polish another gem of an episode with Madefire‘s latest installment of Mono #4, pushing the pace.

Faithfully adapted from Anthony Brock’s classic Mono pulp stories, Wolstenholme and Sharp have taken this fantastic character into new territory with the motion book tool that allows for one of the most immersive reading experiences in comics. It’s been awhile since the last episode of Mono, but proved to be well worth the wait.

Last episode, Mono was working his way like a ghost through Nazi occupied France, taking out a contingent of SS in the decimated city of Caen. Episode 4 of Mono, switches from its focus on his mission to Nazi General Heinrich Von Eberbach. He makes Christoph Waltze’s Colonel Landa from Inglorious Basterds look like a summer camp counselor.Madefire's Mono Ben Wolstenholme Liam Sharp

The introduction of General Von Eberbach is simply masterful on all levels. Wolstenholme cracks open his personality sequence by sequence, showing readers everything they need to understand about this embodiment of terror right down to his unique and telling nose prosthetic and scarred face.

Just as stunning is Sharp’s use of dialogue between the General and his dinner guest. Sharp’s diction is careful and measured, keeping pace with Wolstenhome’s tour de force in sequential illustration. While Von Eberbach has no idea who the “ghouls and demons in the fog” are that have been snuffing out his men, his introduction sets him up as a formidable opponent for Mono despite being unprepared for a true man beast.

One of the best visual elements of Madefire’s motion book tool is put to use with the panoramic panel that rotates around a scene and puts the reader in the middle of the story. In this particular episode of Mono, the panoramic scene is used to show the spoils of war General Von Eberbach has captured.

Delivering somewhat of a speech to his dinner companion Isabella, he speaks of his proud warrior lineage and somewhat delusional connection to the mighty Nordic god Thor. He’s even flanked by four vicious dogs named Odin, Loki, Baldor, and Fenris.

Leave it to Sharp and Wolstenholme to stoke the tension as Mono and General Von Eberbach are on a collision course when Von Eberbach’s guards start disappearing and the dogs start growling at the demon ghoul terrorizing Nazi henchmen.

Madefire's Mono Ben Wolstenholme Liam SharpWithout a single panel wasted, this episode ends on a cliffhanger as Von Eberbach lets the dogs loose on the half ape, half man Mono. And there it ends.

And with an ending like that, it will only be a disappointment if episode 5 of Mono doesn’t come soon. It’s a perfect balance between elegant storytelling, edge-of-your-seat action, and stunning visuals. Wolstenholme and Sharp make a perfect creative team for telling a top-notch thriller that’s refined pulp.

Currently available on all Apple mobile devices and through your computer browser at deviantART for free, there is absolutely no reason to not read this fantastic title from Madefire. It’s hard to argue with the sentiment that Madefire might be the best thing happening in comics. Mono is a must read and out today. Just click here to read it for free.

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About The Author

Unofficially a I'm a musicologist, journalist, and comic book/prose writer. Officially, a teacher and father of three. I also have a big nose. When I'm not teaching or writing for Comic Booked, I'm writing my new series The Ghost Notes. +David Gillette

  1. jeffhillwriter 07/11/2013 at 3:38 pm

    I'm still not completely on-board with the art, but Sharp's script is impeccable.

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