Not A Single Story

Apr 10, 2023


Mad Cave Studios


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Monomyth # 1 Cvr

Monomyth #1

Mad Cave Studios

Writer: David Hazan
Penciler/Inker: Cecilia Lo Valvo
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Lucas Gattoni

The tallest tale told isn’t as intense as John Henry racing against the steam shovel.  No, in fact not only is it not that unbelievable, it is shorter than Paul Bunyon’s ax.  You will find the answer in another tale. About a mysterious wizard who summons seven strangers to save a world.  To find out what happens when storybooks stops being simply fantasy.  And start getting real.  In Monomyth, the new series from Mad Cave Studios.     

Monomyth #1 Img

The introduction to Monomyth gives readers the impression that writer David Hazan has read a few fables.  With the opening lines, “in a land of myth and legend”, Hazan establishes that the location of this story is no place like home.  The beautiful countryside, colored by Marissa Lousia,  with its cozy hamlets and no detectable smog is another.  It is the comic’s second sentence, however, that may remind readers of a little forgotten fact about legends.  Louise’s use of torn parchment for letterer Lucas Gattoni’s writing only accentuates this atrocity.   

An atrocity is why the old wizard, this issue’s narrator, calls for his servant Homunculus . The android who looks like General Klytus from Flash Gordon – is to bring the wizard his quill.  But given the pains – shown by the lines inker Cecilia Lo Valvo adds to his face – in casting the spell, you may start to wonder.  Is locator spell that transcends space and time make things right?

Or is this just about making amends. While Monomyth opens with a peaceful scene, the make believe comes of quicker than some cosmetics.  Revealing a horrific world, where in a dark castle, designed with deadly obstacles, the wizard is preparing to write – or magickally weave –  a happy ever after.  Although when readers, and the stories main characters, get a full view of the castle there is no mistaking the illustrators want everyone to know this isn’t a Cinderella Story.  What we don’t know, yet, is how this kingdom went from being magical  

Monomyth #1 Img

The reason is what makes this first issue of Monomyth so mesmerizing.  See, despite their importance in informing our past and pointing out, we misplace (and misapply) our historires as cluelessly as we do a set of car keys.  That seems to be the case with a few of the “applicants” who arrive in this unfamiliar world after the spell is cast.  For example, when we first are introduced to Kole it is easy to see he isn’t likely the type fo hit the books hard.  Mainly because he is getting hit…HARD.  Hazan gives us a few points of reference for these characters.  These will help the reader realize how they each fit, which of the various archetypes they are in the tale

How their personalities apply to the story and who they are in this legend is both a mystery and part of the reason why people love legends.  The ability to find yourself – and the strength to face the future – in the pages of a book is powerful.  Something you should never let go of, no matter what.   

Nor allow someone to steal.  The impact of the line “In a time long since lost to memory”, is seen on the second page. There is an immediate sense of unfamiliarty.  But why?  It may be simply that the colors and shading take the tone from feeling gaelic to gothic.  This indicates there was some transition of power that took place. A dark land, a mysterious wizard and castle filled with deadly traps are all that lies between these strangers and answers. Which may be problematic since only a few are lucky enough to know each other or find any common ground.  And from the looks of things Homunculus is not here to help.  

What happened, what went wrong and what are we supposed to do now?  That isn’t only a question Monomyth’s characters are asking by the end of this opening issue, it is one for every person alive.  And if we all can’t find or at least figure out what was on those pages of the script, then how can we expect to be a part of the next blockbuster story.  Because the main reveal in MonoMyth. That what occurs affects us all.

Anything written otherwise is a tall tale. 

Score: 8.8