The Monolith #3 Review

Reviewer: Mathan Erhardt
Story Title: The Walls Come Tumbling Down

Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Penciled and Inked by: Phil Winslade
Lettered by: Phil Balsman
Colored by: Chris Chuckry
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics

So Alice the junkie has inherited a house from here grandmother. This is good because Alice needs to clean up and get away from Princeton, her drug supplier. But it’s a bad thing because a vengeful entity lives in the basement of the house, and now Alice has inherited that as well. Unfortunately Princeton has come to grandmother’s house looking for Alice causing Alice to flee to the basement.

This issue begins in the past where Alice’s grandmother (also named Alice) and her cohorts are dealing with the creature that they have unleashed in the neighborhood. Sure crime is down, but now even innocent people are afraid of the Monolith. The Monolith keeps the neighborhood clean, but in a brutal fashion.

So, Alice (the grandmother), Rabbi, and Han decide to imprison the creature, after having their roles in its creation exposed. The imprisoning scene is difficult to read, because the betrayal is palpable. Flash forward to the present.

Alice and Tilt are trapped in the basement. Alice decides to tear down the wall that keeps the Monolith trapped. Even with the hole in the wall the Monolith cannot break free of the spell that the Rabbi cast, without some of Alice’s blood. Fortunately, Princeton, and his gun, is more than happy to help Alice shed some blood. The Monolith bursts free and protects Alice from further harm. However, Princeton’s sidekick becomes a casualty of the battle.

Alice prevents the Monolith from killing Princeton, and deals with him in her own fashion. After leaving the house one of the other shoes from last issue drops, on Princeton.

The first story is done and Palmiotti and Gray deserve some credit. This story was very interesting. How the past related to the present was very cleverly portrayed. Some fans on the Message Boards have complained that this issue felt rushed, the 30’s story was the stronger of the two, and that Princeton’s fate seemed too convenient. Firstly, the story wasn’t rushed at all it basically ran four issues. Secondly, the story in the present was just as firm as the tale set in the past. Lastly, Princeton just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and occurrences like that do happen. I am curious as to where we go from here.

That said, I wish there was more of a conclusion with the Monolith himself. We don’t see him for the last three pages of the book. A panel with him disposing of a body, or walking the sewers would have been a nice image to close on. Or perhaps him going out on patrol. Is it too much to ask to see the title character on the last page of the book?

The art is perfect. I find this hard to believe that it’s a DCU book because the characters look so realistic. The figures are proportioned, the poses are realistic. The colors are muted, giving the book a dark look that really captures the feel of the story. Winslade deserves much more praise than he gets.