ROUND 3, BATTLE 1
WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #1-3
INFINITY GAUNTLET #1-3
Oh Battleworld, my Battleworld, our fearful trip is nearly done. We’ve weathered almost every rack, the prize we’ve sought is nearly won. Before that Walt Disney poem can be seen to fruition however, there are a couple more fistfights that need to be fist fought. Up next on your undercard is the powerhouse mÃªlÃ©e between Where Monsters Dwell and Infinity Gauntlet. Let’s get ready to grumble.
With three issues of each under their belt, Monsters and Gauntlet are both giving us titillating glimpses into their act one and how their stories might play out. Both books are adept at hanging their readers off cliffs while simultaneously earning their suspenseful endings. So how can this battle of great books be decided? Who has the authority to banish one while championing the other? Me. It will be decided by me and I have the authority.
Where Monsters Dwell is a fucking nutballs look at what probably happened to Amelia Earhart back in the 1830’s. Plane goes up, plane hits storm, plane gets displaced to an Amazonian, pre-historic island replete with leviathans and more ladies underwear than Buffalo Bill’s closet. The transformation of a “helpless minxâ€ (their words) into a “ball-busting bad assâ€ (my words) is helped by the over blown ridiculousness of the situation at hand. Why would this flirty, tiny English woman, who clearly needs the help of a man to do anything, flip a switch and become a lesbian powerhouse of epic proportions? <– That is not a question you ask when you’re watching a T-Rex chomp 15 tiny tribal men while your protagonist is screaming through a forest covered in blood. Don’t get me wrong; they don’t cover up a bad story with cuckoo crazy insanity. On the contrary, they infuse a good story with awesome imagery and an impressively strong cadre of characters.
Well how the fuck can Infinity Gauntlet hold up to that shit? The answer is, quite simply, pretty Goddamn well. The first couple of issues of the Gauntlet (which is what I call it because we’re really good friends) are rough. They lack cohesion at times, character motivation and chemistry is, at best hit or miss, and the artwork tends to muddy the story line instead of clarify. Basically, whoever thought it was a good idea to let this book get so far in the tournament was either a dumbass or Nostradamus because this third book puts all that shit to great use.
The slow play of the first two books is matched only by the fever pitch story telling that the third book hurls at you. The characters grow into themselves, the storylines are taught and the inclusion of Thanos, who seems to be a pretty bad dude, all make this book plainly awesome. Plus, as a bonus, because someone has an orange diamond or some such shit, this book can go back in time whenever it wants! That’s a banana! Do you not like what you just saw? Fuck it. We’ll go back and play it again but this time…it’s personal. Do you not like how it played out this time? Fuck you! We’re not going back! Grandpa’s dead. Mom’s mean. Your dog will never walk again. This book is oozing potential and I cannot wait to see what sick shit they make us endure knowing that at any moment, all of our emotions were wasted because that time thread is no more.
So who wins? This is a question that I have answered countless times over the course of our Battleworld Battleworld tournament but none have been this difficult. Both books show huge promise. Both books artwork is as interesting as it is necessary to the style of story telling. I suppose that, by virtue of intrigue and ingenuity, I give this round to Infinity Gauntlet. It is with a heavy heart that I must push Where Monsters Dwell out of the tournament. I love a crazy book about giant lesbians and dinosaurs as much as the next guy, but when Thanos can fuck your throat and then reverse time because he would prefer to do it harder, that is something I have to tip my hat to. So to Infinity Gauntlet, I say congratulations you beautiful bastard. You just won yourself premier entrance into the elite eight.
Jason R. Noble