Review – Roche Limit: Monadic #1 (Image Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Kyle Charles
Release Date: 16th March, 2016

Okay, so this is going to be a fairly difficult issue for me to review.  Not because I don’t have a lot to say about it, but rather due to the fact that a huge amount of the issue’s impact relies on the reader not knowing what’s coming next.  Moreso than other titles, this is a book where spoilers are really going to derail the story, so there’s not much about the plot that I can divulge other than the absolute basics. Set sometime after the events of Roche Limit: Clandestiny, this first issue appears to be set on Earth, and features some familiar faces in some entirely unfamiliar situations.  And, well, that’s about it, sadly.

It should already be taken as read that Moreci was never going to take the obvious approach to the third act of his Roche Limit trilogy, but the direction he has taken here had me absolutely gripped from the first page to the last.  As I mentioned, we have a lot of familiar characters from the first two series’ making appearances here, but there’s definitely something not quite ‘right’ about what we’re seeing.

Roche Limit has always been a series that challenged its readers to think, toying with their preconceptions and never shying away from difficult theological concepts or an altogether ambiguous form of storytelling, and that utterly engrossing approach is on full display here as Moreci gradually nudges his pieces across the board en route to what should be a truly mind-blowing conclusion. It also probably goes without saying that this is about as far from a jumping-on point as you could possible get, and a firm working knowledge of the first two arcs of the story is definitely required in order to get the most out of this final chapter.

Visually, it’s clear to see that Kyle Charles’ artwork has come on in leaps and bounds since his work on Clandestiny, and I’d argue that he’s doing career-best work here.  The change of pace from the chaos of Clandestiny leads to a less frantic, less aggressive approach here, and the new environments provide Charles with ample opportunity to indulge his flair for impressive backdrops and detailed visual world-building.

Existential science fiction is a relatively untapped genre in the world of comics, and in a market increasingly filled with dumbed-down ‘shoot the aliens, save humanity’ type sci-fi yarns, it’s truly refreshing to have such a boldly ambitious series as Roche Limit out there on the shelves.  Head-scratching it may be at times, and the lack of explanation for what we’re seeing in this first issue could potentially frustrate less patient readers, but I think it’s safe to say that if a reader has made it this far into the series, they should share my same confidence that Moreci is going to deliver the goods over these final four issues.  Either way, the uncertainty of the conclusion and the sheer wanton creativity on display here is more than enough for me to recommend this series to anyone who’ll care to listen.

Rating: 4.5/5.

If you want to find out more about ROCHE LIMIT: MONADIC, make sure to check out our interview with creators Michael Moreci and Kyle Charles by CLICKING HERE.

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The writer of this piece was: 576682_510764502303144_947146289_nCraig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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