Marvel Graphic Novel 017 - The Revenge of the Living MonolithWriter: David Michelinie
Artists: Marc Silvestri/Geof Isherwood
I’ve always loved the title of the graphic novel as it has a fun 1950s feel to it. And its bold cover showcasing the might of the Living Monolith as he crushes one of the Twin Towers with people fleeing about like scattering ants.
The idea for this graphic novel apparently came from Jim Owsley “I wanna do ‘The Monster That Trashed New York”, something on a big scale, like those old ‘50s monster movies. We’re gonna call it - are ya ready for this? ‘The Revenge of the Living Monolith!’”
As with any great fiction, a sympathetic character is a great way to make readers care about your story. In this graphic novel, Michelinie makes the villain, Ahmet Abdol, the mutant better known as the Living Monolith, a wonderfully sympathetic character and the way the story is constructed, Ahmet is the protagonist. Leveraging mutant hysteria and tragedy, you feel totally justified for Ahmet as he assumes the mantle of the Living Pharaoh and makes his latest bid for power.
His daughter Fayah betrays her father and turns to the Fantastic Four to help stop her father’s latest mad scheme. However, to spoil things, it’s a ruse meant to help the Living Pharaoh capture the Fantastic Four. Using the cosmic energy stored in the cells of the Fantastic Four, the Living Monolith transforms himself into the massive giant known as the Living Monolith. The She-Hulk (at that time a member of the FF) gathers a handful of heroes to take on the Living Monolith
This wonderful 80-page story reads like a cross between a James Bond movie and the Fantastic Four. With a lot of great action scenes and great twists and turns that keep you flipping pages. Michelinie adeptly handles all these classic Marvel characters like Spider-Man and Captain America amid all of that action.
The art and colours are absolutely stunning and keep in mind this is from 1985 when comics were printed on paper that was barely above newsprint in terms of quality. The inks by Geof Isherwood are also worthy of note, giving the finished product a Bernie Wrightson feel to it. And the lettering by several of Marvel’s finest of the 1980s, like Joe Rosen, Rick Parker, and John Morelli, is also worthy of some praise especially the way it complements the action in the panels.