I Walk With Monsters #1 Review: Looking For A Way In

I Walk With Monsters is about a young girl grappling with a traumatic past by traveling around the country with a man with monstrous abilities. Together, they seek out predators while on another, more pointed mission as well. Written by Paul Cornell, drawn by Sally Cantirino, colored by Dearbhla Kelly, and lettered by AndWorld Design, this is another interesting concept from Vault Comics. Let's see if it's worth a read.

I Walk With Monsters #1 cover. Credit: Vault Comics
I Walk With Monsters #1 cover. Credit: Vault Comics

I Walk With Monsters may end up being a terrific series, and this debut issue would have functioned just fine as the first chapter of a graphic novel. However, as the first issue of a comic book series, it spends its twenty-two pages of story building the lead character's traumatic backstory without giving the reader a way in. Before we're asked to feel this character's pain, we're given nothing about who she is and what she's like outside of that pain. This is likely purposefully done, as the writing has an Ionesco quality to it, heavy of silence and characters repeating things that they or their companion has just said. However, judging this work as a single issue, there is next to nothing done to make us interested in the characters outside of a traumatic past. It's not quite enough.

On the artwork front, though, Cantirino's work is absolutely terrific in I Walk With Monsters. She does terrific character work, giving personality to these quiet moments, and then goes on to deliver in a major way when the supernatural comes into play. Cantirino's depiction of memories is also inventive and horrific in equal part, using a Suspiria-like technique to play with the size of certain people/objects to disorient, yes, but also to show how memory distorts around trauma.

Overall, I Walk With Monsters is a promising debut that feels a bit short on character. It gives the vibe that it'll make a compelling trade paperback once it's all done, but this first issue was more just flat out depressing than it was intriguing due to its focus on trauma without character development.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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