Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: City in the Desert: The Monster Problem

Out this past week is City in the Desert: The Monster Problem, the debut graphic novel from Moro Rogers. Published by Archaia Entertainment, The Monster Problem is the first volume for the ongoing series.

This is a cute story following a rogue-type, monster hunter Irro and his young companion/assistant Hari.    They are happily killing monsters that are hurting their village until a new religious group comes to town with a permanent monster solution.  Irro and Hari have to discover if the clerics are for real and if they are out of a job!  Irro reminded me of Indiana Jones with more magic.  He has his light-hearted moments, but is all business.  Hari, possibly part monster herself, is a warrior whose past is definitely in question.  Still, her dedication to Irro is unquestioned.

This volume provides a lot of great background for this story.  The Monster Problem literally comes with an origin story.  Yup, the origin story of man!  It is similar to other real creation myths that I have read, I had to think if it was from an actual culture.  Fantastically done and makes the rest of the story that much better.  Art, also by Rogers, is fantastic.  She uses a simple style that can be incredibly detailed. Yes, I know how that sounds but with less attention paid to the window dressing, Rogers is able to highlight the actions of the characters so clearly.

There were some flaws with the story, however minor.  I thought that the story progressed too slowly and predictably.  My biggest complaint is the cliff-hanger ending. It felt like nothing was resolved but just asked more questions. While I didn't get the conclusion I was after, there was enough to the story to make me interested in more. Good thing is that there will be another volume out next year.

Even with its flaws, 
 City in the Desert: The Monster Problem is an enjoyable tale that I recommend.  It is also a great gift for young adults who are not superhero fans. If you want to get something for that crazy Percy Jackson fan in your life, this is it.

City in the Desert: The Monster Problem is out in comic stores everywhere and is being released in bookstores on Nov. 27th.

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