Recently, Starz Action channel played host to a quartet of nineties era Godzilla movies (Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah, Vs. Mechagodzilla, Vs. Space Gorilla, Vs. Destroyah), introduced by Steve Van Zandt in an affected accent. Over six hours of building tromping action. Yeah, I set the recorder for it.
I'm thinking, though, that at least one of the minds behind the new graphic novel Monster Attack Network (AiT/Planet Lar) was sitting at home and marathon viewing these babies the day they first aired. Clearly, these are people who appreciate the beauties of a big ol' monster foot coming down on some fleeing unfortunates.
Written by Highwaymen team, Marc Bernadin & Adam Freeman – and drawn with a heavy predilection for the big black brush stroke by new-to-me Nima Sorat – M.A.N. is a comic book tribute to monster rampage movies. Set on the wealthy tropical isle of Lapuata, the book follows the workings of a group of men and women hired to fend off the island's periodic monster attacks, a fairly regular occurrence that island inhabitants see as part of the price for living in a global economic powerhouse.
Where the monsters come from is never explained, nor does it need to be. It's the Monster Attack Network's job to chase off each attacking creature (rarely, we're told, killing 'em), then rebuild ("And repave. And re-upholster. And re-spackle. And re-wallpaper") each trashed-out area. From the very first monster attack depicted – a flying beastie named Gygax that we only get to see as a shadow and a giant eye peering into an office building – it's clear M.A.N. has found a need and filled it.
The book's two main characters are Nate Klinger, a hypermuscled block of a man who is M.A.N.'s operations manager, and Lana Barnes, a shapely exotic beauty and new M.A.N. hire who, it is obvious to both Nate and us, is hiding a secret or two of her own (for one thing, though her name's plainly Anglo, she quickly has to own up to being Lapuata born).
Klinger is aptly described by another character as built for "standing on top of a wall, pushing herd animals onto Saxon invaders." Though relatively new to the monster attack biz, Lana proves equally capable, hopping on top of an attacking giant slug to ride it out of the city, for instance, without once having her fulsome breasts pop out of her improbable dress. Nate has his odd tingling suspicions about the lady, but obviously these two heroically shaped figures are meant to work together.