Review: Monster Motor: The Curse of Minivan Helsing #2

(IDW 2015)

Written by Brian Lynch

Illustrated by Nick Roche

Colored by Leonard O’Grady

Lettered by Tom B. Long

Browse your LCS’s shelves and see the number of zombie books that rest uneasily there.  It’s a fact that the zombie apocalypse has come, not as hoards of flesh-eating undead humans, but in the form of piles and piles of zombies comic books, waiting to bury you under their sweet-smelling newsprint, your final moments spent in darkness with the smell of ink in your nose.

There are a lot of zombie books.

Monster Motors: The Curse of Minivan Helsing #2 is not. There are zombies in it, but this is a book about young love, about courage and sacrifice, about standing up for what is right and looking overwhelming odds in the face. Most importantly, there are cars. And monsters. And cars that are monsters.

It’s those last three that you should focus on in the case of Monster Motors #2. Brian Lynch (Angel, Spike) has the perfect balance of wit and humor to make this book a totally fun, easily digested read. The puns are not overly witty, in fact, they delve deeply into what I think of as “dad jokes”, but I love them for that. Who doesn’t want to check out a world where there is a “Romero Gorge”?

This is the second of two issues in a short arc that joins the Minivan Helsing team (April Van Helsing, Lagoon-buggy, and Wheelwolf) with a young Victor Frankenstein (and Frankenride) against a hoard of “zoombies” who threaten to bite every mechanical object in the world and turn it into a chewing machine. Helsing’s spirit was fused with a minivan in a great and farcical error during a flashback in the first issue, but now it’s the bad-assiest mini-van in the world. (Just you say something about the faux wood paneling…just try it.)

With April van Helsing and her minivanned father running point, the crew takes on an entire fleet of machine-crunching monsters, and this issue is where you see the steel fly.

Screen shot 2015-04-20 at 11.41.06 AM          Nick Roche’s artwork goes a long way to making me like this book. He has an easy, cartoony style that reminds me of Saturday mornings parked in front of the television. The way he illustrated the monster motors is fantastic, taking in the many individual parts and exaggerating them so that you can see their monstrous aspect and still completely love them.   His character design is backed up by the skill to render each of these monsters beautifully. Leonard O’Grady’s colors are bright and help to bring the whole comic into that realm that is so close to my childhood.

           Screen shot 2015-04-20 at 11.40.45 AM Monster Motors: The Curse of Minivan Helsing is a Saturday morning cartoon. To perfection. If you’re looking for a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is it. If you’re looking for a quick story arc, this is it. Don’t expect to finish this and lament that it’s only a two-parter. Or is it? Take this last teaser with you as Brian Lynch, Nick Roche, and Leonard O’Grady serve up a part of your balanced breakfast with Monster Motors.  How can you not want to see more when you see this last little tidbit from issue 2?  For some reason I’m craving a large glass of orange juice and a couple of slices of buttered toast.

Brad-profilepicBrad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, all who put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.

Twitter - brad@comicwasteland

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