Monsters Unleashed (comics)

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Monsters Unleashed is the title of an American black-and-white comics magazine published by Magazine Management and two color comic-book miniseries from Marvel Comics. The first ran from 1973 to 1975. The two miniseries ran consecutively in 2017.

Magazine Management (1973–1975)[edit]

Monsters Unleashed
Monsters Unleashed #1 (1973). Cover art by Gray Morrow.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics Group
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateAugust 1973 – April 1975
No. of issues11, and one annual publication
Editor(s)Roy Thomas, Tony Isabella, Don McGregor

The first publication titled Monsters Unleashed was an American black-and-white horror comics magazine published by Magazine Management, a corporate sibling of Marvel Comics.[1] The series ran 11 issues cover-dated 1973 to April 1975), plus one annual publication. With sister titles including Dracula Lives!, Tales of the Zombie and Vampire Tales, it was published by Marvel Comics' parent company, Magazine Management, and related corporations, under the brand emblem Marvel Monster Group. The first issue was dated simply 1973, but the second issue of the magazine, published quarterly, was cover-dated September 1973.[2][3]

A magazine rather than a comic book, it did not fall under the purview of the comics industry's self-censorship Comics Code Authority, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than color comics of the time.

Monsters Unleashed primarily featured standalone horror stories, both original and reprinted, including from pre-Comics Code comics from Marvel Comics' 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics. It occasionally featured stories starring the Marvel Comics swamp monster Man-Thing, the Marvel version of the Frankenstein monster, the bestial Wendigo, the science-fiction adventurer Gullivar Jones. and the superheroine Tigra. It also included text features on monster movies.[2]

Monsters Unleashed was edited by Roy Thomas for the first six issues, succeeded by Tony Isabella, and then Don McGregor for the last two issues. The painted covers were illustrated by the likes of Gray Morrow, Boris Vallejo, Neal Adams, Frank Brunner, Bob Larkin, Richard Hescox, Earl Norem, and Jose Antonio Domingo. In addition to the 11 issues there was one annual publication in 1975 consisting completely of stories reprinted from the magazine.[4]

Marvel Comics (2017)[edit]

Monsters Unleashed
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
FormatLimited series
Publication dateMarch – May 2017
No. of issues5
Main character(s)Avengers
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Elsa Bloodstone
Guardians of the Galaxy
Kei Kawade
Leviathon Tide
Creative team
Created byCullen Bunn
Steve McNiven
Greg Land
Adam Kubert
Leinil Francis Yu

Volume two[edit]

The second volume of Monsters Unleashed is a Marvel Comics series published in 2017.[5] It is the flagship title of the "Monster Unleashed" company-wide crossover story arc. Additionally, a tie-in trade paperback book, Monsters Unleashed Prelude, reprinted late 1950s and early 1960s "pre-superhero Marvel" stories starring several of the giant monsters seen in the new series.[6]

Monsters Unleashed volume two began publication in January 2017.[7] The five-issue miniseries was cover-date March–May 2017.[5]


Monsters have been appearing on Earth upon falling from the sky. The Avengers fight a reptilian monster in Boston, the X-Men fight a spider monster in London, the Black Panther and Shuri defend Wakanda from a thick-skinned monster, the Guardians of the Galaxy defend Groot from a snake-like monster in Seattle, the Inhumans fight a multi-headed monster in Venice, and the Champions fight a tentacled eye monster in Los Angeles. In Peru, Elsa Bloodstone finds a prophecy that tells of the Monster King whom all monsters fear.[8] The Winter Guard fights monsters in Moscow while Valkyrie and Warrior Woman fight them in Edinburgh while Atlas fights them in Washington, D.C.[9] Medusa and Karnak discover that Kei Kawade is an Inhuman who can summon monsters called Goliathons to help fight the Leviathon invasion.[10] Kei then learns how to use his powers perfectly and manages to defeat the Leviathon Queen with a team of new monsters.[11]

Titles involved[edit]

  • Monsters Unleashed vol. 2, #1–5
  • All-New X-Men vol. 2 #1.MU
  • Avengers vol. 7 #1.MU
  • Champions vol. 2 #1.MU
  • Doctor Strange vol. 4 #1.MU
  • Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 4 #1.MU
  • Spider-Man/Deadpool #1.MU
  • Totally Awesome Hulk #1.MU
  • Uncanny Inhumans #1.MU
  • Marvel Free Previews: Monsters Unleashed! #1

Volume three[edit]

The third volume of Monsters Unleashed is a five-issue Marvel Comics miniseries cover-dated June-Oct. 2017.[12] It follows the adventures of Kei Kawade, vampire-hunter Elsa Bloodstone, and Kei Kawade's creations Aegish, Slizzik, Scragg, Hi Vo and Mekara. The series unfolds as the team takes on gargantuan creatures and protects the planet while also having to deal with the latest incarnation of Intelligencia.

Critical reception[edit]

The entire crossover received mixed reviews. According to Comic Book Roundup, the entire crossover received an average rating of 6.9 out of 10 based on 48 reviews.[13]

Collected editions[edit]

Title Material collected Published date ISBN
Monsters Unleashed Prelude Fearless Defenders #8; Marvel Zombies (vol. 2) #1; Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1; Totally Awesome Hulk #2-3 and material from Strange Tales #73, 90; Tales to Astonish #11-13, 15, 17, 19, 23; Tales of Suspense #15, 17, 19, 22 January 2017 978-1302900892
Monsters Unleashed Monsters Unleashed (vol. 2) #1-5 July 2017 978-1302907266
Monsters Unleashed Vol. 1: Monster Mash Monsters Unleashed (vol. 3) #1-6 December 2017 978-0785196365
Monsters Unleashed Vol. 2: Learning Curve Monsters Unleashed (vol. 3) #7-12 June 2018 978-0785196372
Monsters Unleashed: Battleground All-New X-Men #1.MU, Avengers #1.MU, Champions #1.MU, Doctor Strange #1.MU, Guardians of the Galaxy #1.MU, Spider-Man/Deadpool #1.MU, Totally Awesome Hulk #1.MU, Uncanny Inhumans #1.MU July 2017 978-1302907198


  1. ^ Sacks, Jason; Dallas, Keith (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1970s. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 978-1605490564.
  2. ^ a b Monsters Unleashed at the Grand Comics Database.
  3. ^ Marvel Monster Group (brand emblem) at the Grand Comics Database.
  4. ^ Monsters Unleashed Annual at the Grand Comics Database.
  5. ^ a b Monsters Unleashed (Marvel, 2017 series) at the Grand Comics Database.
  6. ^ Monsters Unleashed Prelude at the Grand Comics Database.
  7. ^ Morse, Ben (September 19, 2016). "Marvel Unleashes the Monsters". Archived from the original on January 31, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  8. ^ Monsters Unleashed Vol. 2, #1
  9. ^ Monsters Unleashed Vol. 2, #2
  10. ^ Monsters Unleashed Vol. 2, #3
  11. ^ Monsters Unleashed vol. 2, #4–5
  12. ^ Monsters Unleashed (Marvel, [second] 2017 series at the Grand Comics Database.
  13. ^ "Monsters Unleashed Reviews". Retrieved 2021-03-06.

External links[edit]