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What Were They Thinking?!: Monster Mash-Up

Posted: Monday, October 23, 2006
By: Michael Deeley



Writers: Keith Giffen, Joe Casey, Johanna Stokes, and Kevin Church
Artists: Steve Ditko and others

Publisher: Boom! Studios


Monster Mash-Up puts new, “funny” dialogue in old monster and sci-fi comics. And like the previous What Were They Thinking issues, most of the jokes fall flat. The book looks more interesting because of the strange creatures and alien landscapes. The lead story about an undersea encounter turned into perverse sexual encounter is the best of the lot. The original story about a diver’s strange visit by mermen actually lends itself to a sexual interpretation very easily. Bravo to Joe Casey for picking up on that theme and running with it. Or just writing a story about sick queers. Either one’s good.

Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there. A jungle story where men argue about hats goes on for too long. I don’t think the writer went far enough with the ridiculous premise of a jealous man trying to define himself through bad clothes. The alien Bigfoot story goes off the rails when the narrator starts commenting on the “real” story. They should have stuck with a straight-up comedy story.

There are a couple of bright spots though. “Alien Astro Dog” recasts a jungle monster story as an alien monster story by clumsily replacing words and sound effects. “Manlust” explores the clichés in homosexual love stories, like Lethal Weapon. But it’s so cerebral and “film critic,” it’s out of place among these silly stories. (Also to stories based on homosexual self-discovery is a bit much.) Sadly, these two stories are much shorter than the others and don’t make up for their mediocrity.

Monster Mash-Up has a few good chuckles, but not enough to justify the $4 price tag. I said it in my last review of What Were They Thinking?!, and I’ll say it again: be sillier.



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