The Monolith

Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Phil Winslade; intro. by Jim Steranko. Image, $17.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-60706-574-6

Following a coordinated fan effort to bring back a collection of the 2004 periodical series, Palmiotti and Gray have rereleased the full tale of their monstrous hero: a golem. Created in the 1930s, the Monolith was meant to bring an end to the mobsters responsible for deaths of people just trying to get by. In 2004, a teen addict and former drug dealer named Alice inherits the home where the Monolith has become a prisoner, too dangerous to control. Pursued by a drug dealer she is in debt to, Alice must decide who is worse: the monster in her basement or the monsters in human form. Alice is a bristly protagonist, but her movement toward redemption makes her sympathetic enough to carry the story of a golem with few words of his own. And despite the modern draw, the sections that take place in the 1930s, told through the diary of Alice’s grandmother, have the most appeal. Palmiotti and Gray create dark visions of life in crime-ridden 2004 (which already seems far in the past) and 1932, with Winslade’s art entrancingly capturing the tone, putting poignant moments side-by-side with graphic violence. (Aug.)