Readers are only just getting to know the giant monsters of Marvel's latest event, Monsters Unleashed, but the publisher has wasted no time announcing a follow-up ongoing series, also titled Monsters Unleashed. Writer Cullen Bunn is spearheading both the event miniseries and the ongoing, the latter of which he'll be joined by artist David Baldeon.
In the Monsters Unleashed ongoing series launching in April, monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone will team up with the recently-introduced Kid Kaiju and his horde of new creatures to take on threats large enough to require the kind of fearsome firepower only oversized monsters can provide.
Newsarama spoke to Bunn about his new team's unlikely line-up, the giant-sized place the team will occupy in the Marvel Universe, and channeling Jack Kirby to fully embody these massive monsters.
Newsarama: Cullen, this Monsters Unleashed ongoing series features the new monsters created for the current event as well as Kid Kaiju and Elsa Bloodstone. How does a monster hunter become the leader of a team of monsters?
Cullen Bunn: Elsa isn’t necessarily the leader of this group of monsters. Instead, she’s acting as a kind of bodyguard and mentor for Kid Kaiju. She will, though, have a tough time adjusting to this role. The giant monsters. Looking after and training a kid (who, by the way, has no interest in killing monsters). It’s all a little much for her, and she copes in her own way, which will give fans of classic monster-hunting Elsa something to dig into.
Nrama: Obviously you can’t spoil anything for the current Monsters Unleashed miniseries, but can you describe the characters and relationships of this new series? How does a team like this function?
Bunn: What we have here is a team of heroes who are well equipped to handle the absolute biggest, most monstrous threats around. If you are a fan of giant monster movies, there’s quite often a group of heroes piloting mecha-monstrosities in order to battle rampaging kaiju. That group for the Marvel Universe is now comprised of a kid, a monster hunter with a serious attitude, and a group of titanic creatures. But they are not necessarily trusted by the world at-large. Whenever they stomp off to battle some evil monster or stop some natural disaster, they tend to leave a lot of collateral damage in their wake. So the heroes and world governments of the Marvel Universe are keeping a very close eye on them.
Part of the fun of this series, for me, is watching the team figure out exactly how they are supposed to operate in the world at large.
Nrama: Who is the monster you’ve come to identify with most while putting this title together?
Bunn: That answer changes with every script I write. Right now, I think I relate most to Aegis, who is sort of the Ben Grimm of the group. He likes to get in there and face problems head-on. He’s a little gruff and a little hard-headed. But I’ve felt a connection to all of the monsters. Scragg is probably the most fun to write, because he’s a pacifist who speaks like an old-school world-conquering Kirby monster. “Tremble, humans! Tremble before Scragg's sensible approach to conflic resolution!”
Nrama: What will the new monster team be facing when this series launches?
Nrama: I think it’s important for readers to know that these monsters are a big part of the Marvel Universe. With that in mind, right from the start the monsters will be facing a well-known villain who has a long history with monsters. But they’ll also find themselves targeted by a collective of very dangerous villains.
Nrama: Your working with artist David Baldeon. What makes him the perfect fit for a title about giant monsters?
Bunn: David is no stranger to big, destructive action sequences, and his character designs (especially his more monstrous designs) are simply delightful. He elevates the fun elements of this book in a major way.
Nrama: Marvel has done several recent series featuring Monster characters, but not with these kind of giant Monsters. What sets Monsters Unleashed apart in the Marvel Universe?
Bunn: The scale of these creatures helps to set the series apart from other recent monster-focused books. They’re behemoths, and the challenges they face are equally large. These creatures also have distinct personalities, hopes, dreams, and worries, so we’re approaching them as a new super team with some big (no pun intended) differences from other teams that are out there. The origin of the monsters alone gives us some room for a lot of interesting character development.
Nrama: There are only two humans on the team - Elsa Bloodstone and Kid Kaiju. Are there other non-monster supporting characters we can expect to see in the series?
Bunn: Oh yes! There will be a large supporting cast of humans (both super and otherwise, both helpful and adversarial) interacting with this team.
Nrama: What can readers expect from Monsters Unleashed as it rolls on? What can you tease us with about the book’s future?
Bunn: As I mentioned earlier, the monsters in this series will be facing a large group of well-known, fearsome villains, and I’m excited for readers to meet this group. We’ll be adding some really interesting (and sometimes surprising) characters to the supporting cast of the series. I don’t want to give too much about that away, but Elsa’s brother may be showing up. Some other friends of Elsa’s will be appearing in the book as well. Place your bets on who they might be! We’ll also be meeting a new supervillain who will play an important role in Kid Kaiju’s life.