Monarch #3 Review

Writer: Rodney Barnes

Artist: Alex Lins

Colorists: Luis Nct & Mar Silvestre Galotto

Letterer: Marshall Dillon

Cover Artists: Alex Lins & Luis Nct; Chris Visions

Publisher: Image

Price: 3.99

Release Date: April 12, 2023

Young Marli sits on her bed, gazing out the window at the night sky. At times, she’s seen the stars move. When Miss Wilamae brought Travon into their Compton home, Marli realized he belonged to those moving stars. Yes, you read that right. There is nothing wrong with your digital platform. Do not attempt to adjust your browser. You are about to participate in the great adventure of Monarch #3!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Monarch #3 Review.


At Travon’s school, his friends Daysha and Kurtis search for Angie. Instead, they find fellow student Todd, who acts weird and remote. On an alien spaceship, Travon feels guilty. Designed to learn about Humans, he became one. The alien collective realizes this. They have found a new home to repopulate their species. Travon must not endanger their plan.

After Marli’s introduction, Rodney Barnes’ story stands like a tripod. The first story-leg follows Travon as he leaves the spaceship and views the devastation his people have wrought. The second gives us a global view of the alien invasion. The third and final subplot follows Daysha and Kurtis as they search for Angie.

Marli’s introduction was touching, but how does it fit in? The cover suggests she’s taking a journey, but all we see of her in Monarch #3 belongs to the past. Is she still alive and remembering? I also enjoyed the battle for Earth, even if the invaders’ intention to wipe out humanity to repopulate their species is standard alien invasion fare. Daysha and Kurtis’ adventure left me wanting to know what happens next.


Alex Lins imbues Marli’s scenes with personality. He shows us the things she loves and cares about, how she felt after the death of her parents, and how much Travon means to her. He reveals how she recognized Travon wasn’t Human, which we never saw in issue #1. Scenes at the school seem less detailed. The characters exhibit less personality. The damaged interiors show how bland this impersonal space has become.

Travon no longer wears clothes in Monarch #3. Ameoba or circuit-like shapes cover his body, although he still wears glasses. Spaceships destroy Earth’s warplanes. Giant Walkers stride across land and sea, blasting everything in their path. Childhood memories clash with the destruction of Travon’s neighborhood. I liked the page composition of Marli’s scenes, the epic battle panorama, and Travon’s walk through the rubble. The cross-shaped operating table seemed to shout rather than suggest. I wondered why some Walkers had three legs and others four.

Luis Nct and Mar Silvestre Galotto paint the alien invasion in blue and pink. Like Travon’s operating table, are they suggesting a link between the aliens’ repopulation plans and the resurrection Easter celebrates? Nct and Galotto color Travon’s walk through the destruction in beige and tan. Are they saying everything Mankind has built will inevitably return to the Earth? School interiors are colored green, and windows beige and tan. Yet one room is bathed in red. You’ll discover what that implies when you read Monarch #3.

Marshall Dillon relates Marli’s thoughts in green narrative boxes. He shows Daysha and Kurtis’ conversation in white dialogue balloons. Big uppercase letters grow when they shout, and spherical dialogue balloons sprout spikes. Travon’s thoughts also appear in green narrative boxes. Did the alien part of him read her thoughts, and he’s only now becoming aware of it? The alien collective’s words appear as white letters in black narrative boxes outlined in the same blue that colors the invasion. While he uses sound effects sparingly, Dillon spelled out the children’s laughter to make one panel more powerful and haunting.

Final Thoughts

Touching scenes deepen our appreciation for Marli. Travon’s love for Mankind puts his future at risk. Epic battle scenes reveal the scope of this global conflict. Sadly, the only subplot that advances this series is a psychological drama involving less-known characters. With its echoes of War Of The Worlds–and all the radio, TV, movie, and comic adaptations of the classic novel by H. G. Wells–Monarch #3 satisfies. Better advances in the story and greater consistency in the art will help this series reclaim the awesomeness of previous issues.


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