Monarch #5 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: June 14, 2023

Daysha lies injured. Floating orbs order Travon to return. The boy—an alien born to fit in on Earth—defies his people. Will the alien invaders kill the boy destined to be their ruler? Let’s tune into Monarch #5 and find out!

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The floating orbs injured Daysha. Travon remembers growing up on Earth. He fell in love with Humans, even if they’re more interested in their pursuits than safeguarding their future. The orbs order Travon—their Monarch—to return. Instead, he protects Daysha and Kurtis by hurling lightning at them. Thanks to Travon’s protection, Daysha recovers. Travon may love her, but she’s uncertain of her feelings about him. He explains his origins and mission, but she has trouble believing his loyalties have changed. Can she forgive his deception and return his affection? Is friendship with Travon even possible anymore?

Once again, Travon’s mind drifts to his past with his adoptive sister Marli. We see little more of Travon’s past with Daysha in Monarch #5 than events we witnessed in the first issue. We also know little about big-haired Kurtis, who has stood by Daysha’s side throughout the invasion. We don’t even see Angie, who I presume is still in the school somewhere. And don’t forget about gun-toting Todd, who I erroneously called Kurt in the last issue. He’s still around, burning with anger and intent on murder.


Travon’s scenes with Marli communicate how relaxed they feel together. She sits on the windowsill while he leans out next to her. They gaze at the sky. Yet his mind flits to Earth’s pastoral grandeur. These contrast with urban scenes of his home world and the destruction that prompted their search for another home. Are Earthlings marching down the same path toward destruction? Silvery amoeba swims across Travon’s skin. While perfectly formed, the young boy wears round glasses. When he hurls lightning at the orbs, my thoughts turn to Harry Potter and the similarities between the orphans.

Events in Monarch #5 take place within Travon’s school. Each panel shows stressed walls and deterioration since the aliens arrived. In one, Kurtis and Daysha stand as silhouettes while the orbs hover over Travon. Smoke rises from his fallen body. A welcome banner hangs from the wall, torn down the center, which feels symbolic. But then, the block-like ship hovering over Compton speaks evocatively too. Black uppercase letters inhabit white dialogue balloons. Colored narrative boxes relate to memories and offscreen dialogue. The font is as easy to read as it is to love Monarch #5.

Final Thoughts

We all have an origin story. Yet life changes us. What happens when we no longer want the life we envisioned? Can we belong somewhere else? Or does switching sides mean we’ll never belong anywhere? Set against a backdrop of alien invasion, Monarch #5 wrestles with profound questions that–sooner or later–each of us must ask ourselves.


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