Last September, Marvel whet fans’ appetites with a little teaser that alluded to their 1960s-’70s horror comic-monster movie magazine mashups. It turns out the House of Ideas wasn’t looking to rebuild their minor horror comic empire, merely to channel the same spirit of classic colossal creatures for their next major crossover event; Monsters Unleashed promises to pull nasty critters from all corners of Earth-616 and beyond, pitting them against the boldest and the bravest superheroes Marvel has to offer.

After months of slowly stoking the fires, Monsters Unleashed finally arrives tomorrow, and it looks massive already.

The House of Ideas’ latest major event is being scripted by Cullen Bunn (Uncanny X-Men) and features a host of revolving star artists, with the first issue illustrated by Steve McNiven (Uncanny Avengers). Chapter one kicks off with a destructive meteorite crashing into downtown Boston. Unfortunately, the meteor isn’t the worst part, since from its smoldering crater emerges a titanic terror.

As the world is rapidly overrun by colossal critters, coming from who knows where, Marvel’s best and brightest mount a counter-assault. The Avengers, X-Men, Champions, and Inhumans, among others, seek to contain and curtail the rampaging hordes. Monsters Unleashed, however, appears to have some startling revelations in store as to where the titular creatures come from, as well as who or what brought them here. It will also bring modern monster hunter, Elsa Bloodstone, back into the fray to sort through the wreckage for a cure to what ails the Earth. Check out the gatefold cover for the first issue of Monsters Unleashed (courtesy of Marvel):

Monsters Unleashed gatefold cover front Marvel Giant Monsters Overrun the Marvel Universe

Monsters Unleashed gatefold cover back Marvel Giant Monsters Overrun the Marvel Universe

Fans of kaiju (giant monsters), ancient prophecies, and obscure characters will love what Marvel’s done with the place. Monsters Unleashed merges the exciting smash-em-ups of a Godzilla film with a supernatural overtone and an undercurrent resembling a good, old-fashioned whodunit. Even though crossover events aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, it appears the House of Ideas is trying to contain their monster mayhem to the main title, with spinoffs in Spider-Man/Deadpool, the Avengers, and the All-New X-Men.

After the minor debacle of Civil War II, some Marvel fans might not be ready for another major event. Fortunately, at least for those burned out on ideological struggles and their physical manifestations, the main thrust of Monsters Unleashed seems to be just what it sounds like – smashing mammoth monsters. Of course, a sneaky bit of introspection could slip between the panels, but fans will probably be too busy watching Marvel’s finest smite things that go “thump-thump-thump” in the night.

Next: Red Skull Forces The Avengers To Be Villains

Monsters Unleashed #1 arrives in print and online January 18.

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