MOONSTRUCK #1 captures the charm of a younger media while managing to maintain a more adult edge with interesting character relationships and inner dilemmas
85 %
A legendary adventure for all

Image comics have a reputation for both creator freedom and adult-leaning stories. The graphic novels produced under this publisher don’t hold back. They show gratuitous violence and unrestrained sexual actions that appear liberating yet at times a bit much. Though while some do bask in the liberation of traditionally mature concepts, others use the older audience to explore themes that younger readers cannot fully comprehend. Like SAGA’s use of a non-traditional family to explore the effects of war on individuals or the terror of society’s collapse in THE WALKING DEAD. It is in this vein of adult-reaching themes that Grace Ellis’ and Shae Beagle’s MOONSTRUCK #1 finds its footing. While it sticks out as a rather cutesy style compared to some of Image’s grittier works, it too potentially hides deeper ideas that fit right in with the publishers best works.

Millennials But Mythical Creatures

MOONSTRUCK #1 takes place in a modern day city teeming with monsters. However, the main monster is a werewolf called Julie who works in a cafe with her best friend, Chet. On the surface, everything seems as normal as it can be in this magical realm. Chet flirts with a minotaur, Julie rambles on about her new girlfriend whilst dissuading her neighbors from fighting. Everything changes when the two suddenly find themselves embroiled in a conspiracy plaguing their quaint town.

Courtesy of Image Comics

For any fans of STEVEN UNIVERSE, the design of the backgrounds and characters closely resembles that of the charming show. Shae Beagle’s style of soft edges and pastel colors litter the images to convey an adorable atmosphere that sucks readers in. Much like the show, the quaint style masks deeper themes. While MOONSTRUCK #1 does keep plenty under wraps for now, for it is only the first issue, it eludes to high-stakes fantasy adventures.

READ: Curious about how MOONSTRUCK got made? Check out our interview with the creative team!

MOONSTRUCK #1’s Miraculous Cast

I love how Ellis and Beagle take the time to let the readers know the main cast, Julie especially. At first, she appears a kind of one-note archetype, nice enough to her friends but not much else. This is, of course, completely thrown out the window as we learn she struggles to control her beast within. Her werewolf transformation is closely tied to her emotions. As she grows angry or upset with a situation, she finds her beast form emerging. What’s more, it appears as though her new girlfriend is unaware of this quality in her. While it’d probably be in Julie’s favor to tell Selena about her condition, she’s understandably ashamed of this trait and keeps it to herself.

Courtesy of Image Comics

READ: Need more myths in your life? View the interview with the team behind KILL THE MINOTAUR!

Ellis and Beagle have gone against the grain for Image. MOONSTRUCK #1 has no fights. Unless, of course, you count a dispute between a vampire and a gorgon over the vampire staying in a band the same as fighting for your survival in an apocalypse. The story doesn’t follow the psychological turmoil of their characters as they’re broken in an uncaring world. In fact, MOONSTRUCK #1’s town appears quite friendly to its inhabitant, if they don’t mind a bit of magical conspiracy of course. No, MOONSTRUCK #1 finds its footing in making characters who’s problems are small, yet poignant to the readers. Most individuals struggle at one time or another with anger. Some find themselves having difficulty impressing those they care about. Whether they’re werewolf or centaur, there’s no denying the humanity in these creatures.

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