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Comic Book / Monsters Unleashed

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Who let the Monsters out?
In the middle of the night, shooting stars begin raining down all around the world. Soon afterward, enormous Eldritch Abominations known as Leviathons are rampaging through major cities all around the world. New York City, Wakanda, London... all besieged by enormous monsters that require the world's mightiest heroes to defeat.

In other words, another eventful day in the Marvel Universe.

While the heroes battle for their lives, a young boy named Kei Kawade continues to draw any number of monsters in his favorite notebook as shooting stars continue to streak through the skies overhead...

Monsters Unleashed is a comic book storyline written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Steve McNiven. A Crisis Crossover Mini-Series that ran from January 2017 to the March of that year, it, brings together many of the biggest heroes in the Marvel Universe to battle a seemingly inexhaustible supply of dangerously powerful alien monsters and is the culmination of months of foreshadowing through the increase in monster attacks in comics. More importantly, it acts as the Origin Story of Kei Kawade, who is set to become the center point of the conflict and soon confronts his new powers and destiny with the callsign "Kid Kaiju".

It was later given a sequel, Monsters Unleashed II, a monthly series that follows Kei's adventures after the conflict, with him being taken under the express protection of Damage Control and S.H.I.E.L.D. and relocated to an artificial island where he tries to learn how to make the most of his abilities before being called upon to stop truly titanic threats.

Tropes associated with this series include:

  • Always Someone Better: Kid Kaiju to Animax. After the Kei's monsters victory over the Leviathons, the monster-making mutant Animax gets jealous and goes around wreaking havok with bear-sized monsters to drum up villain publicity for herself. Then Kei's monsters show up...
    Mekara: [about Animax and her monsters] Look at them! They're so cute/adorable/endearing! Like excitable little puppies!
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Monsters Unleashed II is considerably more cartoony looking than the original mini-series, reflecting the overall lighter tone of the comic.
  • Ascended Extra: Kei was originally The Cameo in a single panel of Totally Awesome Hulk, which foreshadowed his importance to the upcoming plot.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Inverted. When Kei is kidnapped by Mole Man and the Intelligencia, Dum Dum Dugan brands Kei's monsters as out of control, giving the order to fire Pym Particle-laden torpedoes at them that shrink them to the size of action figures.
  • Behemoth Battle: Between the classic Marvel monsters and later Kei's team against the invading Leviathons.
  • The Cavalry: The classic Marvel monsters at first look to be poised to crush the heroes between them and the Leviathons, before they're revealed to be this and dogpile the alien monsters.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: A lot of obscure Marvel monsters are depicted in crowd pieces during this title.
  • Crisis Crossover: Brings together numerous big name heroes and organizations, including Spider-Man, The Avengers, the X-Men, Jane Foster as Thor, Amadeus Cho as The Hulk, Captain Marvel, and others.
  • Foreshadowing: This series' release was foreshadowed frequently in other Marvel series like Totally Awesome Hulk, which noted the sudden increase in monster-related attacks and featured Kei in a single panel.
  • Humongous Mecha: Aegis and Mekara, two of Kei's monsters.
  • Last Stand: After the Leviathon Queen defeats the combine force of the Avengers, Defenders, X-Men, Inhumans, and classic Marvel monsters, literally curb-stomping The Hulk, Fin Fang Foom is the last one fighting while Kei Kawade puts his powers to full use.
  • Living Macguffin: Kei is the Macguffin of the event, being integral to both the start of the invasion and repelling it.
  • Mama Bear: Deanna Kawade is just a normal human, but she was a teacher for ten years and is a master at dressing people down if her son is involved. She had the much older Dum Dum Dugan (a veteran Shield super-agent) cowering against her verbal onslaught. Even Elsa Bloodstone admits to being afraid of her and Gloria Clark, a tough-nosed Damage Control liaison, backs off when Deanna gets angry.
  • My Nayme Is: The aliens are named Leviathons, an intentional misspelling of the word "Leviathan", which is frequently used to refer to beasts or monsters of colossal size.
  • Oh, Crap!: Animax gets this when she sees Kid Kaiju's monsters, "They're bigger than they look on TV!!!"
  • Origin Story: For Kei Kawade aka "Kid Kaiju".
  • Sacrificial Lion: Fireclaw is the first and only casualty of Kei's original creations, both demonstrating how powerful the Leviathon Queen is and his Synchronization with them. Notably he's the only one not designed with a profile by the collaborating art team.
  • Scenery Gorn: The comic doesn't hesitate to showcase the incredible collateral damage during and after every battle.
  • The Siege: The plot itself is one large one, with the heroes fighting off wave after wave of Leviathons while others try to find the source and reason for the invasion in the first place.