REVIEW: 'Roche Limit Monadic' #4 by Michael Moreci, Kyle Charles, and Matt Battaglia
'Roche Limit Monadic' #4 not only puts the capper on the latest sci-fi mini-series from Michael Moreci and crew but on the trilogy itself. The best that high-concept science fiction has to offer, 'Roche Limit' transcended genres with deep existential turmoil, epic apocalyptic themes, and pulse-pounding action. The series goes out in a satisfying blaze of glory.
'Roche Limit Volume One' and 'Clandestiny' introduced an intriguing new world fraught with aliens, artificial intelligence, and man's own id. A mash-up of Aliens, Blade Runner, and Contact where the only bigger threats to our heroes besides extraterrestrials were the deeply held regrets that festered within them. It was as much a cerebral exercise in existentialism as it was an action-adventure story. Their worst fears were internalized and projected onto outside forces that eventually helped find their own humanity through severe trials and sacrifice.
It all came to an end in 'Monadic' where aliens not only wanted to study humans but become them, creating a false reality for the human guinea pigs while extracting their souls. Without giving away too much, Sonya and Bekkah finally take on Moscow while Sasha and her daughter discover what it will take to destroy the Anamoly. 'Monadic' begins with slow-burning exposition from Danny then the story increasingly accelerates like a runaway freight train going downhill and we get one of the most satisfying and jaw-dropping finales in comics.
Kyle Charles, Matt Battaglia, and Vic Malhotra engineered a remarkable run of art that was dynamic, dark, and electric throughout the 'Roche Limit' series. In 'Monadic,' Charles and Battaglia balance the quiet reflective moments with the larger action pieces with pitch-perfect timing. We get the awe-inducing battle with the tender dialogues interspersed throughout the issue that resonates and a conclusion that will make you take a moment to digest.
'Roche Limit' forced the reader to think and ruminate on larger concepts being introduced. Moreci, a self-proclaimed sci-fi geek, understands the mental approach of great science fiction writing. There's more at stake than just an alien invasion or a soul-snatching construct. There's a human toll that's self-inflicted, a mirror raised to our own short-comings and the struggle is how we overcome them.
'Roche Limit' started in a dark place and by the end, it found peace, optimism, and redemption for humanity. 'Monadic' is the icing of a very weird, wonderful, and thought-provoking sci-fi cake.