Hello, my friends. The air is getting ever more chill, the trees continue to lose its leaves and the monsters of old are having their bones grow ever more ancient with age. Despite that, their souls are stirring and strong as ever. As such, welcome back to this particular Halloween trek called…
As we continue our venture alongside some “Grumpy Old Monsters”, let us recap what’s come before. A mummy, a vampire, a werewolf, a stitched-up creature and a being with an imperceptible build have taken residence in a rest home specifically made for supernatural spooks. When a young girl informs them that a castle that belonged to her infamous grandfather is in danger of getting demolished for some modern condos, our familiar ghouls decide to take it upon themselves to help her out of this grim situation. However, the first problem that they must overcome is figuring out how to break out of their institution. With that in mind, let us venture into our sophomoric entry as I deliver my opinions on a comic called…
Published in January 2004, this second part would wind up selling 1,612 copies upon its initial publication. With this massive amount of introduction out of the way, let us find out what lies ahead for this supernatural-sized jailbreak.
Issue 2 begins at night as the Count looks out his window and sees some bats flying right outside as he promises to join them soon before he hears a howl, which turns out to be the Wolf-Man who’s then told to head inside. Afterwards, Count joins the invisible man in viewing the memories within the Frankenstein Monster’s photo album. After looking over the good times they shared within Dr. Frankenstein’s castle, the monster says that they must stop the Van Helsing Development Corporation. After the invisible man exclaims that they’re going to break out tonight, he asks his colleagues if they’ll miss this place once they leave, to which they simply exclaim “No”.
Meanwhile, Puhotep is gathering lots of gauze before an orderly comes along and demands to know why he needs that much. He explains that it’s not for him and that they’re for the invisible man to wear for an upcoming picnic. As Puhotep walks off, he gets comically reminded of the various rules that must be followed for an authorized excursion. Following a quick scene where a female nurse accidentally walks in on the invisible man’s shower session, it’s ultimately time for all monsters to head off to sleep. As they head to their respective rooms, the Count and the Wolf-Man begin to whisper to other monsters about their upcoming escape. From there, Nurse Wrentch begins the nighttime lockdown.
Later, she enters our main group’s room to check up on them. After she heads out, all five of them wake up to execute their scheme. The Count even reveals a vile containing Dr. Jekyll’s sleeping potion that they can use to assist them should they “run into trouble”. After some final preparations, they proceed with their plan.
Over in the nearby woods, Tiffany has arrived at the meeting spot and proceeds to check over her basket in order to make sure that she has everything her fellow monsters will need to save her grandfather’s castle. Armed with some maps, chicken sandwiches and a grappling hook, she then heads out to the nursing home. Meanwhile, our monstrous group wait for an orderly to stroll by their room before they begin to sneak off. However, he immediately catches them. The Count attempts to hypnotize him, but the Orderly doesn’t buy it at all. Thankfully, a female ghoul unintentionally distracts him, which allows the Frankenstein Monster to subdue him before the Count forces the Orderly to consume the potion.
Afterwards, they resume their escape plan by heading towards the exercise room. However, they’re met upon by Nurse Wrentch. Fortunately, Puhotep reminds his fellow comrades that they’re still monsters. As such, he takes out some gauges as he and his cohorts wrap her up before stuffing her inside his sarcophagus.
From there, they reach the exercise room with only a set of jail bars on the window separating them from freedom. Wolf-Man tries to pull it off, but gets shocked by the electrified security detail. Fortunately, Frankenstein’s Monster is able to withstand the massive voltage as he manages to rip the bars out. Unfortunately, this activates the security alarm as the orderlies attempt to foil their escape. Fortunately, the hunchback and a zombie manage to trip them up in order to buy our main group some time. Just as Puhotep tells his fellow monsters to make haste with their escape, the invisible man tells them that he won’t be joining them, due to the fact that he must be completely naked in order to be effective and that the chilly outdoors will affect his “rheumatism”. As such, he’s willing to stay behind and give them cover. Following that minor hiccup, the rest of our main group manage to climb out of the window and escape.
And so, Issue 2 ends with the monsters meeting up with Tiffany before heading out to save Castle Frankenstein.
Overall, this sophomore entry is a charming and silly breakout for our elderly creatures. It was vital that the group does bump into a hassle or two en route to acquiring their freedom from the rest home, but their preparedness ultimately came through and thus, it allowed for a sense of satisfaction once they finally make it out. With so many monsters for the medical staff to look after (even though they’re elderly), you’d think that there were be better security measures in place, especially since one orderly had a line about the nighttime lockdown being put in place so that the staff can “protect the public”. That way, it would have given a grander feel to both the execution and the resolution of the breakout. I know that this is a kid-friendly comic and that it most likely wouldn’t have warranted said notion, but it’s just something that popped up within my mind as I read this issue. Also, the fact that the invisible man ultimately doesn’t go with our main group felt somewhat like a cop-out just because his transparent status would’ve made things easier. I know that the extremely cool weather affecting his joint pains was the official explanation for why he can’t leave the facility, but it seems odd for him to be established as part of the main group early on and then ultimately do so little with him. Despite my complaints, it still keeps up a pleasant feel throughout and allows our main monsters to cut loose in some capacity. Most likely, it gives a demonstration on how they’ll be able to assist Tiffany with their main objective, which should make for a thrilling venture. As such, come back next time as our central group is out to stop a condo from setting up shop on a historic castle. What kind of obstacle will the Van Helsing Development Corporation provide for our elderly creatures of the night to overcome? Well, keep venturing into this crypt to find out.
Grumpy Old Monsters (created by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta) is owned by Idea & Design Works Publishing.