I was somehow completely aware of Mokumon, and forgot about it for the very first time exactly as I was writing this review. UNFORGIVABLE! This might almost be the best Baby I in the entire franchise, just an absolutely lovable little drooling smoke puff with such gloriously eerie eyes, glowing brightly from somewhere just within its gaseous surface, and the tiniest bit of flame on top. It's such a good design, I wish it wasn't just a baby. It would work just as well as a Child level.

Since we're starting with a baby, though, you know this is one of our rare Digimon lines we can consider "complete."



Baby II isn't nearly as interesting, but on its own merits, it's still pretty great, just a simple spooky fireball with huge, watery eyes and a scarecrow-like stitchy mouth!



Speaking of ghostly things, I always loved the Haunted House feel of Candlemon here, with its dripping white wax, menacing red eyes, fully organic teeth, spiky candlestick foot and the fact that a whole Demimeramon still serves as its flame, albeit without the stitches! A solid design all around, though it looks even better drawn by Mucchi Tsubura, winner of a fan-art contest whose entries were used on official TCG cards:

MAN that's good! I wish the official design was even closer to these proportions!



This humanoid fire elemental isn't quite as interesting as its prior or later evolutions, but it did come before all of them in the very first virtual pet, which actually made it a possible evolution of Agumon or Betamon! How weird is it for a little dinosaur to turn into a big, naked guy who's on fire?

Therein lies the whole appeal of Meramon, though. Sometimes, a big naked guy on fire is all you really need.



This actually evolves from a blue-flame variant on Meramon, but it's only called Bluemeramon, so whatever, same thing. Skullmeramon is really something else, having gone from an entirely flame-covered elemental being to more of a slasher film villain who's just incidentally also on fire. The excessive number of chains, the skull boots and the metal mask all REALLY drive home how much these early Digimon drew from comic books, and surprisingly, I really do think this buff guy in weird clothes makes a fairly cool monster. The fact that he's considered an upgrade from a being of pure flame makes him a lot stranger than he would be on his own.



And yes, this is the Digimon tied most directly and most commonly to Skullmeramon. That's one interesting turn! We went from a living candle to Frankenstein's Monster, and against all odds, especially in this franchise, the transition actually managed to go fairly smoothly, each of these Digimon running neatly into the look and feel of the next.

I can even kind of see a thematic logic to this line, like these flame monsters "cool off" and temper into an electrical science monster, right? I guess? Kinda? Eh? They're all things you might find in a spooky castle, at the very least.

Even judging Boltmon by the standards of Frankensteinian monsters as a whole, I think it's a fairly exceptional one. That is a really cool looking metal-masked face, I like the severed power cables still sparking around his body, and I like the way his upper arms are put together. I'm glad there's such a classic Halloween monster among the Ultimate level Digimon, which is sure less than we can say about the Garurumon line. We'll eventually be seeing a mummy and a vampire, too!