So why do we end up invariably feeling like Monte Cristo is in the right and the rest are in the wrong if they've all committed crimes?
Because he's so likeable?
For me, it is probably because he was plotted against in the beginning and quickly gained my sympathy. The plotters gained my distrust and enmity. I don't think I could ever have come around to having sympathy for them. But I was pulling for Dantes from the beginning, first to get out of prison, then . . . . etc.