Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Chuck Dixon
From an Original Story by Dean Koontz
Illustrated by Andres Ponce
Coloured by Mohan
Lettered by Bill Tortolini
Years ago I came across the Frankenstein books by Koontz and I really enjoyed them. They were a much different take on the character than i’d seen anywhere else. So that Dynamite has new stories based on the series shouldn’t surprise me, after all they’ve done wonders with the Dresden Files, it still kind of does because I hadn’t realized it was that popular. So I came into this issue with no expectations and a desire to revisit that world and what we have before us pleasantly surprised me.
The opening is dynamic and expressive and the narration along with Andres and Mohan’s interior pages really set the mood for something creepy. There’s a storm outside and you see the rains and hear the talk of hurricanes and such but it’s the words that give your skin the ripples.
We meet Erika and this is her story and moment to shine. Victor has left her alone in the big house with storm raging outside. Forbidden to read but allowed to drink she’s a slave to his whim and desires. She’s an interesting one alright and comes across smart and more than a little scary herself. It’s like she’s cold and calculated and fully aware of her situation and waiting for the right opportunity to do something about it. There is this fierceness to her that’s kind of awesome to see.
You really have to read the words carefully or you’ll miss the things you need to know. I like that because all too often the story is just something easily glossed over but not here. As we go with Erika down to Victor’s lab we meet Karloff, nice nod if you ask me, the animated head and hand of the man who once served at Victor’s side. A ghoul perhaps but i’m not sure we’ll ever truly know. The dialogue between them is magnificent there’s a game of cat and mouse going on here that while you think you know which is which it may surprise you.
Ah there’s another lab, a secret lab, that Erika isn’t privy to yet she wishes to go there. She needs Karloff to get her into it. Again dialogue people this is how you infuse things into stories that are timeless, forgotten and easily bring back memories of simpler times with just one little phrase. It’s like a chamber of horrors down there and Victor’s experiments while in years past may have crude the ones now are fueled by today’s technology and that’s something else entirely. The visuals here are superb in demonstrating this man whom we don’t see beautifully giving him more personality than that which Erika does with her own musings.
I love how this story goes and as read the last page I immediately wanted more, which of course is the pinnacle of a good story. Leave the reader enthralled and wanting more. When will we see Victor? Is Erika a monster of another kind of creation and where’s Frankenstein and what’s his role in all this? So many questions to answer it’s a shame that we have to wait a month before getting any of them.
Dynamite’s ability to find these translatable works and bring them to us is not matched in the industry. The talent they have to bring them to us is amazing. Reading this issue makes me want to re-read the books it’s been so long and that’s the power that stories like this have.