Dark Horse Comics 2020
Written by Mike Mignola & Scott Allie
Illustrated by Ben Stenbeck
Coloured by Brennan Wagner
Lettered by Clem Robins
In the lead-up to the celebrated series Frankenstein Underground, the ''monster'' Frankenstein continues his journey northward. Still trapped between the weight of his guilt and desire for redemption, Frankenstein may have to choose once and for all when an encounter with the crew of an icebound ship leads him into danger on the ice!
This is far and away one of the most interesting and intriguing stories revolving around Frankenstein that I personally have read. I also very much like and hate at the same moment how we see certain events happen within these pages. It is so well told that you become somewhat attached to characters very quickly and all the while knowing who the main character is doesn’t really make things any better. This is really a testament to just how well this story is being written and told.
I am thoroughly enjoying the way that this is being told. The way we see the story & plot development through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information moves the story forward smoother than silk. Just the way we move through the pages of this book feels like we’re spending a good deal of time in various places and yet in reality we aren’t. So to convey this to the reader in the way it does is really rather quite remarkable. The character development we see through the situations and circumstances that are encountered are phenomenally portrayed. I love seeing Frankenstein this way and seeing how he thinks and seeing his insecurities makes so much more believable and accessible to the reader. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing Frankenstein's life and choices we see how everything works together to create the books ebb & flow.
This isn’t the first time we’re getting a new envisioning of Frankenstein but I will say that this is one that captivates the readers’ imagination and engages them in some truly wonderful ways. The way new characters are introduced and their reactions to him, their distinct personalities and what drives them are layered into the story perfectly. There is a reason why Mignola’s Hellboy is so beloved and popular and we see in this the same trajectory for Frankenstein.
The interiors here are absolutely delightful. The style fits right in with this universe and the linework we see through the varying weights which are utilised to show the attention to detail is extremely expressive. I will say that I definitely think we need to see more backgrounds being utilised. There are so many wasted opportunities to flesh out the story in some interesting ways and really utilise the creativity and imagination we see glimpses of. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a solid eye for storytelling. The colour work is really rather nicely rendered here as well. There are some beautiful examples of different techniques being utilised and the overall effect is gorgeous. The various hues and tones we see within the colours being utilised is exceptionally well thought out and executed.
This has me excited for all the right reasons. This is a fresh, interesting and intriguing take on such an already established iconic literary figure. While I have no idea how long the characters will last in this book, there are extenuating circumstances galore where they currently are, but I am hopeful that we will see some of them become his friends and possibly travel companions. With the way that we are seeing this being told through the different layers and the myriad of characters are their reason for being there is a joy to get swept up in.