Boom! Studios 2017
Created & Written by Victor LaValle
Illustrated by Dietrich Smith
Coloured by Joana Lafuente
Lettered by Jim Campbell
On a dreary November night in 1792, Victor Frankenstein used Natural—and Unnatural—Science to reanimate the dead. Victor eventually died, but the Monster never did.
It hid away in Antarctica and thought itself free of humanity. But the world isn’t done with the Monster, and one descendant of the Frankenstein bloodline yet lives…
So I really rather enjoy when a story makes you ask questions. Why because that means there’s an intelligence to what we see that lurks just beneath the surface. Like of the Monster was created from pieces of humans why is it so big? Shouldn’t it just be normal man sized? Where does the extra height come from? Back in the time of Frankenstein and his Monster men weren’t as tall as they are today either, so see these are the thoughts that run through my mind with this one. That and i’m surprised no one has tried to create their own version using a deceased loved one and modern science to resurrect the dead.
So aside from the natural musing of the reader let’s get to this story. I have to say I rather like the way we’re introduced to the Monster. He hides away in the Antarctic and is seemingly friends with the local wildlife, particularly marine as in Whales. He makes a spectacular re-emergence to the world of men and exacts revenge for the death of those whom he loves, presumably. This of course sets off a chain reaction of events that will lead us to a secret organisation that has hunted the Monster for decades and has a myriad of scientists at its beck and call, all of whom wish to study and possibly reproduce the creature. Ah this is what it’s all about a secret society of scientists who believe the creature is real even though it hasn’t been seen in such a long time.
The interiors here are spectacular. The Monster has his own look and feel and the creativity in bringing him to life and making him familiar and yet unique is marvelously done. The nod to the original with tweaks made by Dietrich have me excited for what he’s capable of. Plus his use of page layouts through angles, perspective and use of backgrounds, thank the gods he knows their importance and isn’t afraid to use them, tell the story more completely than mere words alone. The life he brings to the story is dynamic and exciting and as alluring as finding out the Monster itself still lives.
Over the years we’ve seen plenty of adaptations to Mary Shelley’s classic story and it’s hard not to compare them. This one however while pays homage to that also veers off into its own path creating something fresh from the roots of the old. When we meet Frankenstein’s descendant and she realises the missing piece in her own research it’s a nice spark. Also that she’s caught up in the throws of drinking and self-pity well that doesn’t hurt either as that sets the stage for making possibly one of the worst decisions of her life.
With a well thought out story already in place and some wonderful pacing, characterisation and story structure alongside solid, expressive and dynamic illustrations this is an original adaptation of a classic story.