Boom! Studios 2017
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 it’s the second issue and I’m honestly more surprised with how original and interesting this book is. To take something so iconic as the story of Frankenstein and to use it then warp it and expand upon in the ways that Victor is doing here is rather remarkable. The premise behind what we’re seeing here is great and it’s execution is so far incredibly stunning.
Victor also manages to infuse a few things we are seeing in today’s culture that are touchy subjects and yet he refrains from making them preachy or judgmental and instead focuses on the characters and what is driving them not the outside forces. It works for me because while Dr. Baker’s son, a black youth, was shot by police her actions moving forward from that are Frankenstein related. It really doesn’t preach it’s all about reaction to what happens in her life and that’s something easier for us to understand.
Love Dietrich’s interior artwork. From his ability to see ahead with technology and his use of the patchwork rendition of Frankenstein’s monster are very much contemporary and yet throwback. The utilisation of page layouts through their angles, perspective and use of backgrounds really make the book pop. I love the stylisation of the work from the monster being scarier and yet not foreign and the fact that we can see the difference and more so in the last page well it’s extremely nice to see.
Dr. Baker’s cold analytical mind and her mixed desire to resurrect her son while using the technology that is so far ahead of it’s time make her a unique individual. She’s fascinating and intriguing and the base of what’s presented is great and the potential for development even greater. Then put opposite her the monster her ancestor created and his quest to end mankind while somehow knowing and sensing the boy’s existence well there are parallels and there are differences that both unite and create tension that you cannot wait to see unfold further.
I find myself admiring the fact that this is equal parts horror story and futuristic science fiction adventure. The two are not exclusive from one another and that they can marry with such ease is a trait. That Victor manages to bring us this kind of take on something so iconic and make feel new, fresh and original is the kind of stuff that makes reading as much fun as it can be. To rediscover something you forgot about or lost and to be reminded that the world is only as limited as our minds imagination is the best thing to have happen.