It has been nearly four months since Frankenstein Undone #1 was released, but in a way, that suits this series. Frankenstein has walked his way out of the frozen tundra to think about life and his identity, so why not make us think a bit more on it, too? Of course, the pandemic is the real reason, but fear the horrors of frostbite no longer, as Frankenstein is back this week in comic book shops. Will he learn a thing or two from the man who can change into a monster? Will he find new discoveries man has yet to find for centuries? What of the monsters that always lurk in a good Mike Mignola yarn?
As you can see from the preview, the art by Ben Stenbeck and colors by Brennan Wagner are fabulous. Clean, but cutting; bright when they need to be, but also as hollow as the “monster’s” soul. This issue opens with a bit of peace but soon follows with some fight and anger. Humanity isn’t made for peace, so it seems, and soon the monster is off again to find a place in the world. This issue seeds some interesting amazement for the characters to find and ruminate over, further creating a unique fairy tale feel with a dark underbelly.
What sells this issue, and the series so far, is how the monster truly is more human than those he encounters. He feels, cares, and thinks of others more than most. At a time in human history when most folks were selfish and awful, it appears the monsters in this tale — including the old man at the start of this issue — have more humanity than most. Stenbeck continues to draw the monster with great feeling and you’ll feel empathetic for him.
As far as monster epics go, this issue has a lot to love. The mystery and awe-inspiring reveals, but also a bit of fight and adventure, too. There is enough here to wax poetic over the monster, but also enough to get the blood pumping. This is an adventure that’s being written and drawn in such a way I wish there was a soundtrack. I can almost hear the creaking of the icebergs around the old ships or the sneezes of men the monster walks by.
The book feels a bit long in the tooth two thirds the way through. The monster hangs out with a crew of men for six pages and it runs on a tad long without action or adventure to be had. There’s some character building going on here, of course, but it drags a bit.
A great second issue ramps up the immediate danger, wonderments, and adventure. Don’t pass on this monster epic that harbors so much soul.