Will Hellboy creator Mike Mignola do this character justice? Or will this prove to be a disaster waiting to happen? Read on to find out.
The official description from Dark Horse:
Hellboy’s creator takes on history’s greatest monster!
The Frankenstein creature is alone, abandoned, and wandering underground, where he will discover other strange creatures—and dark secrets to the universe.
There have been many great horror stories that have emerged in the last few decades, with some even going as far as to astound. Few however measure up to the classics, with the likes of Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker‘s Dracula remaining the standout within the genre. It’s this that gets me excited whenever I see these classics adapted, as though there are many that disappoint, there are some that prove genuinely thrilling. The latter seems to be the case with Dark Horse‘s Frankenstein: Underground, as though there’s still some proving ground, this opening issue certainly intrigues.
Ever since he created Hellboy back in 1993, Mike Mignola has had a firm grasp of the horror genre, creating some of Dark Horse‘s greatest horror tales since. This is once again the case here, as though adapting a character isn’t quite the same as creating one, there are a lot of unique elements to this Frankenstein’s Monster, than the one from Shelley’s novel. The way that he captures the emotion of this character is astonishing, as along with the developing plot, there’s plenty that intrigues. Despite this, I did feel the issue jumped about a little too much, as though it was nice to see the extent of the cruelty inflicted upon Frankenstein’s Monster over the years, it did take me out of the tale at times.
Mignola’s Baltimore collaborator, Ben Stenbeck, handles the art on this series, with his detailed pencils, and sharp inks being simply phenomenal. Capturing both the sheer presence of Frankenstein’s Monster, as well as his emotional turmoil, Stenbeck manages to add tremendous depth to this tale. He also generates some amazing energy, with his dramatic layouts allowing for a smooth transition between sequences. The colours of regular Mignola collaborator, Dave Stewart also prove fascinating, with the dark tones allowing for some amazing atmosphere throughout.
Frankenstein: Underground #1 is both a great homage to the character, as well as a unique twist. Giving an emotionally driven look into the Monster’s past, as well as setting up an intriguing plot, the series certainly is one that you should give a try, as I’m sure it’ll only get better from here.