Frankenstein Undone! Expanding Mary Shelley’s Story in the Hellboy Universe

28 Jan

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

In Shops: Jan 29, 2020

Frankenstein’s monster is no stranger to Dark Horse Comics Mignola-verse. Although he once crossed paths with Hellboy in House of the Living Dead, little is known about the creature that, in this alternate reality, inspired Mary Shelley to write about the creation of the Modern Prometheus.

In our universe, just who inspired whom is the opposite. With Frankenstein Undone, just what Mike Mignola and Scott Allie wrote is new groundwork to make him a truly sympathetic character I can truly root for.

The tale takes place immediately after Shelley’s book. Instead of him building that funeral pyre to cleanse the Frankensteins from the Earth, a chance encounter with the fantastical changed his mind. Redemption is not far…

As part of the early pages from Shelley’s book takes the dialogue from the book verbatim, the transition to new material suggests all he ever wanted was to be treated a man, an ordinary man. The story introduced sees the humanity of the monster grow even more effervescent.

Ben Stenbeck artwork is sombre. No ferocity is needed to suggest the creation is evil. Nor was he in the story that started it all. I argue he was a victim of circumstance and child like uncertainty. He had to read from books to learn what having a conscience is like. When he killed, it was either by accident or to curse his creator since he was “left behind.” By the novels end, he showed remorse for his actions and wanted redemption.

Issue one teases at a new life Frankenstein’s monster has yet to find. To read his monologue shows that he has gained even more humanity since the events of the book. He’s quite the learned man.

No previous knowledge of the Hellboy universe is required to enjoy this work. Readers who read the release of Frankenstein Underground know the life the monster had before meeting Hellboy. In what this micro series offers is a full story arc that ties in events from Shelley’s novel to entering a whole new world. I’m glad Mike will never run out of ideas since he’s giving all those supporting characters a story worth exploring. When it’s following up on an iconic literary figure, I can’t help but be excited when I have the complete run (there are five issues in total) to cement this figure in the horror lexicon forever.

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