Frankenstein Underground #1
Story by Mike Mignola
Art by Ben Stenbeck
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Clem Robins
Cover by Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 18, 2015
Cover Price: $3.50
I’m not sure that Shelley would have ever believed the legacy that her gothic novel would leave when she first composed it in the early 19th century. A dark and brooding tale, it has flourished with time and has seen consistent reworkings over the last century, though few show much originality. In Frankenstein Underground #1, however, we are given a chance to see what might have happened to the creature that Victor Frankenstein created almost two centuries ago.
Fractured memories of imprisonment and torture haunt the simulacrum; his mistreatment by mankind causing him to disassociate himself from the public for fear of capture and imprisonment. This leads us to the premise of Mike Mignola‘s take on the classic tale of science gone awry. Set in 1956, we find the creature wandering the ruins of a long-forgotten temple in Mexico. Making his way into the catacombs, he encounters an old woman who is able to cure him of his physical wounds whilst gaining insight into how they were received. Her sympathy and obvious lack of fear helps to kindle a friendship between the two lonely beings.
Unbeknownst to the two, there are other forces at work behind the scenes. Enlisting the aid of malevolent creatures of the night, a sadistic marquis has taken an interest in the reanimated creature and seeks to capture him. Through guile and deceit, the minions attempt to fulfill their master’s wish but find it harder than expected. Tempers flare, combat ensues and darkness encompasses everyone…in one way or another. The ending of this first issue will leave you wondering what could possibly happen next!
The combined artistic team of Ben Stenbeck and Dave Stewart create a solid foundation for this miniseries from Dark Horse Comics. Mignola’s stellar writing rounds out what is sure to be another great story set in the ever-growing Hellboy universe. I found myself enthralled with the concept of Frankenstein’s “monster” being not just more humanized but also more morose. The reader quickly understood the weight that all these years has placed on its shoulders. Also included in this comic is a preview of a new Lord Baltimore series that drops this May. Having said all that, I’m excited for the next issue, if for no other reason than to see what foul and twisted things Mignola has dreamed up to torment this poor wretched soul.