Mignola Brings Frankenstein UndergroundFebruary 20, 2015
Whenever you become as successful in anything you do, it inevitably breeds certain expectations from the fans that admire and follow where your talent has led you. Mike Mignola is one of those people and thankfully, has not let other people’s expectations deter him from doing what he wants to do.
Frankenstein Underground is a perfect example of that point. Tackling iconic monsters or characters in any form is always risky business but Mignola, with some great help from artists Ben Stenbeck and Dave Stewart, approaches the story of Frankenstein with respect but at the same time not shying away from adding his own thoughts and ideas on the subject.
Mignola has explored the Frankenstein monster before in the graphic novel House of the Living Dead, but that was more like a Frankenstein-like character, not the actual monster himself. In Frankenstein Underground it’s all about the iconic monster, and as this is a five issue miniseries, there is the inevitable back story that must be told. Most of us know the sad story of the creature but touching on it throughout the first issue is a necessity, not just for the plot, but the more important emotional aspect as well.
While the story did have the familiar building blocks found in the Frankenstein mythology, Mignola definitely made his presence felt in the first issue of this series, steering the story towards a plotline that raised more questions than anything and that is exactly what you want from a first issue. While I did find the story sometimes became a bit too familiar, those moments were few and far inbetween, and it certainly helped to have a great looking comic to go along with the story.
So let’s talk about the look of the comic. The art and colors done by Ben Stenbeck and Dave Stewart respectively are the perfect combination to complement Mignola and this story of Frankenstein. Dark and full of shadows, yet brilliant and sharp when it needs to be, the look of this issue is almost perfect.
Great comics are all about the perfect combination of story and design, and when it’s done right it can evoke moods and emotions from the reader that can be surprisingly strong. While Frankenstein Underground is hardly a in your face kind of experience, it does play the sympathy card well while invoking its own storyline with ease. Indeed, it could have been a disaster if the story felt more like an intrusion on the history of the creature but it is weaved inside very well in an almost seamless manner.
I re-read the comic a few times as I will admit the first few times through I either got engrossed in studying and absorbing the story or I was looking through each panel and studying the art and colors within. I am not trying to say I got lost or confused, on the contrary, the story had a great flow to it and the paneling was done in way the complimented the story well and didn’t try to outshine it with unnecessary and overdone sections.
This was a perfect introduction to the series and with the talent behind Frankenstein Underground I can’t wait to get my hands on the next issue.