Writers: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Colorist: Brennan Wagner
Cover Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Victor Frankenstein is dead, and his monster feels he has no place in this world in Frankenstein Undone. Picking up where Mary Shelley’s book leaves off, the monster goes off into the icy wilderness of the North Pole to set up his funeral pyre. However, he comes across a family of polar bears who more or less adopt him into the family. Tragedy strikes, and Frankenstein’s monster is whisked away into the Hellboy universe. Will he find meaning and belonging there, or will he only find more monsters?
Let’s get this out of the way first, I loved Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and all the deep philosophical questions buried therein. It’s an extremely high bar for any modern creator to go ahead and say, “Yeah, I’m going to continue this story.”
Mignola and Allie brilliantly do justice to the classic story and make the monster that much more a sympathetic character. As he struggles with his place in the world, the storyline involving the polar bears is so heartwarming … until it rips your heart right out. Then, the story turns around and still presents us with this quandary: What separates man from beast? This first book of the five-part series feels very much like a spiritual successor of Shelley’s book. It’s extremely bittersweet, with perhaps a bit more emphasis on the bitter. The very last panel of the book ruined me in the best way.
The artwork from Stenbeck feels a lot like Mignola’s Hellboy vibe with the character designs and overall feel of the world we’re in. Wagner’s colors are vibrant yet subtle to the point where you can feel the change in temperature as the story progresses.
Frankenstein Undone is a worthy successor to the classic book full of complicated philosophical questions, heartbreak, and great art that carry the story. It’s a must-have for Hellboy fans and newcomers alike.