With a history being told in the current ‘Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.’ and the ongoing series for both ‘B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth’ as well as ‘Abe Sapien’ it almost seems like Mike Mignola wouldn’t have room on his plate for more. Thankfully, anyone who believes that would be wrong with the introduction of his latest work ‘Frankenstein Underground.‘ In this latest tale,he puts his own unique spin on Frankenstein’s monster. While this is not our first encounter with the monster in the Mignolaverse, I believe it is the first time we have full confirmation that it actually is the creature created by Frankenstein.
As always Mike Mignola knows exactly how to weave a compelling tale. We’re given brief instances from the monster’s past. It is given to us in order to explain the monster’s temperament but isn’t overly important past that. Yet at least. However it isn’t just the monster we are introduced to but a witch and a twisted demon summoning man who is enslaving creatures of power to call his own. This is a story not only firmly rooted in the worlds that Mignola created but also in the style that his fans both know and love.
On art we have Ben Stenbeck who is a long time collaborator of Mignolas. They have previously done work together on ‘Baltimore’ and Stenbeck’s style matches Mignola’s world perfectly from years of practice. It isn’t quite as dark as much of their previous work though near the end of the book and in certain scenes it clearly is leaning in that direction. The look of Frankenstein’s monster is truly the stand out in this issue as well as a certain winged woman that we are introduced to. Honestly, I felt that while the art was great at setting the mood, there wasn’t the kind of sequences being written for Stenbeck’s work to truly shine here.
We start the book with Frankenstein’s monster on the run in the Amazon. As usual humanity is hunting him down and we don’t know exactly what his previous problems are. However, it doesn’t look as if he’ll survive this particular case of un-death, that is, until he stumbles onto a witch who heals his body. With an introduction of a new man who is setting to hunt him down and a cliffhanger that seems to put him in an even worse condition than just being hunted, this first issue had quite a lot going on in it!
A strong first issue and Mignola once more proves his talent in creating dark and twisted worlds for us to enjoy. I’m eager to find out exactly where Frankenstein’s Monster will end up as the second issue opens. Not only that but I’m curious as to how the men now hunting him down will be able to find him. I’m also curious as to if we’ll be seeing the inclusion of any other known characters that Mignola has introduced in the past in the next few issues.
FRANKENSTEIN UNDERGROUND #1
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Ben Stenbeck