Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio was written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Bernie Wrightson sans the “Trio” part in the 1980’s, and is a part of IDW Publishing’s new mini-series collection featuring three of the gorgeously reprinted monster -horror comic books, and a fourth issue is coming.
This POWkabam review of Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio examines a book that blew the doors off my feeble mind.
My LCS [local comic shop] owner pointed this out to me a couple weeks back, at Red Shirt Comics, and I became enamored with the ingenuity of the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Frankenstein sequel for both the innovative storytelling that Ms. Shelley would be honored by and the incredulous black and white spreads of artwork unlike anything I have ever seen.
Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio is a stunner of a monster tale and, much like Frankenstein, so much more!
And Frankenstein’s Monster, the deeply disturbed, organically rotting, humanistic, and intriguing protagonist of this yarn draws in readers from the very first and refuses to let them go without sympathizing for such a creature whose thirst for intelligence, whose guilt, and whose loneliness reveal so much more of the raw character that Ms. Shelley introduced us to (and scared the bejesus out of us with) over a hundred years ago.
Niles has brilliantly evolved Frankenstein’s Monster.
And I think he does this in a way that is a natural progression from where Ms. Shelley left the Monster.
As Dr. Frankenstein echoes the Monster’s inner guilt by declaring him a murderer, likely without a soul, the Monster attempts to commit suicide.
We do not know what a supernatural being brought to life from the warped experiments can survive or how long he could live for instance, and the Monster does survive being frozen and encased in compounded rock and/or ice.
The Monster’s inner turmoil while living amongst humans makes for a look into its inner-most hell.
The Monster’s journey eventually takes him to a sideshow at a carnival where he terrifies people for a living.
But there he does not feel so out of place.
Before he gets there, he achieves his first ever friend only to witness that mad scientist’s plot: to murder a young woman’s soon to be born child in order to fuel a concoction to resurrect the doctor’s comatose wife.
His first impulse is to kill his friend before he can commit such a heinous murder.
But then he exits and reflects on how this man took him in and became his friend.
What does the Monster owe mankind to act on its behalf?
It is a conundrum left for the next issue.
**SPOILER WARNING ENDED**
The artwork of Mr. Wrightson, who famously wrought the skull-like, nose-less, visage in his version of Frankenstein’s Monster is truly as remarkable as it is chilling.
The incredibly detailed black and whites of the shadowy castle bricks and the snow and all the morose scenery, the lively characters depicted with each one having a personality all their own, and the bubbles in the many glass beakers make for a transformative experience.
The art adds to Niles’ story and makes the mystery deeper and the sense of urgency and panic and horror all come through.
How will it turn out in issue Frankenstein Alive, Alive #4 is what I want to know.
“Review Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio Monster’s Inner Hell” was written by R.J. Huneke.
Comics News & Reviews: a POWkabamBlog
Artists looking at art. POWkabam! FYI The background image you are enjoying is from the first page of WEIRD TERROR #6, the story titled "DIE" penciled and inked by Rudy Palais!