Frankenstein Alive! Alive! #2
This book is a masterpiece.
Let's begin with the obvious: Bernie Wrightson is a legend. His work on classic titles throughout the last several decades speaks for itself. The man never fails to bring the goods. Anyone who has seen his past Frankenstein art knows the passion and the detail he puts into creating the monster and his world. For those who don't know, let me tell you now this will be the most beautifully drawn book you pick up all year. Interiors may be in black and white, but even those averse to the two-tone style would be hardpressed to not be awestruck at the pages here. You could lose yourself in the landscapes and the intricate interiors where even the backgrounds are filled with fascinating, brilliantly rendered artifacts of all sorts. The setting of an archeologist and scientist's mansion gives Wrightson plenty to work with - creating rooms full of strange wonders. I could go on and on about the backgrounds alone, but it can't go unsaid that Frankenstein himself is penciled better than any artist has ever captured him. Wrightson's love of Frankenstein is obvious. He draws the monster as Mary Shelley depicted him - no screws in his neck or stitching holding limbs together. He is a corpse-like being and doesn't have a nose, but the humanity of the soulless creature is clear. The expression Wrightson imbues in him makes you feel the pain, the despair, or the eager, child-like wonder he goes through.
As if Bernie's art alone wasn't reason enough to get the book, Steve Niles perfectly captures the spirit of Shelley's original gothic. The story in issue 1 picked up where her novel ended. This issue finds Frank frozen in the Arctic and practically mummified after an attempt to end his existence. Wealthy scientist Dr. Ingles discovers him and brings him back to his mansion, where he awakens. Frank and Dr. Ingles form a friendly relationship, with Frank eager to devour the available wealth of knowledge and the Doctor happy to discuss his own pet projects. Frank's luck never does last, though, and it seems this time may be no different.
Anyone who wants to read a finely crafted comic with lavish artwork needs to get this now. Each issue is an instant classic. Here's hoping the wait for chapter 3 is short.