Madame Frankenstein #1

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This new limited series from Image Comics breathes new life in to the tale of Frankenstein’s monster. This time it’s all about love and how far you’d go to keep the memory of loved ones alive … even if that means reanimating their corpse.

In 1932, Vincent Krall sets out to create his perfect woman by reanimating the corpse of the love of his life. He soon discovers however, that man was never meant to peer beyond the veil between life and death. Mixing vintage horror with mythical drama, this new series by writer Jamie S. Rich and smashing newcomer Megan Levens is guaranteed to send chills through even the warmest of hearts.This is an interesting opening issue from the team of Rich and Levens. It has a more human twist on the legend of Frankenstein’s monster. Set in the early 1930′s it is a story of lost love and the lengths a person would go to keep that love alive, both figuratively and literally.

Madame Frankenstein starts with a brief introduction to the characters. Doctor Krall meets heroine Court for the first time and then suddenly tragedy strikes. The story is fractured, told in flashback and interspersed with the revival of most of Court’s corpse. This makes the action reflect the process of reanimation - it’s messy, disjointed and has an extremely violent outcome. There are also intimations of the supernatural or the possibility that hallucinations and madness are rooted in the Doctor’s psyche and it is extremely interesting to view how that aspect of the story develops. Megan Levens has a really strong début here. Her artwork is really bold and sharp, which helps give the story even stronger definition. She draws wonderful faces that are full of emotion and so well defined. No danger of mixing characters up within this book!

The backgrounds are simple and yet sturdy so the focus remains on the characters themselves. This makes the emotions from the characters the main focus too, for example when the monster wakes up the focus is on her panic, fear and desperation as she attempts to free herself from the laboratory. She’s wild and dangerous but vulnerable and fragile too and so Leven’s artwork excels in these particular panels.

The comic is entirely black and white, which stirs up thoughts of the Karloff Frankenstein films from Universal Studios. It gives the comic a 40′s horror film feel as well as making the violence less realistic and more like a heightened melodrama.

Jamie S. Rich has indeed crafted an interesting story within this issue, which is a more tragic and personal account of Frankenstein’s Monster. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Madame Frankenstein as this is a limited run and Krall did seem to let go of his determination to bring back Court a little too quickly but in spite of this, it is a very well-crafted tale.

From this first issue we have no idea what the actual plot arc for Madame Frankenstein is going to be. We hope she doesn’t just remain as a snarling creature. Also it will be interesting to see if she remembers any of her previous life and connections to Dr Krall.

I truly enjoyed this first issue of Madame Frankenstein  so I’ll definitely read the next few issues with attentiveness. 
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