Spoilers for Monster & Madman –
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has spawned multiple movie adaptations, sequels, companion movies, and spoofs. The same has happened in the world of comic books. This time, the master of horror comics, Steve Niles, helms Monster & Madman #1, a story continuing the tale from the end of the novel as the monster wanders the ice. As always Niles’ writing is amazing and the addition of the special style of Damian Worm’s art makes this story creepy and emotional and sad and interesting all at the same time.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, whether it’s because you lived in a cave or because you are a newborn who has yet to be exposed to one of the biggest pop culture icons of all time, Frankenstein is a tale of a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who, through scientific study, believes that he can reanimate the dead. He pieces together a creature, implants a human brain, and brings his creation to life. The problem is that he did not really consider the implications that such a creature would have on his life or the world. Much death and misery for all follows this story. Until a final sad showdown almost takes place in the Arctic, except that Dr. Frankenstein succumbs to the elements and the creature finds him, frozen dead, and laments his “father’s passing.” Overall a sad tale, and many have speculated what became of the creature.
In Monster & Madman #1, Steve Niles picks up the creature’s trail as he contemplates death and the enigma that he is. On his search for some purpose in his life, he boards a ship, after killing a man and taking his coat. The captain, once they make port, asks if the creature will kill someone insignificant who owes a debt he will never be able to repay. The creature agrees and shambles off, instead finding the man and throwing money at him telling him to leave and don’t look back.
Returning to the ship, the monster is ambushed by the captain and some men. This turn of events is enough to push the creature to show his strength and destroy the ship, casting them all out to sea. As the comic comes to a close, the monster washes up on the beach and is welcomed by a dark figure wearing a tall top hat. Who is this figure?
Having already read the synopsis of this cool new book, I will enlighten you. The title, Monster and Madman, does point to two main characters. We already know the monster. The madman is Jack the Ripper, the iconic wraith, serial killer of gaslit London that was never caught. I am very excited to see how these two characters will interact. Will they be friends or foes? Will Jack befriend the monster only to later turn on him or throw him under the bus… literally or figuratively, whatever works? Know that great stuff that has come from Steve Niles, 30 Days of Night and Criminal Macabre to name a couple, and this is sure to be an interesting ride.
My Rating: 4.5/5