COMIC REVIEW: Madame Frankenstein #1

This new limited series from Image Comics breathes new life in to the tale of Frankenstein’s monster. This time it’s 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’ll soon discover, however, that man was never meant to peer beyond the veil between life and death. Mixing vintage horror with mythic drama, this new series by writer JAMIE S. RICH (YOU HAVE KILLED ME) and smashing newcomer MEGAN LEVENS is guaranteed to send chills through even the warmest of hearts.

This is an interesting opener from the team of Rich and Levens, it’s a more human twist on the legend of Frankenstein’s monster. Set in the early 1930’s it’s a story of lost love and the lengths a person would go to 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 tragedy strikes. The story is fractured, told in flashback interspersed with the revival of most of Court’s corpse. This makes the action reflect the process of reanimation, it’s messy and disjointed with a violent outcome.

There’s also hints at the supernatural, or the possibility that hallucinations and madness are rooted in the Doctor’s psyche, we’re interested in 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 and a really pulpy feel. She draws wonderful faces, they’re full of emotion and well defined. No danger of mixing characters up within this book!

The backgrounds are simple and strong so the focus is 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 also fragile. Leven’s artwork excels in these panels.

The comic is entirely black & white, which reminded us of the Karloff Frankenstein films from Universal Studios. It gives the comic a 40’s horror movie feel and also makes the violence less realistic and more like a heightened melodrama.

Jamie S. Rich has crafted a really interesting story, which is a more tragic and personal account of Frankenstein’s Monster. We would have liked to see 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 it is still a really 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’ll be interesting to see if she remembers any of her previous life and connection to Dr Krall.

We did enjoy this first issue (of seven) so we’ll definitely read the next few issues with interest. Have you read this comic yet? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Title: Madame Frankenstein #1

Publisher: Image Comics

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer: Sara Westrop

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