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"Frankenstein Alive, Alive!" Graphic Novel Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing

frankenstein alive alive 00

Written by Steve Niles
Illustrated by Bernie Wrightson and Kelley Jones
Lettered by Robbie Robbins
2018, 106 Pages
Graphic novel released on October 10th, 2018


What happened to Frankenstein's monster after Mary Shelley's novel ended? That's an idea that many creators have explored, but none have done it as beautifully as Frankenstein Alive, Alive! The series follows a tortured monster who just wants to be left alone. He regrets his actions and questions his very existence, but try as he might, he can't end his own life. Haunted by visions of his creator, he seeks an end that will never come, only to find that monsters can be human too.

Frankenstein Alive, Alive! is gorgeously illustrated by the late Bernie Wrightson. Flipping through these pages, it's amazing that a man was able to draw this. The level of detail is off the charts. I can't imagine how long this must have taken to create. His artwork can be held up as a shining example of what the comic book medium is capable of.

Click images to enlarge

Wrightson moves from sprawling landscapes to close, emotional panels. You can see the weight Frankenstein's monster carries with him in his eyes. It's like all of his past sins are pulling him down. His shoulders slump. His face droops. His gaze faces down. This is a being of immense strength and power, humbled by existence.

Unfortunately, Wrightson passed away before he could complete this story, but he handpicked his successor in Kelley Jones. The changeover happens towards the end of the book. Jones' artwork is solid, but nothing can hold a candle to Wrightson, so it's tough to make a proper comparison. There is a different look and feel to the conclusion of the comic, but it's not a bad one. It's just a little jarring as we come to the finale.

Click images to enlarge

The journey for Frankenstein's monster is a treacherous one. Although he's large and powerful, his mind is still figuring things out, trying to make sense of the world around him and his place in it. This allows others to take advantage of him if they can see through his frightening looks.

Frankenstein Alive, Alive! is not a comic filled with jump scares and blood and gore. Instead, it's an examination of one of the most famous characters in literature and where he might have gone next. It's a deep look into what makes a monster and you might be surprised at what is discovered.


Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
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Buy from Amazon UK
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Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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