Frankenstein Undone #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on May 30, 2020

Writer: Mike Mignola & Scott Allie
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Colours: Brennan Wagner
Letters: Clem Robins

Frankenstein Undone continues to bridge the gap between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and his first appearance in the Mignolaverse in Hellboy in Mexico. The direction that the series appeared to be taking in the first issue has done a u-turn, and now the series looks set to go in another. In typical Mignola fashion events are left up to interpretation and are unlikely to be explained in any great detail. While normally one of the strengths of the writing here it leaves the series feeling a little undefined and directionless.

From the way this issue ended and looks set to continue this issue could have been, with only a few minor tweaks, the debut issue of the series. It feels a little meandering to get to this point, and while that might work well for the larger series in the Mignolaverse, i.e. Hellboy or B.P.R.D., it doesn’t work quite as well here in a mini-series. On the other hand, it is only the second issue, and as the series progresses it may well work well in terms of tone and feel, but based on the first two issues it loses a little of its charm.

What is also apparent here, and this is something that both Mike Mignola and Scott Allie are guilty of, it feels like this series is written as a whole rather than each individual issue. As a collected edition it will undoubtedly read better and more consistently.

So far this review is painting a bit of a negative picture. Don’t be fooled, it’s a good issue. As anything Mignola has a hand in there’s a special kind of magic in play here, anything part of the larger Mignolaverse is good. It also looks to fill in a few more details as the series progresses, Frankensteins' relationship with the Vril energy, as well as more details about lost Hyperborean cities.

Then there’s Ben Stenbeck’s artwork. It’s utterly captivating as always. No stranger to working with Mignola his art style has always been a good match to the Mignolaverse, or the Baltimore series. There are some effective scenes he’s drawn, such as Frankenstein leaving a darkened hut into a desolate winter wasteland. It’s effective and captures the tone of the story perfectly.

And last but not least is Brennan Wagner’s colours. They are just as important and effective as the rest of the art. The scene mentioned above with Frankenstein leaving the hut wouldn’t be a fraction as effective without the brilliant contrast from the darkened hut to the white wasteland. The vast majority of the Mignolaverse is coloured by Dave Stewart, and it’s normally quite jarring when another colourist takes over. But here it’s not noticeable, Wagner's work is a great match for the Mignolaverse.

It feels early on in the series to tell where Frankensteins' story will go. As a collected edition it will no doubt read a little more focused and enjoyable, but not a bad comic by any means. The art from Stenbeck and colours from Wagner is one of the highlights of the comic. Frankenstein undone promises to be another important chapter in the larger Mignolaverse which fans won’t want to miss.

Our Score:


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