Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Frankenstein's Womb Review (Warren Ellis, Marek Oleksicki)


1814, and Mary Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary's half-sister Claire Clairmont (pregnant with Lord Byron's child) are en route to the Villa Diodati, Lake Geneva when they pass through Darmstadt and see the ruins of Castle Frankenstein. Intrigued, Mary stops the coach and goes into the ruins alone to investigate. There she meets a mysterious creature who takes her on a metaphysical journey... 

The first thing that strikes you when you open the comic book is the black and white artwork. It's dark, tempestuous, and utterly romantic, perfectly suiting the Romantic period. The horse and coach hurtling through the black forest with the driver's cloak billowing is very dramatic and takes you there instantly. Throughout this short comic there are lots of moments like that and full credit deserves to go to the artist, Marek Oleksicki, who did a fantastic job with the art. 

Ellis' script is also excellent. Taking various strands of history and fiction and weaving them together into a pseudo-premonition/explanation of the modern era via the novel "Frankenstein" is at times genius, at others baffling, but always compelling. 

The art helps but my own interest in this era, especially this group of individuals at this time, made me enjoy the book more than others who perhaps haven't studied the time. My main problem with the book is that it isn't longer (it’s just under 50 pages) where Ellis could’ve taken the story to Lake Geneva and introduced Byron and Polidori. 

As it is though, Frankenstein’s Womb is one of the better books to have come from the Apparat line with Warren Ellis experimenting successfully to create a wonderful comic.

Frankenstein's Womb

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