Monday, 1 June 2015

Monster & Madman Review (Steve Niles, Damien Worm)


Monster & Madman is one of the most straightforward comics I’ve ever read! Steve Niles imagines a meeting between Frankenstein’s Monster and Jack the Ripper – and that’s all there is to it! Even describing part of the story between the two characters is essentially a spoiler because if you knew the setup, it’d be so obvious to anyone what happens next!

It’s amazing Niles got this green-lit at all given how utterly basic it is - this is a three-issue mini whose content would barely fill a one-shot! Niles essentially uses Alan Moore’s Ripper character from From Hell and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s Monster as written – where’s the imagination?

I guess the horror comes from Damien Worm’s art style which is channelling Dave McKean – very sketchy dark art incorporating elements of photo-realism with lots of spindly lines drawn across, maybe to mimic old-style camera footage? It’s designed to look like it’s scary without actually being scary, if that makes sense.

I wanted to give this one a look after reading Niles and Worm’s later collaboration, the much better October Faction, but Monster & Madman was disappointingly lacking a lot of that title’s imagination and wit. For two compelling horrific figures, one fictional, one not, seeing them meet is really underwhelming and forgettable! Monster & Madman is uncomplicated, largely uninteresting “horror” – read October Faction instead!

Monster & Madman

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