Monday, 12 December 2016
Frankenstein Underground Review (Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck)
In Hellboy: House of the Living Dead, Hellboy fought Frankenstein in 1956 Mexico - this book picks up Frankenstein’s story directly afterwards while continuing to incorrectly call him by his creator’s name! Frankie stumbles into an underground kingdom ruled by a demon-possessed sorcerer who’s enslaved innocent ghosts - Frankenstein to the rescue!
Frankenstein Underground is an ok book. Anyone can pick it up and understand what’s going on but long-time fans of Mike Mignola will also notice the Easter Eggs he’s throwing in. Besides House of the Living Dead, there are references to the BPRD books Hollow Earth, The Universal Machine (amazing - highly recommended), and the Hell on Earth series.
I just wish there was more complexity to Mignola’s stories. They always seem to be about a strong man character who punches some monsters before listening to the villain’s lengthy expository speech and then punching him - the end. The formula is too noticeable at this point, at least to someone who’s been reading Mignola for years - newer readers might not be as bothered.
Nevertheless, Frankenstein Underground is certainly readable and Ben Stenbeck’s art is fantastic though it’s not the most compelling read if you’re familiar with Mignola’s storytelling style.