By Ashley Gibbs
I’m not a very political person, I usually find the news and other such things to be rather depressing and worrisome, but I am aware of the bad things happening around us. As such, I wasn’t sure if I should read Destroyer #1, nor what to expect. What I got out of the pages, however, was a pretty good experience. While this inaugural issue doesn’t touch on too many political aspects quite yet, it does start off with world building to prepare readers as to what the series will be about. Set in a modern day world where Frankenstein's Monster is real and still alive, we follow his journey as well a modern day scientist who is also creating her own creature. It’s a unique set up, one that I have not encountered before but it kept me captivated through every page.
Inspired by Mary Shelley’s story as well as modern day issues of black people being killed by cops, this story mixes fact with fiction very well. We spend a good part of the story following Frankenstein's Monster finding out he is real and is now very unhappy with humanity after encountering whalers. He leaves his home in Antarctica and while his intentions aren’t clear, the trail of dead bodies he leaves behind is not very encouraging. But apparently him being real and alive is a known fact and the government moves to action by reaching out to scientists. That’s how we meet Dr. Josephine Baker who acts as a modern day Frankenstein trying to bring back her deceased son. I enjoyed her flashbacks to memories with him, it was a touching moment in a dark and violent story.
The art style goes very well with the story, it also isn’t overly dark despite the tone of the story. While things are overly colorful, it’s used well at the right moments like when Dr. Baker is thinking of happier times with her son. I felt the characters were well drawn and expressive, they looked and moved like real people would. Panels were always full of things to keep your eyes interested, even the backgrounds were detailed and helped fill out the space around the characters. I also liked how the Monster did not look like any typical design that you might have seen in an old movie or even a box of cereal, I was reminded more of a zombie or even a White Walker from Game of Thrones.
While this only the first issue and there weren’t too many overtly political plot points touched on, yet, I’m curious to see how they’re handled in this world where now humanity’s upcoming problem is Frankenstein's Monster. This would probably be a good read for fans of Mary Shelley’s work, but also those who enjoy a deeper message from their comics. Destroyer #1 sets a good tone for upcoming issues and the pacing is handled very well. It’s a combination of very good writing and eye-catching artwork that I hope continues on with future installments.
Writer: Victor LaValle
Art: Dietrich Smith
Colors: Joana Lafuente
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Image Comics