In case there was any doubt in the title, Madame Frankenstein is exactly what you think it is; a spin on the classic novel from Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. I know what you’re thinking—“At least it’s not a vampire book.” In Boston 1932 Dr. Krall is in his laboratory, standing over a female body covered with multiple stitches. His assistant, Irene is stitching her arm to her shoulder. As the ambitious doctor finishes prepping the woman he pulls a lever that pumps electricity through the experiment’s body. As that happens, the accident that put the unfortunate soul here is revealed to be a tragic car accident. As the experiment finishes, the body begins to move.
After making a house call, the doctor returns to his lab to tend to his reanimated side project. He warns Irene to take a step back because he’s going to pump the subject with some adrenaline. In moments the subject leaps from the table and begins to destroy everything. It takes some fast thinking on the part of the doctor to control the situation.
The first thing that stands out in Madame Frankenstein is Leven’s art; everything about it is so clean and seamless. It also helps that the book is in black and white as it just adds to the overall presentation. All together it complements the vintage style 1930’s look and feel that the story is embodying. Also Rich’s writing style stays aware of that fact and that helps add to the story’s emersion for that time period through the character’s dialog.
There are a few interesting liberties taken with the story that added a bit of spice to the tale. The most noticeable one is where Krall is in a field chilling out and talking to a pack of fairies. He’s just kicking it with them talking about life and choices. Either this is something new or I really have to read the original Frankenstein again.
It’s a little too soon to see what the real intentions of Madame Frankenstein are. It has the safety net of the Frankenstein gimmick to get the attention of the comic book fans and it has the good-looking art from Levens. It also will be interesting to see how the doctor goes about the rehabilitation of his former love and guiding her back to humanity. So when it really comes down to it, all Rich has to do is put out a compelling and interesting story and so far he’s off to a good start.
Writer: Jamie S. Rich Artist: Megan Levens Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/7/14 Format: Print/Digital