Have you ever sat around with your friends, drinking your favorite beverages (or partaking in other substances, pondering on life's great questions....You know, Does God exist? Why do men have nipples? What would happen if Frankenstein's Monster met Jack the Ripper? Well, I can't help you with those first two. But in regard to the third, writer Steve Niles has posed an answer to the question and it is presented within the pages of Monster and Madman. In this opening issue, we get more Monster than Madman as we experience the inner workings of Frankenstein's Monster. This story begins right where Mary Shelley's novel ends. We follow the Monster along his journey dealing with life, but mostly with the dark side of life. His experiences aren't great, yet he does maintain his being as best as he can even when things are bleak. As for Madman, not much yet. But you can be sure that more is on the way.
Niles takes a classical writing style in this story channeling in to the Shelly novel in feel and pace. He writes the Monster as what he is, someone trying to find his way in a world full of darkness. He is a real sympathetic character here. You can almost feel within the writing that we will be seeing the bulk of this tale from the Monster's side as he works to try to gain understanding. You get a real feel also that the Madman might use this to his advantage. But right now, it's all speculation. Only time will tell.
With Damien Worm's art, darkness is the best word to describe it. Everything occurs with heavy shading. It's not a bright and sunny affair. But it is perfectly suited to the story at play regarding two creatures of the darkness. Even with the darkness though, Worm depicts the monster as a very powerful innocent, capable of great destruction, yet desiring to be one of the good guys. I'm real interested to see how the art will play out in future issues as our glimpse of the Madman looks to be quite sinister.
I see this story as one with the potential to be very interesting with the elements of story and art ready. With the first issue, we have barely dabbed the surface to what can be. Right now, we have darkness with some plot points moving. I am very curious to see what happens when our Monster and Madman actually interact.
Writer: Steve Niles Artist: Damien Worm Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/12/14