Cal Mcdonald is back, hanging with Frankenstein’s monster, trying to get him some eyes. And, spoilers, Cal is a ghoul now, who vomits black blood. And Mo’lock the ghoul is… well, he hasn’t changed. Let’s take a look at this beast, shall we? Is it good?
Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein (Dark Horse Comics)
Steve Niles has created a tremendous character in Cal Mcdonald. Cal is imbued with the a glorious “fuck it, let’s go” attitude. He’s constantly covered in Band-aids, and I’d make a Nelly joke, but no one really remembers Nelly anymore, so this pic by pic comparison will have to suffice.
Cal is as bad ass as they come, and he’s even more so now that he’s fucking dead. Well, undead to be precise. He’s a ghoul now, able to travel through shadows. Except, Cal is sick, and keeps hurling up black blood. This could be because he won’t stop drinking and popping pills, but it turns out it’s something else entirely, which is nifty, so I won’t spoil it for you.
Cal is called in by a friend in the force, Wheatley, to deal with a disturbance in a museum. Turns out it’s Frankenstein’s monster, who Cal convinces to go by the name Adam. Adam’s distraught because his peepers are going the way of the Swayze. But, Cal talks Adam down, and then brings him to his good ghoul buddy Mo’lock. Mo’Lock suggests they get some douchebag who was a former surgeon and is now an occult whoseewhatsit, Jason Hemlock, to help install some new eyes on Adam. And then, demons.
The art by Christopher Mitten is cool. Same level of grit as always. Colorist Michelle Madsen does a great job keeping things creepy. The monsters and gore are all clearly painstakingly drawn and colored with exquisite detail. Observe:
Steve Niles’ pacing is fucking incredible. This trade is roughly 120 pages, and I flew through this book. A lot of the speed of the read relates to a love of Cal. He’s always got a one liner. He’s kind of like if John McClane became a monster hunter.
Is It Good?
Yes, it’s good. It flies by and leaves you wanting more, which is the sign of any great comic trade. The art is gritty, and the monsters and gore are really nifty, as are the colors. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that if you haven’t been following the exploits of Cal, you might want to go read some of the back issues, to acquaint yourself with his stylings. However, as a jump off point, Eyes of Frankenstein works as good as any. Though technically it should have been called Eyes of Adam.
For fans of supernatural detectives and monsters, and especially for Niles fans, this is a must have.