How many versions of Mary Shelley’s classic story are there these days? Books, movies, TV shows and even revisions via comic books (Monsters Motors anyone?). It’s a testament to the source material that writers keep mining it for new stories and Dynamite has a new one on their hands, this time written by popular novelist Dean Koontz. Is it good?
Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Storm Surge #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
This is the continued story previously published by Dynamite about Victor and Erika. Victor the great scientist who creates monsters and Erika a creation of his own. This issue opens after Erika is recovering from Victor’s last beating. She’s alone and storms are surging outside. Bored and lonely, she wanders the great mansion of Victor Frankenstein.
Why does this comic book matter?
If you weren’t aware, it’s Halloween in a few short weeks and everyone deserves at least one creepy comic book read this time of year. Dean Koontz is a hugely popular author so you know the idea will be well thought out and sound. On top of that neither the monster nor Frankenstein are the focus, but rathera new creation of his which could generate some interesting stories.
Victor is a bad man.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This Erika character is interesting. She’s a perfect amount of innocent but curious enough to get herself into a tricky situation by the end of the issue. She’s after a portal, something Victor has mentioned before I’m sure, which adds a new element to the story. On her journey she meets up with a very much alive severed head, uncovers a secret underground portion of Victor’s lab and looks through a glass darkly. It’s fun to follow along with her and see how her innocent nature deals with each situation.
There’s certainly some groundwork done already that has built these characters up, but seeing as this is my first venture into the storyline I never had a problem with going in blind. Erika is contemplative and always questioning, which fills the reader in on what is going on. I suspect this journey Koontz and co-writer Chuck Dixon have put her on will be bringing a lot of revelations.
The art by Andres Ponce works very well to capture the reader’s attention in this mysterious place. Erika wanders and we follow, largely because her surroundings are so interesting. He keeps your attention on the frail and innocent Erika and cuts away to some graphic tools or things in the lab to remind us she’s anywhere but safe.
Ponce mixes up his layouts too with some interesting close ups, mid shots and establishing shots throughout to constantly keep us on our toes. In a lot of ways the art is cinematic in nature.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m not sure what to make of Victor beating on Erika. Does it make her more innocent and vulnerable, or are we attempting to tackle some kind of domestic abuse story here? This seems like an element that could be explored more later, but so far it’s a detail given but not used.
This issue does explore different elements of Victor’s house as we follow Erika, but never actually doing much. The mood and atmosphere is established very well, but the issue is largely taking its time in a slow, meandering way.
Never do that in a horror story!
Is It Good?
If you want moody atmosphere and a promise for some truly horrific things, look no further than this new series that explores a darker evil of Dr. Frankenstein.