As BOOM! Studios’ recent Frankenstein spin-off comic series only came out four months ago I never thought I’d see another so soon. Thankfully Made Men did, because its premise is quite cool. This series is quite inventive in how it mixes the fantasy of Frankenstein with an action setup and strong female protagonist.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
You don’t know Jutte Shelley, but you might know her family. Before she was a Shelley, she was a Frankenstein. These days, she’s a Detroit Special Ops officer. At least she was, until she and her entire team were ambushed during what should have been a routine call. Jutte watched as, one by one, her friends were gunned down. And then, in a flurry of bullets, Jutte fell too. But Jutte isn’t like other people. She’s a Frankenstein. And she knows all her family’s secrets. Guess who’s getting the gang back together?
Why does this matter?
Think Frankenstein meets special ops or wetworks and you get the idea. Add in writer Paul Tobin’s strong character writing via captions and you have yourself a story that draws you into a realistic world with interesting sci-fi personality.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The issue opens with an intense opening scene.
This series opens with five good guys being surrounded by villains who proceed to pump them full of lead. Tobin opens this high impact and action frenzy series fast, but also slow, as he allows protagonist Jutte Shelley to take in all the massacre around her. The team she’s close with is being brutally murdered and battered with bullets and this sequence reminded me of the old school Frank Miller Robocop comic series. It’s unabashed violence and because it’s approached in this way it feels incredibly realistic and brutal. This, of course, sets up the heroes’ climb back as she seeks revenge and comeuppance.
The realistic tone of the comic is a good sign because series that aim to put a spin on Frankenstein (and give it a modern feel) needs that realism to make it land. Tobin does a good job establishing the main character via captions, which capture the violence and shock one might go through as terrible violence is conducted on you and your friends. As the story progresses we get a good sense of who the villains are (and will most likely be targets later) as well as other interesting characters required of Shelley to enact her justice.
The art by Arjuna Susini is strong, especially for the violence that goes down in this issue. There’s a grit and grimy nature to this book that suits the subject matter. There’s certainly a macabre look to the book which makes it perfect for the Halloween season. The design of Shelley is modern, but also intense which suits the science angle of the character.
She looks the part…
It can’t be perfect can it?
The smash cut of the cliffhanger is interesting, but damn do I have questions! I’ll leave them till the next issue, but you’ll be left wondering where all the lost scenes ended up to get to that conclusion.
Is It Good?
A strong opening issue that focuses closely on the details of a hero and her friends being murdered in a unique way. It’s a series that has an interesting premise with a strong macabre tone that should make Frankenstein fans excited for what is to come.