Madame Frankenstein #2
Written by Jamie S. Rich
Illustrated by Megan Levens
Published by Image Comics
Madame Frankenstein continues to live up to Mary Shelley’s novel in issue number two. The possibility of Dr. Victor Krall being a more nurturing creator as compared to Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein is beginning to look a lot more unlikely as Krall’s motives for making his creature become clear in this issue. Krall’s feelings for Gail, the creature, are complicated and only serve to make his reasons for making her seem more heinous even than what was indicated in Madame Frankenstein #1. Finally, the fairies are back in a surprising twist that ties fiction with a real historical event.
Madame Frankenstein #2 begins with a flashback of Krall in a physical altercation with one of his fraternity brothers in their frat house. Krall is discussing some of his research with one of friends when Henry Lean, another fraternity brother, walks in and demands that Krall leave the premises since he was expelled from school and is no longer welcome on campus. This leads to Krall briefly mouthing off before Lean’s fist cuts his argument short. Once the flashback is over, Madame Frankenstein #2 picks up right where the last issue left off, with the terrified female creature hiding in Krall’s basement. Krall finds her, coaxes her out of the basement, and then begins to give her lessons in English and etiquette. It is during one of these lessons that two important facts come to light. One is in regard to Krall’s emotional ties with Gail, who was once Courtney Bow, and the other is Bow’s relationship with the fairies seen in issue number one. This part of the story was obviously inspired by the photos of the Cottingley Fairies that were taken in the early 1900s and the subsequent controversy surrounding those photographs. The way this is all tied into Madame Frankenstein’s plot is a work of genius and it allows for a number of possible ways the fairies could be worked into the story later.
Once again, writer Jamie S. Rich provides a top-notch script that is paced perfectly. Rich weaves all the sub-plots together effortlessly and provides enough drama to keep issue number two interesting despite its lack of physical action. The only physical action in this book is the one punch fight at the beginning, but this is hardly noticeable in a story that is every bit as dramatic as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In many cases, scripts lacking a lot of action scenes can fall flat in this medium, but such is not the case with Jamie S. Rich behind the pen.
As for the artwork, Megan Levens continues to deliver panel after panel of black and white perfection. Again, in a script that lacks physical action, the art runs the risk of not holding the reader’s attention as characters spend a great deal of time talking rather than doing. However, like Rich with the plot, Levens fills every panel with high drama. The tension that is being built in the script is reflected in Levens’ art.
Madame Frankenstein #2 delivers on the promise created with issue number one. The script is brilliantly crafted and the artwork is expertly rendered. Go out and buy this book. If you haven’t picked up Madame Frankenstein #1 yet, do yourself a favor and get it, too. You won’t be disappointed.