In Review: Mary Shelley Monster Hunter #3

This is a must-buy for all fans of horror and the doctor's iconic creation.

The cover: Dr. Elizabeth Frankenstein kisses the forehead of her creation Adam. This would be a loving image were it not for the gore on the doctor’s cheeks or the copious amount of life fluid that has landed atop the monster’s face. Coloring the characters in dark violets makes this moment secretive, and though the background is colored in a flat yellow it increases the unwell feeling this image creates. Excellent cover by Hayden Sherman. Overall grade: A

The story: The guide in present day London continues to read Mary Shelley’s papers, but pauses when she hears a scratching at the door. The museum is closed for the night, so no one should be trying to gain entrance. She nervously opens the front door and thankfully finds no one there. However, once back inside the building she fails to notice the very large shadow outside. Co-writers Adam Glass & Olivia Cuartero-Briggs then return to 1815 where Mary takes a break from helping the doctor and her assistant Imogen just before they attempt to revive the body that’s been cobbled together. As she goes back to join her husband and friends she overhears the contents of a letter he’s received from his wife Harriet Westbrook, demanding money or she will have him sent to prison. She tells him to “Fix this,” and then storms back to Frankenstein’s laboratory to say they should begin the reanimation now. The creature is revived with it doing something incredibly surprising to the doctor. This has her saying the creature should be put down and their efforts restarted with another, but Mary argues for the man, saying she can teach him. What follows is Adam’s (the name she gives the creature) growth, with something amazing occurring on 17. Everything seems to be going well with Adam’s future until an arrival on 18 and a confrontation on 19 lead Adam to take action and things go graphic. This was fantastic! The monster’s awakening was what I wanted, his education was quicker and wildly different from his classic origin, and the final three pages left me hungry for more. Overall grade: A

The art and colors: Tackling both of these elements of the book is Hayden Sherman. The book starts with an awesome first panel that shows the front of the museum looking wonderfully warped from the point of view. Look at the second panel on this first page which shows the guide continuing to read Mary’s letters. The point of view is fantastic and the shadow work excellent. Her shock on the second page and the the terror of what lies behind the door is terrifically tense. I love the subtle shape in the window that ends the page. Mary is a standout on any page and panel she appears with her red hair, making her a focus of the reader. Notice how dark the characters are when Mary listens to her husband read Harriet’s letter, but how everyone’s face brightens when she tells him how he should take responsibility for his actions: her truth has brought brightness into their world. However, when she loses faith in him they go dark again, only brightening when she returns to help the doctor. I love the bright lime behind her that gives the setting a queasy feeling. These greens continue during Adam’s resurrection. I love Mary’s intensity in the close-up on 7 and her active panel just after it. The double-paged splash that shows Adam receiving the electric charge is wonderfully blasphemous. His bellow in a flat yellow reinforces his undead state. The smoke around him on 10 in the first panel is killer. I love the doctor in her goggles, making her look classically insane. The action that ends 11 is shocking, with 12’s events unsettling. Pages 15 and 16 show the education of Adam and it’s a neat progression of him slowly becoming human. Adam is a magnificent new person on 17: having him so massive, full of scars, in those clothes, colored so ominously is just brilliant. It’s a payoff the reader needs to see and Sherman delivers spectacularly. The shocking actions by a character on 19 lead someone to respond and Sherman has made it a quick, violent, incredible moment. This is followed on the final page with a full-paged splash that made me gasp. The red that punctuates the page makes this final action even more intense. WOW! Overall grade: A 

The letters: Sal Cipriano is the book’s letterer responsible for creating scene settings, papers’ text and dialogue (the same font), sounds, yells, screams, and Adam’s speech. The scene settings are in a tall, formal printer’s text, resembling a transition in a text. It gives the book an industrial feel at each change of locale. I would prefer to see Mary’s narration and the dialogue in different fonts, as they are different forms of communication. They are adequately differed by the shape and color of the balloons and boxes that contain them. There are several glorious sounds in this book, with the best occurring after Adam’s rebirth: SLUUUUP is a shock and looks like one. I love the little circles inserted around the letters of this sound. Adam’s speech is done in a scrawl that makes every word he speaks like a hellish curse. It’s fantastic! Overall grade: A-

The final line: The creature is brought back to life. What could possibly go wrong? Great twist in the classic tale, with Mary Shelley directly involved in Adam’s birth. I love the antagonist that appears in the final three pages and what this character brings to the book. The visuals are dark and glorious, though every element of the visuals can be seen in this tale. Even the letters, with Adam’s horrific speech, add to the foreshadowing of doom. This is a must-buy for all fans of horror and the doctor’s iconic creation. Even if one hasn’t purchased the previous issues, you could start here and fully enjoy the horror. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Mary-Shelley-Monster-Hunter-3/digital-comic/776276?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the cover visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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