In Review: Mary Shelley Monster Hunter #4

This deliciously dark and devious twisting of the classic tale is one that can't be passed up.

The cover: The monster stands revealed to all who read this book! Adam stares at his master wide-eyed and confused because he doesn’t know why she would be so upset. Maybe it’s because last issue he killed the mother of Percy Shelley’s children after she attempted to blackmail the writer AND took her hand to Victoria Frankenstein. Hayden Sherman has created a fantastic cover showing the monster in Victorian garb covered in blood. His eyes are incredible and the colors perfect. This is what I’ve been waiting to see in this series. Overall grade: A+

The story: The body of Percy Shelley’s mistress lies on the floor, killed by Adam, the monstrous creation of Victoria Frankenstein. Those who were unaware of the creature’s existence demand to know what’s going on. Mary explains and the body is dealt with, making all who reside in the Frankenstein home accessories to murder. It’s decided that Adam cannot be allowed to live, since he may kill again, even accidentally. Victoria and her assistant sneak up on the creature while it sleeps to stop it forever, but killing Adam is more difficult than they thought. Writers Adam Glass & Olivia Cuartero-Briggs then go forward one month, will all assuming Adam is dead, because Victoria said she was. Percy confronts Mary for not coming to him about her secrets regarding Victoria and the creature and she promises to be true to him from now on. The situation on 10 changes things and finally has the title of this series coming into play. Percy steals several scenes in this issue with his dialogue — Page 10’s third panel being my favorite. Adam is a great character: his responses to others are excellent and his painful dialogue rings true to the classic creature. This is great and I need more. Overall grade: A

The art and colors: Hayden Sherman continues to crush the visuals of this book creating a terrifying atmosphere with as little as a character’s eyes. The book opens with a sensational uber close-up of the tearful eye of Adam’s first victim. I love that his knife is reflected in her eye, though I do wish that it had not been colored so darkly as to make the reflection almost pointless. Coloring the characters green on this page gives everyone an alien appearance, making everything about this situation unnatural. The second page is a full-paged splash looking upon the dead woman, but it’s just too darn darkly colored to make it useful. This is a shame because Sherman’s art and coloring is sensational on the rest of the issue, but these first two pages are just so dark as to leave the reader straining to see the images. On Page 3 take note of how the windows behind the characters are in blood orange, reinforcing the hell that they’re discussing. Pages 4 – 6 contain an exciting action sequence that I won’t spoil except to say it’s gorgeous, thrilling, and spectacular. It perfectly sets the stage for the dread that will hang over the rest of the issue. The final panel on 6 is cinematic goal. The looks of surprise that end 9 are great signs of what’s to come. The point of view at the top of 10 hints the distorted, inhuman futures for these character. The shock in the second panel is outstanding and I love its echo that ends 11. The layout of the panel that crosses the tops of 12 and 13 is very clever, showing the reader what’s occurring in two different locations at the same time, and given what might appear you can be darn sure I took in every inch of this panel to be sure I wasn’t missing anything that could be lurking about. The large panel on 14 is killer. The large panel on 17 is a montage of horrific clues that resemble a movie’s storyboards. The top of 18 is the heroes’ entrance that’s only missing “Little Green Bag” by George Baker. Granted, it’s a modern choice, but you understand the reference. The grisly visual on 19 is great for what it doesn’t show, but it’s absolutely a horror show due to the tremendous reds that show the violence that’s occurred. The final page is a full-paged splash and there’s no denying that readers will be left on the edge of their seats wanting to know what’s going to happen next. Sherman is one of the best artists in comics today. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dialogue, Adam’s speech, scene settings, screams, and a yell are created by Sal Cipriano. Given the detailed artwork, it’s impressive to see how Cipriano can place his work in the visuals without overshadowing key elements to their storytelling. I really love Adam’s speech, done in wobbly lines that look as though they are being croaked by something that cannot, or should not, speak or if it originates from an unholy place. It’s a beautiful blaspheme on the page. When Adam speaks the reader will pay attention. The scene settings are also really cool, done in a stretched out font resembling modern day print. It’s a strong focus to take the reader into each location. There are only two screams, because that’s all the story requires, but they are memorable. There is also only one yell, but it is great and explodes off the page. Cipriano is also crushing this book. Overall grade: A

The final line: The creature lives and its reign of terror begins. The story has the characters in emotional turmoil due to Adam’s violence, as well as the secrets they’ve kept from one another. From the first page the tension of what Adam will do seeps into every illustration and when he’s on the page it’s wonderfully monstrous. I love the visuals on this book, solidifying my love of Sherman’s art. This deliciously dark and devious twisting of the classic tale is one that can’t be passed up. Absolutely recommended. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Mary-Shelley-Monster-Hunter-4/digital-comic/784934?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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