After a few months delay Frankenstein Alive, Alive is back with the second of thirteen issues by writer Steve Niles and the legendary artist Bernie Wrightson. Issue one was released at the beginning of May, and the second issue was delayed to allow Wrightson all the time he needed for the detail work of this issue. Niles took to Twitter to offer up a page preview saying you can’t rush work like that. Now the time has come to see if the wait was worth it.
Our story picks up after Frank, for lack of a name, tried to end his horrible existence by lying down in the path of an erupting volcano. A team excavates a giant stone form which they think is a carving or totem unlike anything they’ve seen before. Three months pass and the object is delivered to Dr. Simon Ingles’ home. After the rock formation is accidentally dropped the monster breaks loose, realizing he has failed at ending his life. Dr Ingles is not alarmed at his appearance. Something Frankenstein never thought possible begins to happen, a friendship is formed. Eager to learn, Frankenstein begins to read every book available in Dr. Ingles’ library. He begins to learn about all the amazing collection of oddities Ingles has gathered over the years. The Doctor is working on something of his own. He is trying to find a cure for someone very dear to him. Without giving too much away, something happens that shatters the happiness Frankenstein has found.
Steve Niles writes another amazing story with this issue. It is a very contained story without too many scene changes. The character development and emotion that is evoked in this issue is truly masterful. The majority of the story is narration from Frankenstein, but the true story is balanced between the new friendship and the monster’s desire to learn about humanity that he knows is just out of reach.
Bernie Wrightson deserves all the praise and applause that could possibly be thrown his way. The scenes showing off Dr. Ingles’ collection are absolutely stunning. The attention to detail, the tiniest detail, is almost mind blowing. After reading the issue, I went back over the art just staring at the detailed work. If this is what we can get in every issue, please Mr. Wrightson take all the time you want. After this issue, any delay is bearable just throw us a panel or two every once in a while to whet the appetite.
Bottom Line: Niles and Wrightson deliver a story worthy of being the next chapter in Shelley’s work. The start of her immortal story is serialized in the back of this issue, compared to the interview with Wrightson in the first one. Niles does a great job with the story, but this issue is all about the art. This is an absolute must have 5/5