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Monster & Madman #1 Review

Artist: Damien Worm

Writer: Steve Niles

Review by Melissa Megan

What if Frankenstein’s monster lived through the flames, wandering the earth alone and confused? A child emotionally, but a being intelligent enough to understand his immortal fate, the monster can’t see what his purpose is or why he exists at all. He’s haunted by the memories of all the people living inside him, memories he doesn’t comprehend and didn’t live through. He lives in a fog of intense loneliness, without a path to follow or an end to reach.

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Steve Niles is the perfect writer to revisit the character of Frankenstien’s monster, being a lover of classic horror themes and a weaver of truly unique tales. This introduction to Monster & Madman reminds you of just how dark and solitary the life of a monster can be. The monster meanders through a frigid wasteland, lost in his puzzle piece thoughts. A tiny bit of comfort is immediately shattered by the reminder of man’s brutality and greed. As the monster tries to make his way to nothing, he learns the same lesson time and again. This story is poetic and desperate; a bleak journey that pulls you along towards an inevitable death that you see coming but is too beautiful to turn away from.

I am not familiar with the work of Damien Worm, but I want to be now. His portrayal of the monster and his grim surroundings in this book are simply gorgeous, lush landscapes of grisly sadness. The panels leap from full page seascapes to scroll edged portraits. Some panels look like they’ve been torn from an old, half burnt book while others are clean and polished. The characters Worm describes are downright sinister, all knotty teeth and sharp edges, with hate in their eyes. Gorgeous, superb artwork fills this book and I genuinely can not wait to see what else he has in store for us.

Issue #1 concludes with what I assume to be the meeting of Frankenstein’s monster and Jack the Ripper. Yes, you read that right. And if that sentence alone is not enough to get you reading this series, then you and I just will not be doing friend things any longer.

Verdict: Buy this book like your life depends on it. It’s sad, terrifying, horrid and beautiful. The team of Steve Niles and Damien Worm is obviously one that we must all follow loyally; they have so many nightmares to create for us. I am so excited about this book that I could continue for too long finding more verbally enticing ways to express it to you, but it’s probably best if you just get the damn book and read it yourself. You can thank me later.

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