"Madame Frankenstein #7" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Jamie S. Rich
Illustrated by Megan Levens
2014, 32 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on November 5th, 2014
What started out as something heartwarming has been twisted into a dark and monstrous act. Vincent Krall thought he was doing something wonderful. He was bringing the woman he loved back to life. What could go wrong? After recreating her body using parts from the recently deceased, Gail was alive once more, but it was Vincent that was changed. It all went to his head.
Madame Frankenstein has been a whirlwind of a comic, beginning with a quaint yet slightly dark origin where Vincent reanimates his dearly departed lover, leading to this ultimate showdown between the pair in which you're not sure who the real monster is. Sure, Gail is an amalgam of discarded body parts, but Vincent has grown cruel and mad with this power. He's created life and he seems to think of himself as a god. Gail doesn't appear to be as grateful as he hoped, nor does she worship him. Vincent may have brought her back from the dead, but it doesn't change the fact that he's still sort of an asshole.
Vincent's true colors are exposed in this final issue and they are awfully dark. It's amazing how much has changed for him over the course of the series. You actually feel sorry for him at the beginning, but now he truly is a mad scientist, capable of downright inhuman acts, especially when it comes to his "creation."
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This savagery is juxtaposed with the gorgeous artwork from Megan Stevens. Although she's heavily scarred, Gail looks dignified and beautiful. She's a lady fitting for the 1930's era setting of the comic. She carries herself well, even when she's forced to fight back against Vincent's attacks. When things eventually get out of hand, it's almost hard to watch as Gail's calm disposition is replaced with complete terror. Vincent's expressions almost never change as he begins his work. He's emotionless, seeing Gail as a science project instead of a human being.
One thing I still don't fully understand about Madame Frankenstein is the presence of fairies. It seems that they're only visible to Vincent and Gail, and perhaps they're meant to symbolize something more, but I don't really get it. They're the one thing that feels totally out of place throughout the comic. I completely buy a man creating the perfect woman out of old body parts, but a fairy seems to be the straw that breaks the camel's back for me.
Madame Frankenstein is a fitting tribute to old-school Universal monster movies and Mary Shelley's classic novel. It's a comic that shows how human beings can be the real monsters, even in a world where the dead can return to life.