"Made Men #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Oni Press
Written by Paul Tobin
Illustrated by Arjuna Susini
Colored by Gonzalo Duarte
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 6th, 2017
Jutte Shelley had managed to start a new life for herself as a Detroit Special Ops officer. This all goes up in smoke when a routine mission turns into a brutal ambush. She and her team are filled with bullets and left for dead. At least that would be the case had Jutte's family heritage not helped her out. See, Shelley isn't her real last name. It's Frankenstein. Now she's looking for revenge and bringing her team back with her.
Made Men has an unbelievable opener that is very reminiscent of RoboCop. These officers are caught in a firefight that literally tears them apart. Even with their body armor, they don't stand a chance against this unyielding hail of gunfire. Jutte won't be using stiff robotics to rebuild her teammates. She has a different form of science available.
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Artist Arjuna Susini captures the feeling of complete and total fear Jutte and her colleagues are going through in these opening pages. They are literally facing down death with no hope for survival. At first they appear so innocent too, leaving you to wonder what they could have possibly done to deserve such horrific deaths.
Each bullet that lands is a gore-filled explosion. Necks are torn open. Eyes are shot out. Then there's an actual explosion that practically liquefies some of them. All the while, Jutte is narrating the scene like a play-by-play commentary, walking us through each horrifying blow. In the end, the vast amount of blood on the ground is a Jackson Pollack painting of violence. Colorist Gonzalo Duarte gives the blood a dark crimson look, as if it's full of shadows and darkness due to the savage way it was ripped from the bodies.
All this is just the first half of the book. It gets crazier from there when Jutte puts her plan into action and embraces her heritage. She uses her family name to get in with the mob and get the resources she needs to bring her team back and get the revenge she craves. It's a pretty iron-clad setup for a series that grabs you from page one.
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The real kicker with Made Men is how it expands upon the Frankenstein mythos that began with Mary Shelley's novel almost two hundred years ago. We all know the story of Victor and his monster, but what if that wasn't the only thing he did? He was a scientist after all. What if his family continued his work? What else could they accomplish after harnessing the power of life itself? Writer Paul Tobin is just scrapping the surface with this opening issue and I can't wait to see where it goes.
Made Men puts a refreshing take on the Frankenstein story, greatly expanding it and bringing it to the modern day. Most of the stories that return to Frankenstein focus on the monster and where it went next. This puts a nice new spin on it that is rife with possibilities. Jutte is reluctant to face her family history, but is forced to do so when she and her team are put in the crosshairs. Now she has a rag-tag group of monsters working to bring down the folks that put them in this position in the first place. All the torches and pitchforks in the world aren't going to stop them.