Story: Adam Glass, Olivia Cuartero-Briggs
Art: Hayden Sherman
Letters: Sal Cipriano
What They Say:
Mary discovers not only that their mysterious host is a surgeon intent on reanimating the dead, but also that she’s a woman. Banished from a career in medicine because of her sex, Dr. Victoria Frankenstein has decided to create a manservant devoted to her success in a misogynistic world. The only thing she needs is a partner. Mary quickly sees the potential to carry on her late mother’s feminist work, but agreeing would mean betraying her closest companions, and becoming an accomplice to murder…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this series from writers Adam Glass and Olivia Cuartero-Briggs definitely tickled a particular fancy since there are so many ways to play with the Frankenstein story, and so many unexplored at that. With Glass having done a lot of alternate history work before there’s a built-in appeal ther ein seeing how this would come together. But, as I said in that issues review, the big draw for me here is Hayden Sherman. His artwork style is just captivating to me with how it comes across with the designs, layouts, and how he works the camera angle to tell the tale. There’s a distinctive flow to it that draws me into it in a way that a lot of other books don’t and that comes across whether he’s working a big action scene or a lot of tight character moments.
With Mary having walked into some, shall we say uncomfortable situations, at the end of the opening installment, this one is all about filling in some of the blanks. We discover quickly about Victoria Frankenstein that she has orchestrated events to bring Mary here as she desires someone of her mind and intent to work on her big project. While Victoria didn’t cause the carriage accident, it was enough to put things into motion that gave her Mary in person. Victoria, and her assistant Imogen, are intriguing because even though we get their introductions here there’s still this great edge of mystery, particular to Imogen. For Victoria, the reality is quite simple in that she wants to create the perfect man from all the right parts and to do this with Mary. She’s come so far already but needs someone like Mary to carry it across the line.
The book gives us a lot of Victoria’s backstory, though you know it’s just from her perspective. We see the adoration of her well-regarded father, her desire to follow him into medicine, and the problem of the colleges notaccepting women. Her taking on the name of a cousin and attending that way was likely fairly rare but did happen and seeing how well she excelled until her cousin crashed and burned in a big way really left me wanting to see what it would have been like if she made it through university. That her being caught spiraled so much wrong, including contributing to the death of her father, is dificult in how it’s presented but it plays well for her motivation to finding a way to create a perfect man that will serve her needs and work to ensure she has the same opportunities as everyone else. And she needs Mary to join her in that, someone who she knew would be far too enticed by it all to say no.
I was intrigued with the first issue and this one ups that all the more, though I still want to see more of the bigger plan before getting fully on board. I like the ideas that the creative have put into play with Victoria and how Mary is drawn into it but mostly I’m still just enjoying dreamily flipping from page to page to take in all these gorgeous visuals. There’s a lot of great detail and attention to expressions here that makes it rich combined with costume and setting design. The book has plenty of places that it can go and it’s opened up in all the right ways here. I’m eager to see more to see if it can achieve its potential.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: May 22nd, 2019