By Steve Niles, Christopher Mitten, & Michelle Madsen
While the idea of the cynical, pessimistic monster hunter is not a new one, Criminal Macabre offers one thing in particular that isn’t often found in this genre: humor. The most recent mini-series, The Eyes of Frankenstein, has offered this up in spades, especially in this latest issue.
Cal McDonald and Mo’Lock are still grappling with problems they’ve been struck by for a few stories now; the ghouls are dying off from a strange plague and Cal isn’t dealing well with his recent transformation. However, Steve Niles has largely kept these aspects in the background as the characters’ current quest to help Adam, the “Frankenstein monster”, restore his vision takes centre stage. There wasn’t a lot that developed through a large portion of issue #2, but this installment was brimming with comedy which made it a fun read overall. There were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments scattered throughout the book, which has quickly become the norm for the Eyes of Frankenstein arc. However, there are some interesting developments at the end of the issue that will surely make readers excited for next month.
Christopher Mitten’s illustrations have a lot of charm; the characters in particular are fairly simple in execution but still maintain a lot of life and help underscore the tone of each scene. The visuals are incredibly consistent, especially for this type of style, and a lot of the panels enhance the inherent comedy scattered throughout this second issue. The colors by Michelle Madsen are equally suited to conveying the overall tone as it shifts between dynamics of light and dark, somber and humorous. The relatively minimalist style employed by Mitten throughout is well-served by the lush tones and attention to detail provided by Madsen’s work, and it is apparent that these two make a great team.
The Eyes of Frankenstein #2 was quite a fun issue. It is interesting to see how the dynamic of the Criminal Macabre series can so easily shift between light-hearted and grimly pessimistic. While most of this issue was concerned with the central characters regaining their bearings and formulating a new plan of action, there were some interesting surprises in the end.