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Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #3

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By Steve Niles & Bernie Wrightson

Frankenstein Alive, Alive! is such a powerful series, enough to make those who love the truly classic monster a bit misty-eyed. What’s that? You say you’re not familiar with this amazing story? If that’s the case, it’s probably just due to the fact that the previous issue came out way back in November 2012. Trust in the artists though, folks. The wait has been worth it and FAA #3 is another show-stopper. If you missed out on the first two books, IDW has kindly released a “Re-Animated” edition combining issues #1 and #2. Seriously, everybody needs to read this book so go catch up with it now…done? Good, let’s move on.

First off, Steve Niles is a true aficionado of the classic monster story. True, there are other series in which he’s gotten to play with Dr. Frankenstein’s timeless creation, but his pure passion for the real classic essence of the this character and the monster story shines more brightly in Frankenstein Alive, Alive! The latest installment remains interwoven with the original source material by Mary Shelley and feels like a faithful continuation of the protagonist’s story. The raw emotion in this book is conveyed with absolute perfection and beautifully poetic language. Again, the series truly feels like a companion read that is wholly consistent with the original material in every respect. The insight into the mind of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and his burning morality and guilt was immensely thoughtful and of great depth throughout the entire issue. There were also some pretty intriguing and unexpected developments in the overall plot that will keep fans waiting for the next inevitable installment.

It’s difficult to say much more about Bernie Wrightson’s artwork other than it is simply astonishing. The visuals in FAA #3 are really some of the best you will ever find in any series, whether black and white or fully colored. This latest issue was largely composed of full two-page spreads and bigger panels overall, and each was brimming with a phenomenal amount of detail and realism. Everything in the book looks lifelike and just beautiful. There are some really powerful visuals throughout, which extends to both the fantastic environments and the character designs. The facial expressions in this issue were particularly powerful and emotional.

If you’re still not convinced, all that can be said is that you’re really missing out on something special if you don’t read this book. IDW has made it even easier for you to catch up on previous issues, but FAA #3 can easily stand alone as an independent read. Steve Niles’ passion for and understanding of the classic story of the monster that struggles with morality is unparalleled in any medium and this is tremendously clear in Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Aside from this, Bernie Wrightson is a living legend who continues to amaze in this series. This is a perfect book that demands everybody’s attention.

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