Mike Mignola’s Hellboy spinoff featuring Frankenstein returns in Frankenstein: New World. Safely tucked away inside the hollow earth where humanity survived after Ragna Rok, precocious young Lilja receives visions of a new darkness taking root on the surface. Defying her elders, Lilja awakens the timeless oracle – once known as Frankenstein – to investigate the warnings and, perhaps, even explore the new world above.
Mike Mignola originally introduced his version of the monster in Hellboy: House of The Living Dead where he had a wrestling match with Hellboy in Mexico. Since then, the character has made several appearance throughout the Hellboy world including B.P.R.D and his own series originally released in 2015. Mignola stuck very closely to Mary Shelley’s original story and characterisation of the monster. Having survived the events of the original novel, the monster chose to reject that moniker and adopt the name of his creator. He would eventually seek shelter in the centre of the Earth following the cataclysmic Ragna Rok. New World explores Frankenstein’s return to the surface and to see what the new world has to offer.
Mignola and his co-writers Christopher Golden and Thomas Sniegoski don’t go for a traditional post apocalypse story and rather opt for a more optimistic approach than what you’d expect following a cataclysmic event. Lilja is the classic inquisitive and precocious child who is prepared to go against the rules her elders set. Her subsequent bonding with Frankenstein is a key driver of the series with the two exploring the post Ragna Rok world whilst Frankenstein evolves from his silent brooding giant persona and learns to rely on his new companion.
Artist Peter Bergting’s style is well suited to the look that Mignogla and his subsequent collaborators like Laurence Campbell and Duncan Fegredo established in the Hellboy comics and their spinoffs. Like Mignola’s previous collaborators though, he brings his own unique strengths to the table too rather than simply aping Mignola’s style. He has a strong level of detail in his work which goes a long way in establishing both the hollow undergrounds of Earth and the new world above along with the many creatures Frankenstein and Lilja encounter up there. Even the little things seem important under Bergting’s watch.
This is another strong entry in the Hellboy series which will more than satisfy fans. Anyone looking for something fresh in the post-apocalypse genre should also give it a look.
Frankenstein: New World is out 23 May from Dark Horse (9781506733432, h/b, £23.99)
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