A beautiful and stunningly clever adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic tales wraps up in a bloody shockingly in Madame Frankenstein #7.
Previously in Madame Frankenstein #6: The creature exacts revenge on someone dear to Vincent’s heart as the inventor gets into fisticuffs in defense of his own honour.
THE FAIRIES ABOUND
In Madame Frankenstein #7 writer Jamie S. Rich focuses immediately on the core of the series to date: the unrequited love story between the aptly named Gail and Vincent. As Madame Frankenstein has unfolded Vincent’s creature has more and more become a force to be reckoned with and, much like a gale force wind storm, has progressively torn apart more and more pieces of Vincent’s life.
The beginning of Madame Frankenstein #7 features the creature and the fairies out about the town at night – certainly a questionable choice at best. It’s immediately evident that even with her amassed knowledge and in her heightened state Gail will never be refined enough (in appearance or tact), to belong in the place she longs for. It’s certainly a direct parallel by Rich to Shelley’s creature, but one that rings with a truth that carries throughout the remainder of the issue.
The creature’s brutal attack on Linda does not go unremembered by Rich in Madame Frankenstein #7. Vincent’s first appearance is at her bedside as she recovers from horrific burns. The fairies are here too, berating Vincent as much as Gail, though Vincent is less skilled at ignoring them.
The issue comes to a head when Vincent returns home and Irene informs him that he has a surprising guest. In a comic called Madame Frankenstein #7 one has to suspect the female creature to be the crux, but Rich walks a fine line in writing Gail during her final confrontation with Vincent. She is, at a glance, the greatest victim of this tragic experiment, yet at many points throughout the issue she is harsh and a difficult character to have pathos for. It’s an interesting move on Rich’s behalf to flip the creature from being such an extreme innocent to a piece of her former life – not the nicest lady we learn by the end of the issue.
The conclusion of the issue – which I am electing not to spoil for the sake of this review – is a startling character shift for both Vincent and Gail. Rich has Madame Frankenstein #7’s male lead step out of his role of brilliant and benevolent benefactor and pick up the stark cruelty of Mary Shelley’s angry mob. For her part, Gail is largely rendered helpless, though in a different style than her helplessness of Madame Frankenstein’s early issues. She’s rendered pathetic under Vincent’s surgical administrations, though not in a way that renders her an unsalvageable character should Image decide to carry this story onward.
It’s clear from the first page of Madame Frankenstein #7 that Rich has had this ending in place for quite some time. The beats harken back to previous issues and push both focal characters to places readers have never seen them before. This is a completely satisfying ending to the entire series.
A BEAUTIFUL ISSUE IN ITS SIMPLICITY
Megan Levens deserves all of the work on every book ever. As with each preceding issue, Madame Frankenstein #7 is stunning. Levens’ lineart is highlighted by nothing save her own ink, but at no point does it feel naked or lacking.
The subtle changes (bald head aside), that Levens draws into Gail’s design are nothing short of lovely in their creepiness and as the darker parts of her nature emerge she somehow appears less and less human on the page. Similarly, Vincent loses all the soft part of his features in his violence and the dark hair sprouting from atop his head feels like an omen when looking back at his evolution throughout the series.
Levens brings more and more supernatural elements to the pages of Madame Frankenstein #7 with a plethora of fairies that flit across the pages, dancing in and out of Vincent and his creature’s tragedy. They never feel out of place for how unearthly they are in the issue’s historical setting.
Much like the writing, the art of Madame Frankenstein #7 is intelligent, well-conceived and, in the end, absolutely lovely.
THE BOTTOM LINE: SUCH A SATISFYING END
Madame Frankenstein #7 is the perfect ending to a delightfully unique comic series out of Image. It deserves to be read in full and the creative team deserves to have their work celebrated by all comic fans.