Friday, 5 June 2015

Joe Frankenstein #3 - IDW Publishing

JOE FRANKENSTEIN No. 3, April 2015
Delayed and “late arriving in the stores” as a result of the Long Beach Dock Strike, co-writer Graham Nolan was not lying when he stated that “the wait will be worth it!” For Issue Three of “Joe Frankenstein” is a furiously fast-paced comic, whose energic action-packed narrative starts with an all-out frontal assault upon the monster’s secret windmill hideout by Lord Golgatha and an army of pointy-eared vampires, and doesn’t stop until the book ends with Mary Shelley’s creation helplessly manacled before the Bride with the ominous words “to be continued!” emblazoned upon the foot of the final panel.

Equally as entertaining is the fact that despite the intensity of the plot, Nolan and “frequent collaborator” Chuck Dixon still somehow manage to include plenty of backstory to the likes of “the Big Guy”, Enoch and the werewolf chauffeur Finnabar. Indeed these ‘insights’ into some of the creative duo’s supporting cast provides some seriously laugh out loud moments amidst a genuinely tense pulse-pounding read. With Frankenstein’s diminutive manservant, “and… tasty little morsel”, proving especially humorous once armed with the “vampire-tested, National Rifle Association-approved” ultra-violent pulse rifle; “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

These fun quips and gags however are not exclusively the province of Joe’s companions with even some of the ghoulish grey-skinned blood-drinkers themselves having a few comedic one-liners. Fortunately though such a wealth of amusing moments doesn’t distract from the sheer pace of events as they unfold. In fact if anything they enhance them by momentarily giving the reader a brief pause to smile before being flung headfirst back into the ‘chaotic melee’ as the mummified Egyptian horror’s minions desperately try in vain to capture “the Boy.”

The quality of Graham Nolan’s illustrations also seems to be somewhat invigorated by the upbeat tempo of this magazine’s storyline, with the former “Knightfall” artist creating some extremely well-detailed drawings, most notably that of the monster slaying his creator in a flash-back single-page splash. Disappointingly though there are still more than a few panels where “The Phantom” penciller’s work appears rushed and inconsistent, and dishearteningly these seem to increase in number as the book progresses, almost as if Nolan was rushed for time towards the end.
The regular cover art of "JOE FRANKENSTEIN" No. 3 by Graham Nolan


  1. Sounds like a winner to me, Simon. I'm still hoping a TPB of the series will be released.

    1. This was a lot better Bryan, a lot better. Back to the quality of the first issue's writing, and wonderfully entertaining. If the final issue (which should be out anytime soon) is anything to go by then this will be a winner, albeit with a hiccup in the middle. It will be out as a tpb as that was what Nolan wanted in the first place. But "IDW Publishing" have done it as a comic first.