|JOE FRANKENSTEIN No. 4, May 2015|
Anyone buying this final instalment of the “Joe Frankenstein” mini-series will soon realise why the comic book’s creators’ post-publication announcement that “there will be more to come” was so apt. For whilst this lengthy twenty-seven page fright-fest sees the machinations of “The Mistress” finally come to a rather fitting end, literally at the hands of the equally evil Lord Golgatha, co-writer Chuck Nixon’s narrative hardly provides the most satisfactory of conclusions.
Indeed it is hard to imagine another story ending with quite so many unresolved plot threads as within this magazine’s final few pages the mysterious vampiric “Master” successfully retrieves “the blood of the monster” for some undisclosed purpose, Joe embarks upon a quest to find the one with “the power of life and death” in order to resurrect his dead beloved Skye, and the villainous Saxton boards an aeroplane carrying the “human remains” of Frankenstein’s Bride presumably intent on somehow restoring her ashes back to life.
Fortunately however, such an annoying shortcoming is easily overlooked as a result of the numerous funny fast-paced tongue-in-cheek shenanigans which populate the rest of this publication. The witty banter between the orphaned teenager and diminutive Enoch is extremely amusing and instances such as when the pizza delivery boy ‘buys the duo a few seconds’ by throwing a handful of back-pocket change at the pointy-eared fiends because “legacy bloodsuckers are obsessive counters…” provides Graham Nolan an endearing opportunity to really tap into his source material concerning the weaknesses of vampires. Finnabar the werewolf chauffeur is similarly entertaining throughout as he claws his way past the Bride’s human guards in accordance with his fellow employee’s wolf-whistles; “Sic ‘em Finnabar! And start with this guy!”
Sadly despite such an energetic and ‘lively’ storyline Nolan’s artwork appears to be simply competent at best and at times actually appears to be rather rushed. Such disappointing pencils are especially evident towards the end of the comic when all attention finally refocus’ upon the precarious predicament of Frankenstein’s Monster. Admittedly the ‘modern Prometheus’ is significantly weakened as a result of having several large phials of blood drained out of him. But that doesn’t necessarily explain why the American artist suddenly depicts the muscular brute as little more than an overly scrawny giant. Especially after Enoch gives the creature a massive electrical “pick-me-up.”
|The regular cover art of "JOE FRANKENSTEIN" No. 4 by Graham Nolan|