30 in 30 - Day 22: Seven Soldiers – Frankenstein / by Frank Gogol

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Seven Soldiers of Victory Week is in the home stretch with the second-to-last series under the microscope today—Frankenstein. These series are designed to be read in any order, but Frankenstein feels, like Bulleteer, like a proper lead-in to the second bookend of the series. That aside, the book reads nicely, almost as a collection of one-off stories, which was an interesting and effective structural choice on Morrison’s part. 

Synopsis

Title: Seven Soldiers – Frankenstein
Storytellers: Grant Morrison & Doug Mahnke
Publisher: DC Comics
Year of Publication: 2006
Page Count: 88

A bizarre butterfly store opens its doors in a small American town. Pretty, popular teenagers are mysteriously transformed into self-loathing, awkward nerds. A boy with the power to see human thoughts becomes the unwitting vessel of an ancient curse, and deep beneath the sunny sidewalks, something stirs and wakes and opens ancient eyes.

SPOILERS FOR SEVEN SOLDIERS – FRANKENSTEIN BELOW

What I learned about Comic Book Storytelling in Writing

What I found most interesting about this series is that it worked and didn’t work structurally. Morrison writes each issue of this series almost as it’s a standalone one-shot with small ties to the other issues. Normally this wouldn’t work for a miniseries because it’d be all over the place in terms of story, but because Frankenstein is part of a larger narrative, Morrison can get away with it an extent. If this had been the first miniseries, or the only one, I’d read from Seven Soldiers of Victory, it’d have made next to no sense. By design, a read should be able to pick up any or all of the series and read them in any order, and while that’s true, there are some Seven Soldiers series that really just don’t stand on their own as well as others. As with a couple of the other series, I take away from this that it’s important to take chances with storytelling, just like Morrison does.

What I learned about Comic Book Storytelling in Art

Doug Mahnke’s art in this book is a great fit. It’s a little bit rough. It’s a little bit demented. It’s exactly what you’d look for in a book called Frankenstein. Looking over his work on other series, it’s plain to see that Mahnke tailored the art for this book to the project. This is an important consideration—how does the look of the book enhance it? Mahnke tweaks is style so as to layer in stylistic nuance that elevates the book. The end result is, as I said above, a book that looks deserving of the name Frankenstein.

Recommendation: B (Entertaining, Worth a Read)

Check back tomorrow when I tackle Seven Soldiers – Zatanna.

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