Pullbox Reviews: Blazing Blade of Frankenstein, volume 1: Paradise Lost

Readers of the science fiction & horror classic written in 1818 by Mary Shelly will recognize the significance behind the opening of Blazing Blade of Frankenstein. After the death of his creator, Victor Frankenstein, the made man who has since declared himself “Adam” (the first) has traveled to the farthest reaches of the frozen north in search of his own end. His plans are interrupted by the sounds of nearby conflict, and he discovers a woman under attack. More incredible even than finding other living beings in this most remote of locations, Adam sees that the attackers appear to be wolf men…

Werewolves versus Frankenstein’s Monster? Where do I sign up?

Well, on Kickstarter of course. The initial campaign for issue one is over, but it’ll be available with future campaigns for the second and third instalments. If you’re the impatient sort & don’t want to wait, you can also get your hands on the book through Indiegogo.

A fan of Shelley’s original story, writer Clay Adams declares Adam (huh… coincidence?) not only a feature in one of the earliest sci fi stories, but also “the world’s first superhero” created to be a perfect specimen in every way. Clay chose Adam as the ideal fit to play the part of wandering barbarian in his epic fantasy adventure, but he didn’t stop there. Adams also tapped into The Blazing World by Duchess of Newcastle Margaret Cavendish, sucking Mary Shelley’s creation deeper into his new role as an iconic action hero. Clay Adams claims to be writing a “pure action/adventure book” but manages to throw a couple extra layers in for good measure by including Adam’s inner monologue, expanding on his motivations and history. While it might still land firmly in the realm of fantasy adventure, Clay gives determined readers a little more meat to chew on through characters who are more complex than they might first appear.

Nothing rounds out a meat-filled comicbook like some really kickin’ artwork. Compliments of Kyle Roberts & Ilaria Chiocca, Blazing Blade has that going for it and then some. Starting with the bones, Roberts shows a great eye for the action promised in the title. His fight sequences have a great sense of flow, running from one panel into the next and Roberts gives the characters all the qualities they’ll need to survive. Adam has the perfect amount of Conan thrown into his DNA, all ferocious nobility and stoicism. Deposed queen on the run Maggie, no simple victim or helpless damsel, has a history that’s touched on in the narrative and Roberts shows it all in her posture and facial expressions.

On those bones laid down by Roberts’s linework, colorist Ilaria Chiocca fleshes out this world full of mortals and monsters. At first glance, the color schemes might seem pretty standard for a comicbook. That only lasts until a reader takes the time to really look at the page instead of just scanning across it. Her palette follows the needs of the page, conveying frigid northern wastes and the arid desolation of the Blazing World found beyond the mysterious portal. Chiocca also keeps pace with the tone of the book, adding dynamic flare to panels where needed.

Blazing Blade of Frankenstein #1 is the opening to a proposed trilogy of books, all set to be crowd-funded through Kickstarter. If the rest of the instalments live up to the promise made by this one, it’s going to be a fantastic ride through a fantastic (Blazing) world. Fans of the kind of adventures told in the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Conan the Barbarian, and the works of artist Frank Frazetta should have no trouble finding something to love here.

Final Score: 12/13

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