Upon meeting the monster of his ancestor, young Joe Pratt discovers that he is the heir to the Frankenstein name. His legacy may get him killed if the creatures of the night have their way. The Joe Frankenstein story is just beginning.
Joe Frankenstein was originally published in 2015 in 4 issues by IDW Publishing. Joe Frankenstein Part 1 collects the first 2 issues as well as the 10-page prologue that was only available in the now-out-of-print hardcover. In addition to this, you will also find behind-the-scenes sketches and layouts of the 2015 published issues.
Joe Frankenstein ties into the Nolanverse that so far consists of Monster Island, The Chenoo, Alien Alamo and is supposed to be read before the next entry to the Nolanverse, “The Ghost of Matecumbe Key”.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Joe Frankenstein was created and written by Graham Nolan, and Chuck Dixon (Hunter Ninja Bear, Black Tide Rising Vol.1, Giant-sized 2-Fisted Many Tales). The book was illustrated by Graham Nolan, lettered by Carlos Manual, colored by Gregory Wright with main cover art by Graham Nolan & Gregory Wright, and variant cover art by Anthony Gonzales-Clark.
Joe Frankenstein Part 1 is a 72-page perfect bound printed in color on high-quality paper with a soft cover with glossy spots. The book has a credits page, and the main story is told with a prologue and 2 chapters. The bonus material consists of the original main cover and sketch of issue #1 and issue #2, the original variant cover and sketch of issue #1 and issue #2, the evolution of the Joe Frankenstein logo, and an ad for Joe Frankenstein Part 2. The book was published in June 2023 by Compass Comics.
Victor Frankenstein dared to challenge the laws of God and man with no concern for the consequences in doing so. Graves were robbed and desecrations were performed to create something from pieces of other men that would be loved by no one. Instead, it was hated and feared. Infuriated the Monster wanted to destroy his creator and take everything he ever had and all that he was going to have, his child.
But he couldn’t kill an unborn child. Somehow the monster had a conscience but it was very limited to the unborn child. Many died by his hand. The monster fled to the north and found Father Michael who showed him kindness and taught him about a god of love, a god of forgiveness, a god of penance. As the Monster had the gift of eternal life he vowed to watch over Victor’s son and all his progeny. His bride did not have the gift but was looking for ways to get it by all means necessary.
Joe is the last of the Frankenstein line. To protect him the Monster saw that his name was changed. He was in and out of foster homes, but at least he was saved. Joe Pratt has lived his life in and out of foster homes until that fateful night while delivering pizzas, he is attacked by a coven of vampires. His young life may have ended right there if not for the intervention of a “guardian angel”, who turns out to be the Frankenstein monster.
Joe learns that he is not a Pratt but in fact the last heir of the Frankenstein line, the monster has been watching over and protecting the Frankenstein descendants from his Bride and her creatures of the night as she seeks what the monster has and she does not, Eternal Life.
The secret lies in the monster’s blood but the code to unluck it is in Joe’s. the problem is, she doesn’t want some of Joe’s blood, she wants all of it. How long will Frankenstein be able to protect Joe before his Bride finds him?
The main takeaways from me were the importance of a good family, discovering your identity, self-sacrifice, and finding the courage to move on.
LETTING GO OF GRUDGES AND BITTERNES
The Monster finds through religion a way to let go of his hate and finds a new purpose to continue living. Nowadays talking about religion has become so tedious. Everyone is suddenly some form of atheist. It has become the “cool thing” to not believe in anything. But does it really make sense?
Humans are tribal and need something to believe in. If not religion something else will take that place, something like an ideology, politics, or science that can easily make people lose their humanity turning them into destructive human beings. Unfortunately, we are living it and we need to hold on to our humanity and our faith.
There is negative energy and positive energy. If Good and Evil exist why is difficult to believe that there is a God and a Devil? There are so many people embracing demons and the devil yet embracing god and his angels is not cool?
Even when someone doesn’t want to believe that a supreme being or divine energy exists, the principles, morals, and values that they embrace to be good and productive human beings in society are based on one ancient religion or the other.
A CARING FAMILY
The way nuclear families are portrayed in general is mostly negative. You rarely see positive role models. Joe’s adopted family is not perfect but they all care for him. The little kids love to annoy him, his adoptive father is attentive and his adoptive mother doesn’t fail to be preoccupied with how he is doing.
DISCOVERING YOUR IDENTITY
Joe’s life changes once he learned bout his true origins. Knowing the truth places Joe in immediate danger but will he be able to live with this truth.
Joe needs to separate from his adoptive family and everyone he knows which is really tough for him as he has been through in and out the adoptive system. He can’t seem to catch a break but if he doesn’t leave, he will put all his family in danger. What would happen if he is unable to prevent something bad to happen?
COURAGE TO MOVE ON
The confusion and fear are shown on Joe’s face. Who is he really? As is normal he would want to learn as much as possible from the Monster but it is also scary when he practically doesn’t have anyone to talk about his personal matters. Will he be able to form a bond with the Monster?
THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for Joe Frankenstein Part 1 was simple and short. I backed the tier with the Nolan cover and the tier with the CGC graded & signed Nolan cover. I received the tiers separately.
The tier with the Nolan cover came well packaged and included the book, a Joe Frankenstein Part 1 bookmark, a Joe Frankenstein vinyl logo sticker, and a “Thank You” letter. The CGC tier came separately and came a little bit later than the main book tier. The book came signed, CGC graded and slapped in a well-packaged giant box. This is the first CGC graded graphic novel I own. It’s so cool!
The tracking numbers were provided and timely updates were provided as usual including the notice on the late delivery of the CGC graded book. Graham is a professional at managing his campaigns and manages his time to always deliver as promised.
Joe Frankenstein is an engaging and interesting classic monster/adventure series. The story is well thought out so far. There is a reason for everything that is happening in the story and it will probably come together in Joe Frankenstein Part 2.
The art is beautiful, and the physical copy is good quality, however, the material for the softcover seems to be a little different. The front cover is not flat for some reason. The crowdfunding campaign is closed but the book can be found on the Compass Comics website. Want more of Joe Frankenstein? Check the Comics Chaos game in your app store and the Spinrack website.
Interested in more titles? Check more COMIC BOOKS and GRAPHIC NOVELS under the “EYES ON” series wherein I documented my experience with crowdfunding entertainment and shared my notes on the products I received.
My notes are all set. Let me know what you think.
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