Review: ‘Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein’ #4

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Another brilliant arc in the CM universe comes to an end with the release of Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten’s “Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein” #4. Expect the unexpected because by the end of this final installment, readers will be left with more questions than answers.

WRITTEN BY: Steve Niles
ART BY: Christopher Mitten
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: December 18, 2013

Niles delivers a great final installment to conclude, what is arguably, one of his best books in the Criminal Macabre universe to date. His charmingly unique take on Frankenstein’s monster Adam, and the overall execution of his quick-witted and raw script, is exactly what makes the story so compelling and original. There’s never a dry moment in the narrative, as he demonstrates his mastery of comedic timing and propensity for plot twists to keep the readers entertained. A lot happens in regards to Cal’s evolving supernatural identity, and by the end of the issue there’s a pretty significant transformation that takes place, leaving the fandom with tons of unanswered questions to mull over until the next story.

This issue continues with Jason Hemlock’s sinister plans coming to light. The supernatural expert has nefariously taken detective Cal McDonald, Mo’Lock, and Adam up ten thousand feet above ground, to put his villainous scheme to steal Cal’s powers into action. The result of the epic showdown has a major effect on Cal, changing everything he thought himself to be.

Niles’ writing is both light and gritty when the story calls for it, and strikes a perfect balance for a horror story of this nature. The plot is never overbearing or densely populated with heavy exposition, but delivers just the right amount of information and teases to hold the readers’ attention, while tiding them over until the next book. Each individual character is solidly envisioned and characterized, which allows for Mitten to effectively produce more brilliant work to bring Niles’ universe to life.

The artwork continues to be a franticly penciled representation of the events in Niles’ story, and it works remarkably well considering the suspense and horror elements of the book. Composition-wise, Mitten has a great knack for visual storytelling, and makes use of all the panel space he lays out for himself. He has a very distinctive style of art that has come to be recognizable, with his scratchy lines and airy depictions of characters and settings. Michelle Madsen’s colours are skillfully rendered onto the pages using dark tones to evoke the mood of the narrative. Her contributions to Hemlock’s occultist activities make for some of the best panels in the entire series. Justin Erickson’s consistently fantastic covers should also be commended. He definitely saved the best for last.

4.5/5 Skulls

Review by – ShadowJayd