Noob Review: Monster & Madman – Who exactly is the monster here?

(w) Steve Niles (a) Damien Worm IDW
(w) Steve Niles
(a) Damien Worm

If I saw this on the shelf of my favorite comic shop I would not have given it a second glance. Because of that, I want to tell all of you how amazing this is. If you like horror or if you don’t pick this up.

For me, if a comic/story/movie/whatever has a monster in it, I want to know why. My favorite reason is to show how people are the real monsters. This is the perfect example of this. I’m going to walk through this first issue and explain my thoughts, so read at your own risk although I think you could read this and still enjoy the comic. The first issues is kind of a back story.


In the first issue, Frankenstein, is wandering through the city holding a puppy, protecting it from the snow. Frank comes across a man killing someone else, puts the puppy down, and after being stabbed, kills the man. He takes his coat and continues on.

He comes across a boat, and after being denied passage, boards the boat by loading cargo (like he belongs there) and then stows away. He keeps to himself on the boat, He sees flashes of a different life that doesn’t belong to him, with babies and holding hands.

One night a man comes to him and tells him that he knows about him stowing away and whose place he took since he is wearing the man’s jacket. He knows what Frank can do, so he offers him a job. A man owes him money so Frank gets paid to go kill him because he’ll never pay up. When Frank goes to the man’s house he breaks down the door, sees the man and throws him the money he was paid. He only says, “I am sorry I broke your door.”

When he gets back to the ship, he realized he has been deceived by the owner of the ship. They all attack him. He says, “I won’t die, only you” and he survives the attack and is washed up on shore. He wakes to a figure (presumably Jack), with an outstretched hand.

There you go, that’s the entire first issue. Now let me explain what all this shows me:

1. Frank with the puppy – he is not inherently evil. If he were, maybe he would have eaten the puppy or thrown it at the guy that was about to kill him. Him holding the puppy, and protecting it from the weather shows me that he’s got nurturing qualities about him, and a need to protect.

2. The flashes with holding hands and babies – he remembers his life when he was just human. In modern culture, we see monsters as entities that have lost their humanity. Which brings me to…

3. The humans are the ones who try to corrupt him. His initial kill was not murder. It was self defense. But once he’s on the ship, he is paid to kill someone, he chooses not to, then when he returns the people of the ship turn on him and attack him even though he they don’t know he hasn’t accomplished his talks.

I believe that in later issues, Jack is going to show Frank kindness and gain his trust and then possibly he’ll turn Frank into what everyone believes him to be, a monster.

So now, I want to leave with this. Only through humanity do we have evil. People say monsters have lost their humanity, but is that really true? Humans are the ones that kidnap, that murder, that befriend and then misuse, and that betray. Without humanity you have no good but you also have no bad.