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Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 3 - Steve Niles Bernie Wrightson

Written by Arion on Monday, May 19 2014 and posted in Blog
Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 3 - Steve Niles Bernie Wrightson
Plagued by remorse, Frankenstein’s monster wanders around the mansion of Doctor Ingles, the only man he has met that treats him not as an inhuman creature but as an equal and even a friend. Overwhelmed by the memories of a life full of regrets, death and sorrow, the monster shows a unique vulnerability, a weakness that redefines his humanity. 

Nonetheless, the doctor’s mansion won’t be his refuge for long, after all, Ingles harvests quite sinister intentions. As a result of a random incident, Frankenstein runs into the doctor’s seemingly lifeless wife, and then he discovers that by using fetus and stillborn babies, the scientist has distilled a miraculous and yet nauseating substance, which has the property of preserving body and brain from putrefaction. In the case of this woman, she no longer breathes but she is not dead yet, she is trapped in a limbo, carefully balancing upon the fine line that divides life from death.

Faced with a new moral dilemma, Frankenstein must decide if he’s ready to help Ingles in his search of newly born babies to perfect his abhorrent serum or if, on the contrary, he can no longer be an accomplice of the crimes perpetrated by the ruthless doctor.  

The eerie atmosphere of this tale is fantastically captured by legendary artist Bernie Wrightson, a veteran of the comic book industry that has influenced several generations. In the first page, Frankenstein realizes he is still in debt with the dead men who were mutilated to serve as raw material; the rotting corpses demand restitution for the limbs that were stolen from them in a truly nightmarish composition.
Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 3 - Steve Niles Bernie Wrightson
Rotting corpses demanding the devolution of their limbs /
cuerpos podridos exigiendo la devolución de sus miembros

The double page spread with Frankenstein observing the departure of the doctor’s servants is a magnificent exercise of perspective, as well as an extraordinary game of contrasts; darkness versus light, black ink versus white paper are in perfect harmony here.

I was absolutely impressed when I first saw the double page spread that depicts the doctor’s macabre collection of bones, desiccated animals and the remains of impossible creatures. I spent a long time looking at this, there are hundreds if not thousands of fascinating details that deserve our patient observation. It is because of such beautiful pages that I understand why Bernie Wrightson needs an entire year to draw it.     

Finally, the doctor’s laboratory explores our fascination towards the darkest aspects of science. The page also exemplifies how important it is to balance illumination and darkness, the woman’s body is a source of light while Frankenstein is the embodiment of darkness, but there is also a spectral light that descends from the ceiling as well as the steam that emerges from the floor, tenuous and vaporous as it might be it still is a subtle counterpoint to the room’s engulfing blackness. 

In case you missed the first issues you can find them here: Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 1 & Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 2.  
Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 3 - Steve Niles Bernie Wrightson
The departure / la partida

Plagado por el remordimiento, el monstruo de Frankenstein deambula por la mansión del doctor Ingles, el único hombre que en vez de tratarlo como una criatura inhumana lo trata como a un igual e incluso como a un amigo. Abrumado por los recuerdos de una vida llena de arrepentimiento, muerte y tristeza, el monstruo muestra una vulnerabilidad única, una debilidad que redefine su humanidad. 
Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 3 - Steve Niles Bernie Wrightson
The most incredible collection / la más increíble colección

Sin embargo, la mansión del doctor no será su refugio por mucho tiempo, después de todo, Ingles alberga intenciones bastante siniestras. Como resultado de un incidente azaroso, Frankenstein halla el cuerpo aparentemente sin vida de la esposa del doctor, y luego descubre que usando fetos y bebés abortados, el científico ha destilado una milagrosa aunque nauseabunda substancia, que tiene la propiedad de evitar la putrefacción del cuerpo y del cerebro. En el caso de esta mujer, ella ya no respira pero todavía no está muerta, está atrapada en un limbo, en un cuidadoso equilibrio sobre la fina línea que divide a la vida de la muerte. 
Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 3 - Steve Niles Bernie Wrightson
A laboratory of light and darkness / un laboratorio de luz y oscuridad

Enfrentado a un nuevo dilema moral, Frankenstein debe decidir si está listo para ayudar a Ingles en su búsqueda de bebés recién nacidos para perfeccionar su aborrecible suero o si es que, por el contrario, ya no puede ser el cómplice de los crímenes perpetrados por el despiadado doctor.  

La atmósfera lúgubre de este relato es fantásticamente capturada por el legendario artista Bernie Wrightson, un veterano de la industria del cómic que ha influenciado a varias generaciones. En la primera página, Frankenstein constata que aún está en deuda con los muertos que fueron mutilados para servir como materia prima; los cuerpos podridos demandan la restitución de los miembros que les fueron robados en una composición digna de una pesadilla.

La página doble en la que Frankenstein observa la partida de los sirvientes del doctor es un magnífico ejercicio de perspectiva, así como un extraordinario juego de contrastes; la oscuridad versus la luz, la tinta negra versus el papel en blanco están aquí en perfecta armonía.

Quedé absolutamente impresionado cuando vi la página doble que muestra la colección macabra del doctor, huesos, animales disecados y restos de criaturas imposibles. Pasé mucho tiempo mirando todo esto, hay cientos si acaso no miles de detalles fascinantes que merecen nuestra paciente observación. Es a causa de páginas tan hermosas que entiendo por qué Bernie Wrightson necesita un año entero para dibujarlas. 

Finalmente, el laboratorio del doctor explora nuestra fascinación hacia los aspectos más oscuros de la ciencia. La página también ejemplifica lo importante que es el balance entre iluminación y oscuridad, el cuerpo de la mujer es una fuente de luz mientras que Frankenstein encarna la oscuridad, pero también hay una luz espectral que desciende del techo así como el vapor que emerge del piso, que pese ser tan tenue y vaporoso es un sutil contrapunto en una habitación devorada por la negrura.

Si se perdieron los primeros números los pueden encontrar aquí: Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 1 y Frankenstein Alive, Alive # 2.  

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About the Author - Arion

Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog - – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.


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