Frankenstein: New World #1 finally gives us a look at what the Earth looks like after it ended. It’s as beautiful as it is terrifying. Fortunately, our heroes are Frankenstein and a smart-aleck kid. Neither of them appears to be particularly fazed by the wondrous horrors around them. Yet.
Frankenstein: New World #1 ~ Details
Frankenstein: New World #1 is a new comic book series in the Hellboy universe, chronologically taking place many years after the events of the Ragna Rok story arc in B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know. Mike Mignola, Thomas Sniegowski, and Christopher Golden co-wrote it, with Peter Bergting as the artist, and Michelle Madsen as the colorist. Bergting is also responsible for the main cover art, with Mignola himself responsible for the sole variant cover. Lastly, Dark Horse Comics is publishing this comic book series, as they have been for all the Hellboy comics.
Frankenstein: New World #1 was released on August 3, 2022, for a retail price of $3.99. You can purchase it directly from the Dark Horse Comics website, either in physical or digital form. If you want the version with the Mike Mignola variant cover, then you can also purchase it from Dark Horse Comics.
Warning: spoilers for Frankenstein: New World #1 are below. If you want to check out the wonder and horror of a post-Ragna Rok Earth for yourself, then stop here, and come back once you’ve survived the postapocalyptic fauna.
Frankenstein: New World #1 ~ Plot Summary
Frankenstein: New World #1 begins not with the titular character, but with the deuteragonist: a young girl named Lilja. She’s just a tomboyish and aggressive kid living in a deep cave that houses the last pocket of humanity in the world. She’s also been having strange dreams about a “Star Lady” who is calling for help lately, and the only one she can talk to is the Oracle: who has been comatose since long ago. That is until her dream discussions wake him up.
The Oracle turns out to be Frankenstein, who has really grown out his hair and wisdom in the time since the apocalypse. He hears the “Star Lady”, and she warns him of a coming “new darkness”. Frankenstein then bids his people farewell as he sets out for the Star Lady (after picking up the Hyperborean sword from Ted Howards’ corpse to tie onto his walking stick to turn into a makeshift Hyperborean spear), and also refuses Lilja’s requests to tag along. However, she follows him in secret all the way out of the humans’ subterranean home, and thus Frankenstein has to take her along. After all, how much trouble can one little girl with a dream connection to the Star Lady be?
A Strange New World
Earth’s surface turns out to be an utterly alien landscape, filled with bizarre flora and fauna. At least some of them are predatory/hostile, as Frankenstein and Lilja discover when yellow frog-like beings attack them. They quickly run away when one of them gets slashed apart by the Hyperborean spear, and the other gets hit in the face with a thrown rock by Lilja. Frankenstein suggests eating the dead frog thing since Lilja had been hungry, but one look at it sends her after some alien fruit instead.
And so their journey goes, with yet another dream from the Star Lady to add to it, warning them of the “darkness” getting stronger. In the background of all this, a skyscraper-sized mushroom drops spores amidst feasting creatures. One of the spores though lands on a patch of unnaturally circular black ground. Unlike the other spores, this spore then apparently eats a worm creature that came to eat it. The spore then extends red roots deep into the ground, where the countless corpses of long-dead humans lie. What’s happening here? Well, that’s what we’ll presumably find out in Frankenstein: New World #2.
Frankenstein: New World #1 ~ The Good
The story of Frankenstein: New World #1 is definitely the best part about it. Mike Mignola, Thomas Sniegowski, and Christopher Golden manage to weave a great fantastical postapocalyptic tale here, complete with an enigmatic horror looming in the background. Admittedly, it can be difficult to separate the natural horrors from the unnatural ones here, given how alien Earth’s surface is now.
Speaking of which, that alien landscape from the minds of Peter Bergting and Michelle Madsen is the other great part of Frankenstein: New World #1. Both the flora and fauna are so alien that it looks like Frankenstein and Lilja stepped out onto another planet. The story honestly looks like the beginning of a Subnautica game, but on land. The art alone would’ve been great, but combined with the story and characters (specifically Frankenstein and Lilja), it’s a great combo.
Frankenstein and Lilja are another part of why Frankenstein: New World #1 is great. Stories need good characters for people to want to read them, and this duo fulfills that admirably. Frankenstein comes off as a wise but exasperated parent to Lilja’s antics, while Lilja herself surprises Frankenstein with her occasional insight via dream teleconference with Ms. Star Lady and physical prowess. It’ll be interesting to see what this duo manages to accomplish in this strange new world.
Frankenstein: New World #1 ~ The Bad
Admittedly, I can’t find anything significant to complain about in Frankenstein: New World #1. It’s definitely a promising sign that this is a great story. Maybe you readers out there can find something to complain about instead?
Source: Dark Horse Comics