In the Hellboy Universe fan community, Mike Mignola and Ben Stenbeck’s “Frankenstein Underground” routinely comes up as a favorite one-shot spinoff—and we here at Mignolaversity love it too. However, if it left you wanting more, you’ll be happy to know it won’t be a one-shot spin-off for much longer. This January, Mignola and Stenbeck are reuniting for “Frankenstein Undone,” a prequel to “Frankenstein Underground.” The five-issue miniseries will see Frankenstein’s monster struggling to live with himself in the wake of the events from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein novel. Joining the creative team is co-writer Scott Allie (the “Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible” cycle, “B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know”) and colorist Brennan Wagner (“Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: Saturn Returns”).
To tell us a little about the upcoming miniseries, here’s artist Ben Stenbeck.
When Multiversity spoke to you back in 2015 about Frankenstein Underground, you mentioned how much you’d like to return to the character and do more with him. It seems Mike Mignola was listening. How’s it feel to come back to Frankenstein’s monster again?
Ben Stenbeck: Well, I was pretty happy with where we left Frankenstein at the end of “Frankenstein Underground.” But it’s always fun drawing his sad, ugly face.
As I understand it, this book is a prequel, acting as a bridge from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus novel to “Frankenstein Underground.” I’m very curious to see this unfold, since in the Hellboy Universe Mary Shelley’s novel still exists, but it’s not fiction (or at least, not entirely). What’s it like exploring that blurry line where Mary Shelley’s world ends and Mignola’s begins?
Ben: A lot of this series is about getting him off the ice and back to the world: what life was like for him up north, and the conflicts he deals with in coming back to the world of men. He’s got a lot of baggage to sort through after the events of Shelley’s book, and this series is about him doing that. Or trying to, at least.
Your work occupies such a curious corner of the Hellboy Universe. On the surface, it seems rather detached, almost its own thing, but it always seems to have roots in the deepest aspects of Mignola’s mythology. And your art often expresses this connection through design. Is there anything you can tell our readers about your design work on “Frankenstein Undone?”
Ben: There’s something in issue #3 I’m pretty happy with. It’s unique and a bit weird, but it somehow manages to fit in with other Mignolaverse creatures really well (I think). Trying to hit that note can be a bit hit and miss, but I feel like I managed to get there with this thing. Other than that this isn’t a very design-heavy book, it’s grounded in the real world a lot more than “Frankenstein Underground” was.
Look for “Frankenstein Undone” #1 on comic shelves January 29, 2020. Check in Monday for the full January 2020 solicitations for Mike Mignola’s books.
Written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Illustrated by Ben Stenbeck
Colored by Brennan Wagner and Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clem Robins
On sale January 29, 2020
Full color, 32 pages
Frankenstein’s creator lies dead in the icy grip of the Arctic, and the monster searches for a new purpose. Just as he thinks he’s found one with a group of unlikely companions, disaster strikes—and the monster is catapulted out of Mary Shelley’s novel and into the world of Hellboy.
Bridging Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein novella and Mike Mignola’s Frankenstein Underground, this series brings together Mignola, Scott Allie, Ben Stenbeck, Brennan Wagner, and Clem Robins for an all-new horror adventure in the far north.