Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein #1 Review: Big, Bad and Angry

Frankenstein’s monster may be big and pissed, but Cal McDonald can’t die, even if he wanted to- and boy is he sick of living.

An immovable force and an object incapable of death could do some serious damage against one another, or together. This is what the first issue of this series explores in what turns out to be another solid read from one of the best writer/artist combinations in the industry today.

For fans of the series, Steve Niles continues to do stellar work. After the uber awesome “30 Days of Nigh/Criminal Macabret” crossover, you’d expect the series to lose some steam. But the first issue of “The Eyes of Frankenstein” does nothing but further the thought that Niles’ is easily one of the most underrated minds in the industry today.

This arc fit the series like a glove and could end up as one of its strongest.

Niles’ writing, for those who have never read him, is full of casual conversation, pop culture nods and elements of noir. Easy to read, he brings in new readers seamlessly. McDonald is a gritty detective at heart and the essence of his character is always clear. He just wants to solve his case and move on to the next one.

This one though, like many of his cases, has the potential to be his last.

After eliminating the vampires from Los Angeles, McDonald can’t get a goddamn break. Burnt out from the constant fighting and death around him and coming to grips with his new undead-ness, McDonald and his trusty sidekick MoLock find themselves in another pickle rather quickly. But that situation appears to be on the horizon. first they have their hands full with an old friend, Frankenstein’s monster.

Artist Christopher Mitten does an awesome job this issue by bringing the monster out of the dark. His physical strength is clearly shown, but the power of his eyes is not to be taken lightly. This is a torn being and he’s begging for some kind of help. Mitten’s pictorials capture that.

As only his trademark wiseass self could, McDonald tries to help the big lug. Their exchange is funny and the situation has “The Twilight Zone” written all over it. How successful it ultimately is relies on what happens later though. MoLock warns McDonald earlier in the issue that there’s a new battle to be fought. The scene earlier that shows zombies dying sets this scene perfectly. How can Cal, Mo and Frankenstein’s monster help?

That’s the question. How well it’s answered will control the credibility of the title moving forward. For now, it’s another gem from Niles and Mitten that combines their gritty and easily approachable styles with one of literature’s most iconic characters.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9566 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply