You've seen the story of Frankenstein before, but AfterShock will deliver a bold new take on the classic characters that brings the author into the spotlight. The series is titled Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter, and comes from writers Adam Glass and Olivia Cuartero-Briggs and artist Hayden Sherman. Mary Shelley is the author of the original Frankenstein story, but what if there was more to it? That's the premise behind Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter, and we've got the full rundown on the book straight from the source.
ComicBook.com had the chance to chat with Glass and Cuartero-Briggs all about the series, including what sets this take on the iconic character and universe apart from what's come before. Glass and Cuartero-Briggs answered our questions as a duo, and for both writers, it all comes down to Mary Shelley.
"The biggest draw to this interpretation for me is, simply, Mary Shelley," Cuartero-Briggs said. "I can't boast of seeing every single incarnation of Frankenstein, but I know that every single interpretation I have seen has been entirely male-driven. This is not only a female-centric, feminist retelling of the story of Frankenstein, but it's driven by a legendary rebel, mother, and writer that I can't wait for readers to get to know."
One of the things fans will notice is how the book blends reality with fiction, like the fact that the story was written after a bet one night, and that mix will be prevalent throughout the series.
"Absolutely," they said. "Mary Shelley experienced numerous adventures and tragedies, losing nearly everyone she loved in the course of her lifetime. Mary Shelley Monster Hunter takes the true events of Mary Shelley's life (along with that of Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and Claire Clairemont) and uses them to inspire and drive the story of Mary Shelley Monster Hunter. In effect, what we are doing is attributing the many deaths in Mary Shelley's life to monstrous circumstances, and telling our readers, what you've been told is a lie. Here's what really happened. And to be honest, having such rich source material to draw from, makes the writing and creating process much more inspired and fulfilling. It hasn't felt like a challenge at all."
Hit the next slide to find out more about what's in store!
While this version of events will differ from what's come before, fans will meet a few recognizable characters or at least ones that seem familiar. Early on we meet an Igor-like character, who has been featured prominently in movie interpretations but isn't in the original novel, but everything is not what it seems with this new version.
"Oh yes, you will definitely get to know this character, and it's not at all what you expect,' they said. "That's all I can say without spoiling it."
The book will be illustrated by Hayden Sherman, and as you can see his style is a perfect match for the tension-filled premise, including that spectacular cover.
"That first cover is amazing, I know," they said. "When he sent it out there was just this resounding, "Hell, yes!" And yes, right off the bat we knew we wanted Hayden for this project. His artwork has both the
Fans will notice the first issue bounces a bit between the past and the present, but in future issues, Shelley's time in the past will mostly be in the spotlight.
"The story mostly follows Mary Shelley in the first five books, but we will be returning to the present day, as we have a pretty awesome story to tell there as well," they said.
As fans will learn by this first issue's end, the duo isn't kidding about delivering a fresh new take, and if you had any doubts that last page cliffhanger will certainly put them to rest.
"It was very important to both Adam and myself, not just to bring a fresh take to the retelling of the Frankenstein story, but to make it unflinchingly current, and welcome new audiences as well," Cuartero-Briggs said. "Mary Shelley was a woman ahead of her time, and we felt it only appropriate that Mary Shelley Monster Hunter be reflective of that. We are so excited to see what the reaction is to our little twist, and for all our readers to see how it drives the story moving forward."
The series' title does tease some Monster Hunting, and that isn't going to be just a title either.
"Like many willful nineteen-year-olds, Mary quickly gets in over her head," they said. "Without spoiling anything, let me just say that this young, determined, tour de force is about to find herself in the middle of a storm she never anticipated, but she's not about to back down. She may not be a monster hunter yet in book one, but you better bet she's going to become one, and quick."
You can't have the story of Frankenstein without Frankenstein's iconic monster, and Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter will be no different. If you're expecting the same creature you've seen in the movies though, you will be surprised, and issue #1 is already making the differences between them quite clear.
"The reason we chose that particular movie adaptation to feature
"Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein was so revolutionary because, even in 1815, Mary understood the inherent complexities and problems in what is effectively artificial intelligence," they said. "If we decide to play god, are we then responsible for the creatures we create? And if we reject that responsibility, are we then responsible for the disastrous consequences that rejection can produce? In this way, when it comes to our Frankenstein's Monster, we think of this more as a return to the original intention and thematic crux of Frankenstein than a departure. And really, at the end of the day, what's scarier? A big, aimless oaf, or a smart, sophisticated and calculating monster hell-bent on revenge?"
You can check out Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter #1 right now at your local comic store!
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