Ever wonder what would have happened if Mary Shelley led a double life and if the monsters she wrote about were real? This charming all-ages fantasy comic provides us with one “what if.”
A young Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin finds solace at her mother’s grave. Reading one of her mother’s books, she is overtaken by a sudden storm and hides inside a mysterious crypt. There, she finds a shrouded body and a book with more character than it has any right to. Soon, a mysterious man appears with something nefarious on his mind. He wants to raise the dead! But can Mary stop him?
The art and coloring are fun and set up the action well. The coloring is bright and definitely appealing to children of all ages. Mary has terrific agency and is presented as a smart, thoughtful, and compassionate person who is not easily rattled. Overall, it is a cute story, and the most interesting and dynamic character for me was Necronomicon (a.k.a. “the magic book”) while Dr. M was a mustache-twirling villain. The story did leave me pondering a few items: Mary suddenly knows Dr. M’s name without him ever being introduced. (Perhaps it happened off the page?) For someone who clearly visits her mother’s grave regularly, how could she not know about the crypt?
The brief scene at the gravesite where Mary reads one of her mother’s books caught my attention. I wasn’t aware that Mary Wollenstonecraft was a writer in her own right, so I looked it up! It turns out that Mrs. Wollenstonecraft was a radical thinker for her time and the author of The Vindication of the Rights of Women, as well as Thoughts on the Education of Daughters. Clearly, the character of Mary in this first issue holds true to those themes, and it will be interesting to see if these books influence future issues.
As an FYI to parents: Though marketed as a YA and middle grade comic, it skews younger.
Creative Team: Jessica Maison (writer), Anna Wieszczyk (artist), Joel Rodriguez (letterer)
Publisher: Wicked Tree Press
Click here to purchase.