‘Made Men’ a tale of survival that makes its pieces fit
By Brandy Dykhuizen. Our Week In Review sums up our weekly comic book coverage while taking time for a new review or two before it’s all over. Did we miss your favorite books this week? Well. This is where you need to be.
Written by Paul Tobin.
Art by Arjuna Susini.
Colors by Gonzalo Duarte.
Letters by Saida Temofonte.
BD: The violence that opens Made Men is intense – bullets shred through jugulars and eye sockets; landmines transform bodies into minestrone left in the microwave too long – but it’s recounted clinically, from a detached perspective. It’s not that Jutte Shelley isn’t emoting for the Special Ops crew she just led into an ambush. It’s just that she’s a true tactician who’s learned to shelve her rage for the sake of survival. For now.
Paul Tobin’s use of analytic narration does well to lay down a common sense framework before introducing the absurdity. Sure, a story about a team of cops resurrected by the Frankenstein family’s magic would probably be fun, but Tobin establishes right off the bat that this isn’t just another horror rag out in time for Halloween. Arjuna Susini juxtaposes Tobin’s almost robotic account of the action by making the attack all too human. We look full-on into the face of each character moments before (or while) dark geysers of blood erupt from places they never should. Crows perform their eager tap dance on the wires above, in case you forgot that we’re nothing but meat.
But violence also reminds us that what’s rent asunder has the potential to be pieced back together again. Themes of persistence and survival run throughout. We learn that Dr. Frankenstein is less responsible for resurrecting his monster than was his behind-the-scenes sister, Cecilia, who received about as much credit for her efforts as Zelda Fitzgerald. Jutte holds the secrets to her grandmother’s longevity, but admits that, while the magic potion heals, it doesn’t make her smarter. That’s up to her. Jutte isn’t frivolous with her family’s gift – she treats each stab at life as a learning experience and a way to improve for next time.
If the last few scenes are a little jarring, perhaps that’s why. At first read, it seems a little out-of-character for this I’ll-do-better-next-time type to show up on the mob’s doorstep, but that’s survival, innit? When you’re pushed often enough, you find new ways to push back. Or perhaps she’s still got a few more lessons to learn. Either way, this is a first issue that begs for the rest of the story to follow, and soon.
8.5 out of 10
From earlier this week —
What books did YOU read this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.