FROM THE DARKEST RECESSES OF CREATIVITY COMES: BRIDE OF PROMETHEON / by Anthony Rosen

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Bride of Prometheon has a lot of problems and the barest hint of a story that might have been a lot of fun, if most of its components had been done differently, that is. The book is poorly thought out, poorly constructed, poorly paced, and poorly drawn. Ostensibly,  the comic is a retelling of the classic Frankenstein tale, now set in the 30's during the Great Depression. While the book seems to be shooting for a tone that evokes B-movies, its components are so distractedly assembled that any fun to be had is lost in the resultant confusing mess. The whole work feels shoddy and incomplete.

The book opens in a theater, the lights dimming as the screen lights up with the title cards for our 'show', introducing our framing device for the story that's to follow. And that's a great idea for a frame, with the B-movie feel the book is shooting for it makes sense to open in a theater with previews for other cheesy horror films leading into the main story. If executed correctly, that should be all it takes to get the reader in the right mindset. However, instead of getting me pumped for some B-movie silliness it surprised me with a shoddy title card that looked like someone opened up a word document and pasted some text into the panel. I mean, look at this:

It's slapdash looking and sets the the completely wrong feel for the book. At the very least some filtering or fading could have been applied to that text so that it doesn't look so distractingly out of place. I do believe that, buried under all this mess, there is a good concept at the core of this book. The researched jargon, though highlighted awkwardly, combined with this setting could theoretically have produced something fun, but every aspect of the book seems so amateurish and sloppily put together that I can't help but deem the work a misfire. Most of the problems have to do with the creative team's mishandling of comic book fundamentals: Dialogue flow that's interrupted by poorly placed word balloons, murky art that hides key moments in the story under layers of difficult to interpret visuals, clunky narrative captions that simply bullet point what's happening, and awkward or uninspired panel layout that confuddles the eye.

Take a look at this page to the left here, a panel full of potential that's been pulled down by a multitude of flaws. This panel is supposed to be a dramatically shocking moment, but it's got so many defects that it's hard to understand what's going on. Let's talk some positives though.  I'd say the Prometheon monster looks appropriately B-movie-esque, and fundamentally this panel has been placed for maximum effect. This splash takes places right after we've seen the horrified reactions of those who've just seen the monster for the first time. So yeah, in theory this page is a good idea, but just look at the poor thing. The use of a photograph as a background (filtered through what I'd guess is Photoshop)  is perfectly acceptable when done well. However, here the filtering has made the background a complete mess, blurring any sort of detail so that you can't even make out the figure behind Prometheon. There's also the issue of how shoddily Prometheon has been drawn. His arms seem to be punching directly through that lady's arm and legs, and his right knee seems to somehow have taken on a level of transparency which allows you to see right through it to the background. I can make a lot of accommodations for artistic choices in simple art, but I can't find much saving grace here.

There's an argument to be made that this comic is doing its best to send up B-movies in a fun way, but honestly, that type of send-up has already been done a bunch of times by more skilled artists in better ways. You might say that the opening and closing credits frame the story as a fun, old-school romp, or that the stilted dialogue and poor plotting are simple reflections of the clunky format of the B-movie itself. But the truth is that the various parts of this comic, whether they be intentionally clunky and awkward or not, are so distracting and poorly planned that it robs the book of any redemptive value.

TL;DR - Bride of Prometheon is a mess, plain and simple.

Bride of Prometheon is written by Jim Murray and self-published. Check out his site here.