The Island Of Dr Moreau
Ted Adams & Gabriel Rodríguez (Adaptation) • Gabriel Rodríguez (Artist/Cover Artist) • IDW Publishing
Reviewed By A.S. MacKenzie
- Print Length: 36 pages
- Publisher: IDW (August 2019)
I first read H. G. Wells story, The Island of Dr Moreau, when I was in third grade. The concept scared me so much I had nightmares for days about half-pig and half-panther people coming to get me and take me back to their island. Needless to say, I ranked it as a personal favorite. Even at that age, I knew if a story stayed that well with me it was something special.
When the movie starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer came out in 1996, I was incredibly anxious to see it. Here, finally, was a movie based on a favorite book and filled with world-class actors. I was stoked and showed up opening night. And if you’ve seen the movie, I’m sorry, and I can only say the tired and cliched line so loud but, “The book WAS better.” Not that it was difficult, as aside from some great make-up effects the movie was so spectacularly beyond the pale bad, it put people off of the story for way too long.
But now! Now, new life is breathed back into this beloved story of shipwrecks, lost souls, mad doctors, and even more maddening creations. Through the exceptional artwork of Gabriel Rodríguez, who most are well aware of from his work with Joe Hill on Locke & Key, we are taken directly back to the beginning of the story in this month’s release from IDW comics.
The story starts with the brief understanding that Ellie Prendick has just escaped the harrowing journey of her ship burning and fighting her way into a lifeboat. Finding her on the shore of the island, Dr Montgomery nurses her back to health and in his not-so-charming-more-like-creepy manner, he does a poor job of putting her at ease when she awakens. Through a couple of twists, she finds herself face-to-face with the island’s inhabitants: people who have been operated on by Dr Moreau who are now human/animal hybrids. The first issue ends with her meeting a large enclave of them going over their own “laws” and meeting Dr Moreau himself.
While this story was originally categorized as science fiction due to the heavy amount of mad science work happening, in my mind, that is exactly why it should instead be classified firmly in the horror genre. Mad scientist creates monsters from people. I don’t know how much more horror you can get than that. Add into it the heavy psychological terror aspect and you have what could easily have been written by King or Barker. No, this is a horror story through and through. And it only gets more intense from here.
Gabriel Rodríguez’s artwork is a perfect match for the tone of the story. The color palette makes it feel at once a modern horror story and simultaneously gives it the historical slant it needs to remind us that this was written in 1896. While Gabriel did as much justice to the original as possible, his and Ted Adam’s (Diablo House) adaptation brings some welcome changes. Namely in that the original was a narration by Edward, not Ellie, and the panels progress in story fashion with interspersed narration from Ellie instead of a direct retelling of events as in the original. All in all, welcome and exciting changes that take nothing from the story but only add to it.
The next issue releases October 2019 and I for one will be waiting for to see what the next issue brings in this intriguing new update to what I’m certain will be everyone’s new favorite classic horror story.
The Island Of Dr Moreau
IDW founder and Diablo House writer/co-creator Ted Adamsjoins Locke & Key artist/co-creator Gabriel Rodríguez to present an all-new adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic science fiction novel. As relevant today as when Wells wrote it in 1896, The Island of Doctor Moreau addresses the question all scientists should ask themselves: “Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?”
This bold adaptation gives us a new protagonist in the form of Ellen Prendick, whose point of view shines a new light upon the horrific events on the cursed island, providing unique insights into one of the world’s favorite stories.
You can buy The Island Of Dr Moreau from IDW Publishing
A. S. MacKenzie
A. S. MacKenzie is an Atlanta based author who loves all things books, movies, games, and comics. He lives with his wife, spoiled dogs, and an unhealthy obsession with building things. He can be found building worlds in books, building plastic models, or building with wood. Check out his website at asmackenzie.com for ways to join his newsletter and read free stories. Also, he’s been known to frequent Twitter (@a_s_mackenzie) to say something vaguely interesting and Instagram (a.s.mackenzie) for food, travel, and random pics.
Ice Where There Was None
A block of ice in a Florida park. A victim posed inside.
The first officers on the scene struggle to maintain the melting evidence.
Then it happens again.
…and again….and again…
While the officers wonder why they are always the first on scene, their department begins to wonder the same.
You can claim a copy of Ice Where There Was None via A.S. MacKenzie’s library
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