Written by: Andy Perry
Illustrated by: Lyndon White
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Reanimated and reimagined
Reanimator Incorporated is a retelling of the HP Lovecraft story but set in the modern age.
Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘Herbert West – Reanimator’, Reanimator Incorporated: Chapter One is a complete reimagining of the original story. Taking inspiration from Lovecraft’s original text, and from Gordon’s 80s movie adaptation, this 72-page graphic novel modernises West’s machinations, whilst weaving literary mythology (Lovecraftian and beyond) into the tale. Think Reanimator meets From Beyond, with a splash of Dante’s Inferno, a dab of King’s Pet Sematary… And then some…
West and Cain
Herbert West and Cain are the lead scientists at Clapham Lee & Son Incorporated. They are working to reanimate corpses with an A. I operated a computer. West and Cain work side by side but are like two opposing forces. West is stubborn in his dedication to science. Whereas Cain’s religious beliefs begin to clash with not just his work ambitions but his respect and ability to work with West.
Tensions in the office and at home
However, it is not just at work that West is clashing against those around him. At home, his relationship with wife and son, Mike is also suffering. Mike, following in his father’s footsteps really feels the sting of rejection from his father, his requests for assistance with his thesis project go ignored and deterred. It’s not surprising then, to find that he accepts help from elsewhere, leading to a startling discovery.
Writer Andy Perry frames the age-old debate of science vs religion. If science can rebuild a human life, does that include the soul? Can science build such a thing as a soul? or is the very concept of a person’s soul something that comes from the unknown… or the beyond? (sorry I love philosophy and this takes me back). But where bones can be rebuilt and tissue can be fixed, how do you begin to repair something that may not exist outside the body or exists as something different for everyone?
Horror tales from the beyond
Talking of the unknown, this would not be a Lovecraft if it didn’t feature something unsettling and some horror from the unknown. This reimagining is more focused than the original with more direct horror themes. The acquiring of dead bodies to experiment on is bad enough. However, these reanimated bodies do not seem particularly friendly. Later in the volume, Mike West’s trip to the beyond is steeped in that Lovecraft horror.
Lyndon’s art style is as eye-catching and distinct as ever. His character models have a blend of realism and cartoony that really stands out. But where his art really jumps out is the panels in the beyond and the definitions of horror.
Perfect for fans of sci-fi and horror
This modern retelling really brings it up to date, but in a way, that’s accessible and doesn’t lose its original footings. You are not lost if you are unfamiliar with the original. However, fans of Lovecraft’s original stories will really enjoy this updated retelling. The end of Volume 1 will have you eagerly wanting more.
Head to Kickstarter to back Reanimator Incorporated and pick up your copy.
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