Comics

Sewn Back Together Wrong: Exclusive Preview of "Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E." Vol. 2

Each time I see this particular issue of Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., I'm drawn back into Sting's strangest, coolest decade.

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW

Each time I see this particular issue of Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., I'm drawn back into Sting's strangest, coolest decade.

By 1993, Sting was already well established as independent from his former band, the Police. But it wasn't as productive a time as it could have been. A mere three studio albums and just one live album over the course of some eight years. …Nothing Like the Sun and the Soul Cages certainly made a statement about the kind of direction Sting could safely head into. And by 1993, with Ten Summoner's Tales there's a sense of unshackling, of Sting embracing a kind of storytelling grandeur in the four studio albums that will on the heels of each other until 2003.

There are thematic arcs and connections. And listening to Ten Summoner's Tales then Mercury Falling, Brand New Day then Sacred Love, one after the next certainly gives a sense of a much broader canvas to Sting's work. There's the seedy-sexy of songs like "Big Lie, Small World" (Brand New Day) and "La Belle Dame Sans Regret" (Mercury Falling) that simply crash against the anguish of the self-fulfilling anguish of tracks like Sacred Love's "Take me Dancing" and Ten Summoner's Tales' "Shape of my Heart."

That decade, 1993, filled with the purely evocative emotions that haunt me still, is the story of Sting stepping into a bigger, simpler world. Almost nearly as much as Frankenstein, already vexed by working with his Bride on an ongoing basis, needing to clean up his Father's other experiments. Experiments which include Frankenstein and Bride's son.

Please enjoy our exclusive look at Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. volume two.

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

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The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

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There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

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