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Victor LaValle's Destroyer

(Victor LaValle's Destroyer #1-6)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  769 ratings  ·  162 reviews
The legacy of Frankenstein’s monster collides with the sociopolitical tensions of the present-day United States.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein beseeched his creator for love and companionship, but in 2017, the monster has long discarded any notions of peace or inclusion. He has become the Destroyer, his only goal to eliminate the scourge of humanity from the planet. In this g
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by BOOM! Studios (first published February 28th 2018)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  769 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
This was decent but could have been great if it had been given more issues to flesh out the story more. A lot of the elements in the synopsis didn't come across in the story at all. Dietrich Smith's art was detailed and clean. I quite liked it. LaValle did do a good job of taking a classic story and merging it with modern social issues.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A six-issue series that should have been at least twelve. DESTROYER asks what might happen if Dr. Frankenstein really had successfully created his monster and a brilliant scientist attempts to copy him in the 21st century. Worthy of note are the nice and tight illustration and mention of current social issues in the dialogue. Without spoiling it, I love how the bride of Frankenstein was payed homage to, as well! The problem here, like with most short comics, is that there just wasn’t quite enoug ...more
The Artisan Geek
Really enjoyed this comic. The synopsis however wasn't reflective of the story imo. Also I question the motivation of Frankenstein's monster, but other than - great read!

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Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This Frankenstein-inspired story has solid art and a ton of great ideas and characters. Like my previous LaValle read, Ballad of Black Tom, I felt that it suffered by dint of its short length, which simply did not allow enough space for the developments that were needed. However, it is only the first book in the series so I'm hopeful that these developments will occur. I did enjoy this (I use the star ratings in the goodreads-designated sense, meaning 3 = I liked it) and look forward to both con ...more
I would have ultimately loved for this series to be a little bit longer but it's very good and the ending gives a good amount of closure. This story is yet another great example of what LaValle is so good at - taking classic SFF elements and merging them with current social issues and the art is absolutely gorgeous. I hope he does more comics in the future.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.0 Stars
This was a fantastic scifi horror graphic novel that managed to retell the story of Frankenstein in a way that actually felt fresh. I loved seeing the ownvoices representation with well developed black characters at the center of the story. 
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A female scientist creates her own version of Frankenstein's monster when she brings her son, Akai, back from the dead.

This graphic novel packs a punch. The art is dark and downright ugly in some places, but it's a good fit for the grimness of the story. I felt for Akai, who is a peaceful, hopeful soul in a scary world (it's our own world, pretty much). Frankenstein's Monster has become a Destroyer, determined to end all humanity. And Dr. Baker ends up pretty much agreeing with it.

I liked Victor
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel left me with bad dreams and a feeling of disquiet. I think that's what a good horror story ought to do.

This is a Frankenstein retelling only this time the "mad scientist" is a black woman and the creature she's brought back to life is her son. The story kicks off with the original Frankenstein's monster coming into contact with humans after isolating itself away in the frozen South for a very long time. This contact goes badly, as it always does, and the monster starts heading
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
This is genuinely SUCH a great concept... but I'm not ashamed to admit I had to put it down because it was honestly far too depressing for me right now. I would definitely pick this back up some time when I'm feeling a bit more stoic, but I only read the first half or so and cried twice (over painful "real world" issues) and I'm just not here for the Feels™ at this level right now.
Jessica Woodbury
I don't read a lot of books that update old plots or give them a modern retelling. DESTROYER is not actually either of these things, instead it takes place in a world where FRANKENSTEIN is fact instead of fiction, where people wonder where the monster is hiding and if anyone will ever duplicate the feat of its creation.

What LaValle does so well is take the worlds of horror, fantasy, and science-fiction and apply them to the very real fears of our present day. The modern Frankenstein in this sto
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is an interesting take on the Frankenstein story. In a world in which Frankenstein's monster is a historical reality, a black mother uses super science to revive her son who was killed by a police officer. The story could have been stronger if it focused more on the emotional connection between the mother and son, and less on the agency pursuing immortality that the mother used to work for. All of the agency stuff was quite boring. The story picks up though when it focuses on social comment ...more
nadia (( disquieting thing ))
a BRILLIANT adaptation of the classic, modernized and focused on race-based violence and grief. super short but intricately layered. there is... so much in here that i will be thinking about a lot.

4.5/5 because i found it a bit too choppy. otherwise the timelines merge almost seamlessly. my only real complaint is that i wish there was more of this, damn!
The Library Ladies
(originally reviewed at )

Victor LaValle is an author whom I greatly enjoy, as I don’t think I’ve read one thing by him that underwhelmed me. I really liked his mental institution horror story “The Devil In Silver”, I found “The Ballad of Black Tom” to be a fun deconstruction of a racist Lovecraft tale, and I REALLY liked “The Changeling” and how it made a modern day dark fairy tale out of New York City. So when my friend Tami told me that he had written a graphic novel th
Michael Hicks
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, bought
Lots of great ideas marred by a serious lack of development and depth, and a much too-rushed ending in an already too quick book. Not sure if I’m going to do a larger review of this one or not...I’d been looking forward to reading Destroyer and was pretty let down. Bummer.
Kaethe Douglas
LaValle never disappoints. Here he combines Shelley's Frankenstein with a contemporary story that is all too true in its horror. Smith and Lafuente have done a vivid job of the art. Micaela Dawn's cover are freaking gorgeous. Now I can't wait to get my hands on the rest.

Library copy
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm absolutely astounded by how much LaValle packs into this oneshot volume. It's excellent and the third of LaValle's work that I have really enjoyed.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a really interesting take on the Frankenstein story. It focuses in on the nature of monstrousness and uses the old familiar story to say some interesting things on themes of race and family. The art is striking, full of reds and sweeping brush strokes, and fits well with the story being told. A really solid addition to the Frankenstein mythos and standalone graphic novel in its own right.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Expressions that contain total disregard for value in life make me emote.

"Look at the backflips people will do to find the humanity in that monster.
But when they saw a boy like mine, they had no love to spare." -107/160
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Society is the monster.
This is the first book I finished for the #POCathon which started today (12th August), for anyone interested in finding out more I've linked a couple of the hosts announcement videos below

Anyway- As far as this book goes, I thought it was pretty good, but the way it was told was quite confusing and I don't think I really got a lot of it- there were some things that I guess I assumed would be explained more as the boo
B. P. Rinehart
I picked this book up because I was very interested in its concept: basically Frankenstein meets Black Lives Matter. I think--this concept had potential for me, but it fell-flat because it felt didactic and something meant to educate someone who has little grounding in being or knowing African-American life. I guess this book would be more informative to someone who does not read a lot of non-fiction, but this felt like an awkward fusing and I felt like this could have been handled differently. ...more
Nicholas Kaufmann
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In just six issues, LaValle tells a captivating, unexpectedly emotional, self-contained story that mixes literature, science fiction, and the kind of family tragedy that's all too real. (Also, you get to see Frankenstein's monster battle a huge, heavily armed robot, which is pretty cool!) Occasionally, I wished the story were longer, even if only by one issue, because there are so many great plot threads that I would have loved to see explored further, including the monster's own experiences and ...more
Douglass Gaking
This is the best comic/graphic novel that I have read in quite awhile. While the length is a bit short, and it could have been more fully developed, the story is very well-constructed, offers layers of content to think about, and is peppered with all sorts of wonderful easter eggs. The allusions to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein–and even to Percy Shelley–show deference to the original. This is really an extension of the original story. Shelley's novel opened the door to all these ethical discussion ...more
Victor LaValle once again proves that he's one of the best out there when it comes to bringing social justice metaphors into horror. DESTROYER is an update to the FRANKENSTEIN story, but it incorporates relevant and emotional themes such as racism, misogyny, police brutality, and a mother's love to the original tale. The little references to other aspects of the original novel and Mary Shelley's life were also really fun to spot. Another great new take on the classic science fiction tome during ...more
David Goldman
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic
This graphic novel is an excellent short series. The graphic novel does the impossible, gives us a fresh and relevant take on the Frankenstein myth. In an age where the machines we created feel like they are taking their revenge, this series makes make you feel pulled between the creator and created (It's hard to sympathize with the mother, but you do). , those needing revenge and the revenged, hope and naiveté (the young monster). The novel wraps these standard Frankenstein themes with those of ...more
Matt Hickey
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never read LaValle's fiction before but this book blew me away. It's a sequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and a meditation on the epidemic of police violence against blacks in America. The characters are lovingly rendered and the plot movements thought provoking. He clearly has a lot of affection for Shelley's original story and achieves a continuation that matches the weight and style of her writing. In some ways I was reminded of Alan Moore's early "League of Extraordinary Gentleman" s ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A powerful modern twist on Frankenstein. I really liked the artwork—especially the depictions of the monster and Akai.
Akai was innocent and sweet, quite the opposite of the old monster and an interesting contrast to his mother. It was surprising that their attitudes after what happened to him were so different, even though they’d only had each other through the years.
In his comments at the end of the book, the author wrote, “As I write this, I wonder what seems more fantastical: that a woman c
Sarah Baker
Holy. Shit. That was intense and beautiful and heartbreaking and brilliant LaValle never fails to make his point and drive it home hard, but wrapped in such packaging that you welcome it. A definite recommendation to anyone!
A timely retelling of Frankenstein that touches upon systemic racism/oppression and the varying ways the toll of it takes on individuals. It's heavy-handed, but I appreciated Victor LaValle's candor, as well as the hope that Akai represents. I also love the cover art for all the issues.
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Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle's DESTROYER.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers' Award, a United

Other books in the series

Victor LaValle's Destroyer (6 books)
  • Destroyer #1
  • Destroyer #2
  • Destroyer #3
  • Destroyer #4
  • Victor LaValle's Destroyer #5
  • Victor LaValle's Destroyer #6

Articles featuring this book

Victor LaValle knows his way around a scary tale or two. He's the author of the horror novels The Ballad of Black Tom an...
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