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26 of 52: Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E #1

by on September 19, 2011

The best thing about DC’s new 52 series, is that it has given me a chance to experience new comic book creators. If I am buying trades, then I’m going to go with the authors I already know (Rucka, Brubaker, Bendis, Johns, Morrison, Willingham, Millar, David) because the $15-$20 investment is too high. Sure a writer might get enough buzz to have me give it a try (Kirkman, Fraction, Hickman, Wood), but for the most part, I’m not going to try new writers too often.

So after reading Animal Man, I decided to give Jeff Lemire‘s Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #1 a try, even though I know nothing about it.

Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire | Artist: Alberto Ponticelli

Frankenstein is a novel that was written in the 19th century by Mary Shelley. Everyone knows the basic story, and if not you should have paid more attention in school. Regardless, the Frankenstein Monster is a public domain character, like Dracula and Little Red Riding Hood. So, both Marvel and DC (and many other publishers) have taken their turn including the Frankenstein monster (usually just Frankenstein) in the pages of comic books.

Frankenstein’s first appearance (according to Wikipedia) was in Detective Comics #135, which was published in 1948, and apparently was included in Grant Morrison’s series: 7 Soldiers. And DC figures that every toy Grant picks up must be gold, so therefore we have this book.

Synopsis

  • A boy and his grandfather are fishing, when they are attacked by green monsters.
  • Frankenstein enters the ANT Farm, a mobile miniaturized city floating above New York City.
  • Frankenstein meets with Father Time who introduces him to a new team of Creature Commandos who he is to command at Bone Lake Washington
  • Frankenstein is looking for his wife, who Father Time says is in the battle.
  • The Commandos do battle, and find something strange inside a church.

Analysis

I totally didn’t expect to enjoy this book, and it turns out that it really is quite enjoyable. Not much in terms of character development, but it seemed like a modern Doom Patrol story combined with the recent Hellboy tales. I was able to pick up on all of the major plot points, and I followed it just fine. The art was well done, a little too much in the green palettes for my preference, but it was fine. No motivation for the enemy monsters, which is a bother, but for one issue I didn’t mind it.

Not much intrigue with the actual new plot that would pull me into purchasing Issue #2, but the story moved nicely enough that I enjoyed myself. If it was free, I would be in for the whole run. As of now, I would read issue #2, but it’s not a character (as of yet) that would make me in for the long haul. But I would be willing to be convinced.

Questions

  1. The monsters have a very similar look (very Lovecraftian) to those in Animal Man, is this a coincidence or are they related?
  2. The creatures in the Creature Commandos seem to know Frankenstein or at least his legend. How so?

Rating

Quite nice. I’m not hooked, but certainly pulled in and intrigued. I would recommend this book to anyone who can handle horror stories (not that it’s that horror filled).

B+ (Pleasantly Surprised)

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From → Comic Books, DCnU

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