This summer when Flashpoint was taking shape and my copy of Previews showed there would be a Frankenstein tie-in, I was skeptical at best. Once I saw that book would be penned by Jeff Lemire, I began to warm to the idea of a Frankenstein book. By the end of issue #1 is was hooked!
When the New 52 was announced and Frankenstein was included AND to be written by Jeff Lemire, I knew this would be a must add to my pull-list at my local comic book shop.
Now there are some differences from the Flashpoint version right off the bat. Frankenstein is already an agent of S.H.A.D.E. (Super Human Advanced Defense Executive), is one of the big ones. The other big change is the art work. Alberto Ponticelli and his team have created quite a look for a horror comic.
This story kicks off in the middle of “Any Town USA”, with a grandfather and his grandson fishing when their dog freaks out and runs off into the woods. A few panels later the dog is skinned and monsters are attacking. Awesome!
Back at S.H.A.D.E. HQ… better known as the Ant Farm, Frankenstein is called back from his vacation on Mars from Father Time. It is here we see a familiar face, Dr. Ray Palmer (but you probably know him better as The Atom). Palmer is the architect of the Ant Farm and has incorporated teleportation and his shrinking technology to have the epitome of hidden bases (very cool twist Mr. Lemire, very cool indeed).
Now, this first issue wasn’t all set up and explanation (that was there, but it was needed for sure). It had it’s fair share of action in the second half of the book. The most important addition to the end of the book… The Creature Commandos! Before I forget, Father Time… he’s a little girl. I mean literally a little girl this time around, and every panel with Frankenstein and the little girl Father Time were all great.
Of all of the New 52 #1’s I’ve read so far, I’m going out on a limb to say Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. has been my favorite so far. Now to be fair, I haven’t read all of Week 2’s #1 issues, yet, but I have a feeling I’ll be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable read.
Let’s sum it up. Great writing? Check. Appropriately creepy artwork for a horror book? Check. Flesh stripping monsters getting ready to have their monster butts handed to them by the Creature Commandos in the next issue? Check. Frankenstein will not be a book for everyone (much like Swamp Thing), but when it comes to a much needed creative infusion of something different into the DC Universe, it is a welcome addition.
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Alberto Ponticelli
Colors by Jose Villarrubia
Cover by J.G. Joens & Hi-Fi