When DC Comics announced Frankenstein would be a part of the New 52, I don’t think anyone expected it to be one of their best books. Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli have created something special with Frankenstein, and the other agents of S.H.A.D.E. In this #2 issue they pick up investigating a set of monstrous problems in a small town. Here the creatures find the source of the problem which only leads to bigger problem; Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos uncover an age-old conspiracy at the heart of Bone Lake.
Frankenstein is very impressive in this new book; he carries himself like a field general and the way he orders the Creatures around is fair, yet decisive. He is filled with purpose and pride, and he carries the mantle of leader easily on his green and piecemeal shoulders.
In the four page flashback sequence featuring Nina Mazursky we get to see more of her story, her history with S.H.A.D.E. and how she became a “monster”. The pages look beautiful and haunting, a great contrast to the dark and disfigured look and feel to the rest of the book. While, Nina’s origin feels familiar at times, it serves well to introduce her to the mainstream comics.
The underwater part of this story can only be described as, crazytown. The way Ponticelli crafts the underwater battle is nothing short of epic. Topping off this awesome adventure Lemire takes advantage of the opportunity to steer the story into darker areas in true horror fashion. The way the creative team shows sacrifices is brutal, using single panels showing such acts is horrific and twisted. For all the monsters and fanged creatures, the humans come off as the ones with the highest proclivity for evil, with years of deceit and deception.
If there is one thing to be disappointed about in the book so far, it is the under-utilization of Ray Palmer. I know it is only two issues in, but I’d love to see more from the Atom. That being said, there isn’t much to complain about with this series.
Frankenstein was my favorite of Flashpoint, and Lemire continues to impress and shatter expectations with each turn of the page in this new on-going series. If you aren’t getting this book, then you should. While you are at it check out the 3-part Flashpoint mini-series from this summer too. When it comes to this series though, I especially enjoyed the last couple of pages in this month’s issue, it appears to be leading Frankenstein to a reunion with his “lovely” wife. That should be a monsterous good time! Make sure to come back for issue #3 “It’s Mad MAD Planet!” next month.
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #2
Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Alberto Ponticelli
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Cover: J.G. Jones