Saturday, July 14, 2012
Comic Review: Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E.: Volume 1
When reading through a bunch of the first issues of The New 52, most left me fairly cold. I’m still surprised at the ones I enjoyed, like Superboy of all things. But one of the ones I enjoyed the most was Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. The art is absolutely hideous, which kind of works, and the whole vibe is like an extended version of some Creepy or Erie horror story from the 60s or 70s. A bunch of full-on science freaks, including the original, Frankenstein’s Monster, form a super team? OK.
The whole business of S.H.A.D.E.’s headquarters being in a miniature city, inside a mobile floating sphere, that you can get to using a combination of teleporting and shrinking technology…?! Awesome. A mysterious (I guess) leader that looks like Hit Girl from Kick-Ass, but is actually immortal (maybe) and regenerates host bodies ever decade (Time Lord?). A gung-ho werewolf and a sniveling vampire. A depressed scientist who turned herself into a fish-lady. Frank’s sexy, four armed, estranged wife. Oh, yeah. And a mummy. It almost feels like some 80s Saturday morning cartoon version of B.P.R.D.
There’s a four issue story arc to start things off, showing the team assembled, giving a bit of history, and having them work together. It builds to some serious flippin’ crazy stuff. Fighting giant monsters to save a planet, hyper-cubes full of armies, all kinds of stuff. Then they bring in O.M.A.C. What’s his deal? I don’t know. Big, blue, mohawk. Sure. Why not? But that single issue looks like it planted a seed that is going to grow at least into the next major story arc, which you see by the end of the volume. The O.M.A.C. encounter leads to another problem, which leads to another revealed in the final page of this volume.
Overall, I had a blast reading this totally nuts bit of fluff. It’s silly, goofy, wild, and fun. Part of me would like to see it get a different artist, or for the artist or maybe a different colorist. I’m not sure. The art is kind of gross, and not because of the content. Though the last three issues worth look better than the first four. Is the artist getting better? Did he have more time? Was there a style shift due to the content of the story? Don’t look at me. But do look at this comic if you want some goofy, weird entertainment.
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Volume 1: War of the Monsters
Author: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Alberto Ponticelli
Publisher: DC Comics