the_mighty_monarch's Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #7 - The Siege of S.H.A.D.E. City, Part Two review


Sigh. Look, it's better than the Green Lantern banner because I get the point of this one. It's not hyping a movie that didn't need extra hype, and its for a good cause. But it doesn't change the fact that the "We Can Be Heroes" banner is a huge detriment to the covers its on. At least the logo is done in the same color, and the rest of the cover is chock full of orange, so it compliments the blue well. And the way the lights around Frank's head are coming down out of the banner is kind of neat. Although, while I get what the cover is going for, the whole propaganda poster thing, the text is in three different fonts at the bottom, making it a mess to look at. And Frankenstein's expression is off. He looks apathetic. Like "Eh, I guess I can shoot something. Whatever. Not important."

And that... actually kind of sums up what I'm going to be getting to in this review.

This issue is incredibly rushed. The last issue I felt this arc was coming too soon, but the pacing was good. This arc was just... over so quickly. And nothing was ever a threat to anyone. Sure the Humanids took complete control of S.H.A.D.E. City and they released the old experiments from 'The Zoo' but most of the dialogue consisted of people telling other people not to worry because any person in peril 'Can handled themselves.' Father Time and Ray Palmer didn't need rescuing because they were badasses. Lady Frankenstein didn't need rescuing because she was a badass. Nina didn't need rescuing because Lady Frankenstein was a badass. Velcoro and Griffith DID get some nice character developments and found and used weapons from the armory that every gamer would drool over but they encountered barely any trouble getting there and even less reaching their goal. Most of the Zoo escapees were killed offscreen before they could raise too much interesting plot and/or character developments with Nina (Who looked... terrible this issue. Her face was always in the weirdest and simplest expression.

The last Zoo escapee to be killed IS a huge catalyst for an upcoming plotline, and it causes Frankenstein to make one of the most badass speeches as he just chokes it to death. Plus S.H.A.D.E. City being controlled by Humanids caused another epic moment where he just kicks a huge metal door open bellowing "I HATE TECHNOLOGY." That's right. WITH A PERIOD. Nonchalant bellowing.

But that's all a lot of this issue comes down to. It reminds me why I love Frankenstein so much as a character, but nobody was in any real danger in this issue. There wasn't much tension because every single character could tear through the Humanids like tissue paper. It's a real shame because there were SO many good ideas in here. The Humanids had no fear of death because of their hive mind mentality. "Oh, I die in 24 hours? My experiences will live on through the hive mind." The hook for the next issue is bewilderingly interesting. Ray Palmer shows shades of The Atom. THERE'S A GUN THAT SHOOTS BUZZSAWS, AND SOMETHING CALLED "THE EXPLODING SWORD." But it's so rushed.

And there was one other problem. The art didn't look nearly as good, and I'm fairly certain its the new inker Walden Wong. He just doesn't seem to have a good grasp of how to ink Ponticelli's artwork. His art worked so well before because of all the scraggly lines. Nothing was straight or simple, it was all creepy and spindly. Here the lines seem much straighter, and it highlights the flaws a lot more. Losing that wobbly quality is a HUGE hinderance to the artwork and everything ends up looking awkward or too simple.

In Conclusion: 3/5

It's really such a shame. This series started out SO strongly, it was fun, everything was huge, and the artwork was hated by some, but I loved it because it was so 'weird.' Now the artwork is still weird, but bad weird. It just doesn't look great without the 'messy' inks. And that kills a lot of the mood. Frankenstien's dialogue still holds my attention amazingly, but the ball was dropped on a lot of excellent concepts. I'm really hoping this series can get its act back together.

3 Comments Refresh
Posted by Adnan

I'm not too fond of the 'cleaner' art either. Action scenes are way less dynamic and kinetic, and this title is always atleat 70% action scenes, so...
Despite the above-average rating, you sound like you enjoyed this issue though.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@Adnan: I enjoyed Frankenstein in this issue. I enjoyed so many of the concepts, but not the execution as much. I'm getting a little bummed out. This series hasn't hit 'bad,' but after the epic first few issues, the last few have been feeling very mediocre, and it's just a shame. I desperately want to enjoy this series more than I currently am. And there's still a definite part of me that just gets ecstatic every time Frankenstein utters a line or Warren and Velcoro find buzzsaw guns and exploding swords; but these past three issues have felt a little emptier, and the 'professional' in me can't ignore these things as a whole.

If you want to se series where I REALLY enjoy it despite giving issues mostly 3 or 3.5; Grifter. My opinion of it is always high when I think about the series, but most issues individually get 3 or 3.5. It's weird and I'm not even completely sure I could explain the difference there myself.

Posted by JonesDeini

I'm still enjoying the story (well aside from the O.M.A.C. crossover that really disappointed me) My main draw back for this issue was that the art was waaaaaay to stepped on by the inker. Ponticelli's distinctive style is something that makes this title work. I don't know whether editorial made this call, but hopefully Wong will leave well enough alone in the future or will just leave the title. Honestly, his presence is not needed.

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