Comic Vine Review

Comments

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1 - War of the Monsters, Part 1: Monster Town, USA Review

3

Frankenstein and the Creature Commandoes have their work cut out for them as they look to liberate a town from demon hordes - however, is this issue a case of "too much, too fast?"

The Good

Jeff Lemire is a writer who can craft a good story, but for reasons below, he fails to hit this mark. The book isn't without its good points, as it captures the character of Frankenstein as he's been experienced in the past. There's also a little bit of black humour involved between Frank and Father Time, which I can appreciate.

I'm happy The Atom (or, well, Ray Palmer, who has developed shrinking tech) has a place in the New 52. Hopefully he'll be a good fit as a "normal" person in this book.

The Bad

Everything in this issue just seems a bit... rushed. We're introduced to Frankenstein, Father Time, the Atom, four other members of the Creature Commandoes, Frank's wife, the town they're going to be saving and the whole base/S.H.A.D.E scenario one after another. This spitfire delivery really makes it hard to work details about the characters in.

I mean, all I know of the Creature Commandoes is that there's a cynical vampire, boy scout werewolf, female scientist Abe Sapien and a mummy. All of them have a high respect for Frank, and can fight flesh-ripping demons hand-to-hand. Yawn.

I really don't like Father Time's "new body", a pre-pubescent girl. It really stinks of a copycat Hit-Girl, or some other attempt to be edgy by putting grown-up words in a child's mouth..

The Verdict

The main problem I had with the new Frankenstein is that this issue could have been spread over two or three. There just seemed to be an urgency to skip all the "hokey introduction stuff" and get the team out the door and into the demon-fighting wilds. It reeks of an action movie where the director doesn't take the plot seriously and just wants to move onto blowing things up.

This is a problem, because I've only read a little Frankenstein (as part of a foray into Flashpoint tie-ins that I regret fully) and this issue did nothing to make me want to pick up issue #2. I barely know enough about the characters to care, and I'm not really inclined to learn any more.

---

Like what I have to say and want to read more? Want to yell at me about comics, the Internet and whatever else? Follow me on my Twitter or my personal Tumblr!

21 Comments
Edited by Fantasgasmic

I haven't picked up this book so I hope someone can assuage my fears, or at least confirm my suspicions. This is Hellboy, isn't it. It's Hellboy and the BPRD. I mean, I know it isn't really Hellboy, but, it's Hellboy, isn't it?

That is why I have a bad feeling about this book. I loved Hellboy, I loved BPRD, so I really don't want to see DC doing Hellboy. It's like when Wildstorm decided to make World's Finest... yeah, I went there.

I can't help but look at the cover and think of Lyrawith Red She-Hulk's, hair (and 2 extra arms) and Hit-Girl/Finesse are in this book.

Posted by doordoor123

Yeah I agree. I would have liked to see what I saw in the mini series. A kind of slow introduction with characters slowly getting introduced. It feels like everything was thrown together and were told to go.

Posted by cincyducksfan35

I actually enjoyed this issue a lot, I liked the fact that they got off to a mission quickly and didnt feel the need to take things slow. I felt that this would all be normal to Frankenstein so thats why there wasnt so much intro, it wasnt an origin story

Posted by StarKiller809

I disagree with this review on so many levels. I think Frankenstein was amazing and people should still try this book.

Posted by AngeTheDude

This was a pretty cool book but it does feel derivative at times.

Posted by eternale0

I enjoyed the story but I would kill for the art from the cover to be the art in the book.

Posted by longbowhunter

These all sound like the problems I had with JLI last week. I thought the book was ok. Probably wont get issue #2 though.

Posted by JonesDeini

@StarKiller809 said:

I disagree with this review on so many levels. I think Frankenstein was amazing and people should still try this book.

I'm buying mine tonight

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

I feel like Father Time as a little girl was just for the sake of comedy, not shock value. They didn't really explore any potential disturbing implications, just left Frankenstein weirded out for a minute, then left it. I just found it hilarious, imagining her speaking with the voice of Mandy from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, just without the hateful and cynical tone.

Posted by iaconpoint

I kinda like how it got right to the action. Hopefully we'll see some character development as the series progresses but the constant set-up-as-first-issues gets a bit old so this was a nice change of pace.

Posted by fenixREVOLUTION

I unfortunately agree with this, but wanted to like it due to Lemire writing it. To the person who mentioned Hellboy, I got that feeling. It wasn't bad necessarily, but it did nothing to grab me or make me care about what was going on. Sadly, will not be back next week.

Posted by cbenware3

I was really looking forward to this book, but as soon as i opened it, I COULD NOT buy it! The art is so bad and a jumbled mess, I couldnt make anything out. My 8 yr. old son could have done better. Really surprised DC would put an artist this bad on a not so well known book.

Posted by CombatSpoon86

This book isn't for everyone. I can see why not people like this. I for one enjoyed the book except for the computer voice. And for people not liking the art, Ponticelli is a great artist. Pick up Dysart/Ponticelli run of Unknown Soldier and you'll appreciate it more. I know I did. There are times where you just have to get away from superhero books and try out something different and this is one of those time.

Posted by GalacticPunt

I hesitantly bought this book because Animal Man was so good, and ended up loving it. It is a relentless torrent of over-the-top bonkers sci-fi, and that's a good thing.

I think it's silly to fault a first issue for doing too much. In an era of "decompression" that stretches rudimentary stories over too many issues, something this dense is a treat. We hit the ground at 500 miles an hour, and get more pulpy fun thrown at us than the human brain can process. I got my $3 worth, and will be back next time. I hadn't even heard of Jeff Lemire until previews of the reboot started, now I need to seek out everything he's done!

Posted by TheMadMonkey

This is DC's attempt at imitating Hellboy...and, yes, the "Hit-Girl" and "female Abe Sapien" comparisons were dead-on the mark. My 35+ years as a comic book reader/collector/historian acknowledge that the Creature Commandos came first, but they were a much different lot than what we have here. Also, when Frank says "Father", not only does it make me think of Hellboy...it makes me think of Sean "Seanbaby" Reiley's take on Darkseid and Kalibak ("FATHER!!! I can't get the straw into my juice box!!!").

Overall, I do agree this wasn't a terrible issue, but it's going to have to go a little further to make me forget that somewhere in this world Mike Mignola is shaking his head.

Posted by SeanNOLA

Can't get over the fact that he's carrying a Gatling Gun on the cover, but in order to fire it, he's gonna have to put down that sword. I mean, unless he plans on using it to pull the trigger.

Posted by blackkitty

I agree completely. I bought this issue very much wanting to like it and didn't. I think that's exactly why, everything was rushed there was no real set-up.

Posted by TheMadMonkey

@eternale0: The cover was by J.G. Jones. If Final Crisis was any indication of his ability to work on a schedule, there's your reason why he's not the interior artist. ;-)

Posted by JonesDeini

@The Mighty Monarch said:

I feel like Father Time as a little girl was just for the sake of comedy, not shock value. They didn't really explore any potential disturbing implications, just left Frankenstein weirded out for a minute, then left it. I just found it hilarious, imagining her speaking with the voice of Mandy from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, just without the hateful and cynical tone.

Yeah Father Time as a little 8 year old Asian schoolgirl is genius! I actually read him with Samuel Jackson's voice still...that makes me smile, folk. I really, really don't get the Hitgirl comparison, but maybe that's because I didn't read Kick Ass, just saw the movie. Take away the domino mask and I see no resemblance.

Posted by Greatgrowl

I really wanted to like this comic as well. I read it, and thought to myself ... no. Not getting the next one. 2/5 Stars.

Posted by FalcomAdol

It's rushed because it's practically recapping the flashpoint series.

People who read that and wanted more would like to get to it, not spend another three months setting the stage.