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What i learned about Marvel's Frankenstein

As part of my comics timeline project, i am going through Essential The Monster of Frankenstein. The first 11 issues of the series take place before Marvel Comics #1, so i'm not including them in my project, but there are a few tidbits i wanted to share here. For brevity, and because i know it bothers people and i am a jerk, i will be referring to the Monster as Frankenstein.

Long post, so the majority is below the fold.

Frankenstein got his coat from a bear that he killed and ate
It's true that Frankenstein wore a furry coat in some of the later Universal pictures, but i consider the coat that he wears to be one of the main things that distinguishes the look of Marvel's Frankenstein from other interpretations. But i never knew why he wore such a coat. Now i do:

He modified the bearskin coat after living and observing humans for a while.

Frankenstein lost his voice after a vampire bit into his larynx
The Frankenstein of the novel could talk, but the version in the films couldn't (despite the efforts of Bela Lugosi), so eventually that gets changed as well. The damage lasts until the final issues of his series, when it's repaired by a modern Dr. (Veronica) Frankenstein.

Frankenstein was initially an unrepentant murderer
In Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein is an intelligent creature, and he starts off that way in Marvel's series as well. Eventually, after coming to the modern age, his brain is damaged to bring him more in line with the mindless creature that was popularized with the Universal films. But before that, we see that the intelligent Frankenstein is also a murderer. And not just in pursuit of his vengeance on Dr. Frankenstein.

It's been a while since i read the book, but i thought that the creature only killed in retaliation for the acts of Dr. Frankenstein (e.g. refusing to create a Bride for him). In this, he kills some poor random lady to create parts for his Bride.

It seems to be something Marvel regrets later. They later show the Monster regretting his acts, and then of course the brain damage makes it moot.

Frankenstein fought lots of awesome stuff
Including, but not limited to:

1. Arctic Cavemen...

...who he later hangs out with for a while.

2. A female werewolf (that he briefly fell in love with):

3. Lots of weird little misshapen men (a repeat theme in his series):

4. A giant soul-sucking spider:

5. Dracula (!):

And, if we go by the same rules used in Uncanny X-Men #159, Frankenstein must be a Christian.

6. A hunchback:

7. And a giant hunchback:

The initial 11 issues by Gary Friedrich, and especially the first 6 with art by Mike Ploog, are surprisingly good and a lot of fun. But the stories taking place in the past weren't selling well (because it's the Marvel universe that people are interested in!), so the series was moved to the present so that Frankenstein could meet Werewolf By Night and Spider-Man. But either because of the change in creative teams, or because the Marvel monster fad had reached its limits, or because it was already too late for the series, it was canceled with issue #18.

By fnord12 | January 22, 2015, 10:11 AM | Comics


You might know this already, but this series is being collected as a TPB set to be available on Amazon this Tues. (Oct. 20). It will include Frankenstein (1973-1975 Marvel) #1-18, Giant Size Werewolf (1974) #2 and Marvel Team-Up (1972-1985 1st Series) #36-37 - plus material from Monsters Unleashed (1973-1975) #2 and 4-10, and Legion of Monsters (1975) #1. Cover by John Romita.

Thanks, Instantiation. Sounds like everything i already have from the Essentials, but good news for people that want to get this stuff in color (except for Monsters Unleashed, which was in b&w to begin with).

For things that originally appeared in color, I find I have to have the color. But that's just me. I'll probably get around to picking this up at some point largely for the sake of nostalgia (you might remember that #4 was the first comic I ever read) and because I'm a fan of Ploog and J. Buscema. I'm trying to get most of my old favorites in collected form with vibrant color, both to expand what I had in terms of individual issues (sometimes spotty) and for handy reference in a form that looks better than ever.

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey : chronocomic

Poor guy, but it's worth remembering that before the brain damage that was reported in issue #2 of this series, he was an intelligent but murderous monster. The fact that he's gotten dumbed down makes him a lot more sympathetic, but it wasn't that long ago that he was killing women for parts.    Read More: Monsters Unleashed #4-10 (Frankenstein)