Characters Appearing: Baroness Victoria Von Frankenstein, Dr. Strange, Frankensurfer
Doctor Strange #37
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #37
The purpose of the flashbacks is a consolidation of the history of the Frankenstein family in the Marvel universe (and even real history, with some weird moving back and forth between Germany and Switzerland to account for the fact that there was a real Frankenstein family in Germany but Mary Shelley made them Swiss in her novel). You can see in the References what is being pulled together. The history surprisingly does not address Uncanny X-Men #40, which was written by Roy Thomas and which featured a Frankenstein Monster that at the time was presented as if it were the one from Mary Shelly's novel. The focus is more on the Frankenstein family itself, not the monsters that they've created.
With most of the issue being devoted to a history lesson, there isn't much room for actual story. I will note that the history lesson comes from the Book of Vishanti...
...which apparently is even aware of more recent events like the Nazi Frankenstein that fought the Invaders, and Iron Man's encounter with the original Monster.
I mean, it's magic, of course, but it's worth noting that the book has that attribute.
As for the actual story, Dr. Strange is attacked by what appears to be the Silver Surfer. When Strange turns out to be too powerful for him...
...the Surfer says that he needs to get back to Castle Frankenstein. That's when Strange does his research. Then Strange arrives at Castle Frankenstein and meets Victoria Frankenstein, the daughter of Ludwig, the guy that created the "Frankensurfer" (aka Borgo, Ludwig's servant).
Strange fights the Frankensurfer, noting that whatever created him doesn't count as magic.
Frankensurfer is attacking because he's wracked with pain. The fight ends when Frakensurfer accidentally kills one of the local villagers that previously tried to take care of him. The Frakensurfer kills himself by crashing into a mountain.
I'm still not really sure what caused the Frankensurfer to attack Dr. Strange in the first place, except that it helped get him involved in the plot. The story is very thin, and feels like a quick wrapping around a Tales of the Vishanti back-up, which is exactly what it is. Maybe the back-up was promoted to a main story for deadline reasons. It really feels like the only point of the story is to say, "Hey, remember the Frankensurfer? That was pretty weird, right?". And it was, but reading this only makes me ask, "So what?".
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Looking over X-Men 40, you stated that the Frankenstein there was more or less created by aliens (it was the Silver Age after all), thus why it probably wasn't included in this "grand Frankenstein theory".
Posted by: Ataru320 | January 20, 2016 11:53 AM
In The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #4 (April 1983), Victoria's father was named Boris Frankenstein, but here he is called Ludwig. I guess a published story takes precedence over a Handbook entry, regardless of which came first. Either way, I think Ludwig is better.
Posted by: Tony Lewis | September 17, 2016 1:29 AM
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