I Spy A Monster

You often have a lot of time to think about things when on watch at the front lines. You try not to think of what hideaous monstrosity may lie just inside the edge of darkness and divert your attention elsewhere. What if the world fell away at that darkness? Was that a bat or a bird? Do my socks match today? What if a Frankenstein monster fought for the good guys or ghouls? He would probably become an agent for a secret government agency with a cool acronym and get to fight alongside other monsters and save the world. That’s what writer Jeff Lemire and artist Alberto Ponticelli envisioned for the comic book Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

Go get 'em Frank.
Go get ’em Frank.

This particular comic book was launched during the new 52 reboot of DC and you’re probably wondering what S.H.A.D.E. stands for; Super Human Advanced Defense Executive, a military operation that investigates, assesses and contains paranormal and superhuman activity. The agency is run by a little girl called Father Time and Frank has such brothers in arms as the fish creature Dr. Nina Mazursky, the mummy Khalis, winged vampire Velcoro, Frankenstein’s bride and a werewolf. I wouldn’t mind having that sort of team on my side down here for sure.

Is it weird? Yeah. Is it awesome?Yeah. is it canceled? Yeah.

The series lasted 16 issues and was promptly dumped. Never any love for the good monsters. I would be remiss in mentioning that writer Matt Kindt took the reigns of the series for the last half. He did a wonderful job but it didn’t have the same zing that Jeff gave it. The fabulous art was always by Alberto for the whole series and his line work was expressively frantic and yet elegant. If a hardcover collection is made of the series, hold one for me at the castle and grab one for yourself as well. If you attend the upcoming Planet Comicon in Kansas City, you can even get Matt to sign it for you.

I like to think Frankenstein is still out there, roaming the hillside and saving the world. What is a canceled series to a being that death itself cannot seem to claim.