AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Frankenstein comic books!!
This week we looked at Frankenstein’s many appearances in books and novels. Today, I want to take a look at Frankenstein’s appearances in comic books. Specifically, his cover appearances. Having Frankenstein’s monster make an appearance on a comic cover gave companies an instantly recognizable character that could lure in more readers. Plus, having your hero battle Frankenstein’s Monster was pretty BAD ASS.
Let’s take a look at some of the cooler comic covers featuring our friend Frankenstein (‘s monster).
These are the Classics Illustrated comic adaptations of Mary Shelley’s novel. The comic on the left is the original from 1941. The comic on the right is from ’47 or ’48. It’s a reprint of the comic on the left with a nice, new painted cover.
Artist Dick Briefer created his own version of the Frankenstein monster in the early 1940s. It ran in Prize Comics as a feature. Briefer’s Frankenstein character got his own humor comic in 1945. Issue #2 of this comic is on the left up there and Issue #10 is on the right. Briefer was known for his color and composition. His Frankenstein was very popular and ran well into the ’50s.
Here’s some nice artwork featuring Briefer’s Frankenstein fighting an alligator. Wait…he’s fighting an ALLIGATOR?! I wonder why. Oh yeah, probably because it’s f***ing AWESOME.
The comic on the left is Dell’s Frankenstein #1 from 1964. It was a retelling/re-imagining of the 1931 Universal movie. The comic on the right is Dell’s Frankenstein #2 from 1966. It was Dell’s re-invention of Frankenstein as a super hero. According to the story, the monster laid dormant under a pile of rubble after the destruction of Frankenstein’s castle. The monster was then revived a hundred years after the movie by a conveniently placed lightning strike (hello Friday the 13th Part VI). The monster then meets a dying millionaire who bequeaths the monster all his money (of course he does) and Frankenstein’s monster, now known as Frank Stone, spends his nights fighting crime (cause that’s what really wealthy people like to do). The new “super hero” Frank only lasted three more issues (What?!).
Marvel Comics is practically in LOVE with Frankenstein’s Monster. He would make appearances from the ’60s all the way through the new millennium. The first comic above, X-Men #40 (1968), had Frank show up and battle the X-Men. That particular Frankenstein turned out to be an alien sent by his people to be an ambassador to the people of Earth. An ambassador that happened to be 8 feet tall, had super strength and could shoot lasers out of his eyes. LASERS OUT OF HIS EYES! That’s like us sending a fire breathing dragon as our ambassador. WTF, aliens? The next comic, Iron Man #101, had Frank spend the early part of the ’70s kicking Tony Stark’s ass while wearing a furry Joe Namath vest. BAD ASS doesn’t even begin to describe that. The next comic is Tomb of Dracula #49. In this particular issue Drac would battle not only Frankenstein but Robin Hood, Huck Finn and D’Artagnan. Yeah, you might want to back up and read that again. Dracula fights Frankenstein, Robin Hood, Huck Finn and D’Artagnan (I LOVE THE ’70s)!! Yes, that actually happened. Finally, the last comic, The Monster of Frankenstein #1, is the first issue of Frank’s very own series (which reprinted Shelley’s novel).
In 2006 writer Grant Morrison re-imagined the Frankenstein monster for DC Comics as a crusader against evil. His weapons included a sword that belonged to the Archangel Michael which Frank used to slice and dice unholy demons, monsters and assorted other agents of evil. In issue 4, Frank would meet the re-imagined Bride, who was now a shadowy assassin (with 4 arms!) working for an agency named S.H.A.D.E. THIS is how you re-imagine characters. Why isn’t this a movie right now?!
Jingle Belle: Santa vs Frankenstein, Christmas 2008. I’m ashamed to say I never thought of this. I don’t know why because it’s so damn obvious. A nice, violent bridge into the holiday season (FYI, you’ll be seeing it again before the end of the year…HINT!).
So that concludes Frankenstein book week! Hope you enjoyed it. Next week, I take a look at the many and varied Frankenstein movies. So check back next week!
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.