AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: Dell’s Frankenstein
Here we are, kids. The final week of October and the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest 2015. It sure has been a lot of fun this year, I hope you guys are enjoying this year’s celebration as much as I have been.
Anyway, this final week, I’m parting with my month long theme of the invisible man. Each day I’ll be revisiting a previous theme from an earlier AWESOME-tober-fest. I’ll use this week to review a few things that were supposed to be included in previous years, but for some reason, got cut from the final lineup. And since I’ve always wanted to do them, here’s my chance.
Today, I’m revisiting AWESOME-tober-fest 2009. That year was the first year I did “daily updates” and is the starting point for what AWESOME-tober-fest is today. That year, I covered Frankenstein’s Monster. On October 23, I talked about a bunch of different Frankenstein comics. Amongst that list was a blurb on an obscure 1960s Dell comic called Frankenstein #2.
The Dell monster comics should be familiar to anyone who reads AWESOME-tober-fest. But, to refresh your memory, in the 60s, Dell Comics acquired the Universal Monster license and did comic adaptations of several of the movies. Then, Dell decided to reboot three of the monsters into super hero comics. I reviewed the Dell Werewolf and Dell Dracula comics in their respective AWESOME-tober-fest reviews. But I never got around to a full review of the Dell Frankenstein comic. Today is that day.
As I mentioned, Dell rebooted Frankenstein’s Monster into a super hero comic in 1966 starting with issue #2 (issue #1 was an adaptation of the Universal movie). Like the other monster super heroes, it would only last three issues. Here are issues #3 and #4.
Similar to Dracula, this one is pretty zany. But in a fun way. I mean, look at Frankenstein up there. His head is GREEN but his arms are inexplicably flesh colored. What?
Here’s Frank’s origin from the first issue. It’s 100 years after the Universal movie. Frankenstein’s Monster is buried beneath the ruins of the mad doctor’s castle. A random lightning strike revives the monster who awakens with partial amnesia.
Frank realizes that he’s stronger and smarter than 50 men, so he decides to use his abilities to fight crime. And somehow in the last 100 years Frank’s extremities have gone back to their pinkish color while his face remains ghastly green. Also, I guess Dr Frankenstein knew that his creature would eventually fight crime so he left a unitard and some masks for the monster to cover up his monstrous face.
And Frank makes sure to use those masks ALL THE TIME. That’s some Mission: Impossible level mask technology right there.
Of course the very first person Frank saves is a wealthy old guy with a heart problem who happens to die of natural causes on the next page and bequeath him an entire fortune.
And here we get a “training montage” where Frank tests and strengthens his abilities. We got a very similar page in the Dell Dracula comic.
This is Frank’s first villain, Mr Freek. And he’s recurring! He’s in issue #4 as well! Anyway, he’s a sadistic super intelligent little person that rides on the back of a giant hairy beast. Wait…this sounds…familiar. Does he live in Bartertown?
Frank defeats Mr Freek, but then just…let’s him go. I’m not sure that’s how super hero-ing works, Frank.
Frankenstein, in his secret identity of millionaire Frank Stone, meets this lady with the awkward name of Thrope (why not THORPE?!). She believes that the mysterious playboy Frank Stone is also the super hero Frankenstein. She believes it so much that she fakes falling off a building in front of Frank Stone hoping he’ll save her. Sound familiar? It should because Lois Lane has been pulling stunts like this since the 40s.
The cover to issue #3 (see above) shows Frankenstein fighting another “evil” Frankenstein. Awesome, yes? Actually, spoiler alert, that never happens. A super computer that someone built and left in a “secret warehouse” somewhere (that’s more explanation than the story actually gives) starts hypnotizing people, including Frankenstein and making them commit crimes. The only way to stop the computer is to shut down the power grid to the city. And that’s as simple as pulling one switch. LIGHTS. OUT.
Unfortunately, the Frankenstein comics didn’t intersect with the one panel cameo Frank did in Dell Dracula. As seen below in Dell Dracula #4, Frank shows up in one panel and it’s mentioned that a guy took over the city with a noise machine.
Well, this story happened in Dell Frankenstein #4 and it’s called Silence is Golden. However, reading that story, you don’t see Dracula or Fleeta show up at all. It’s sort of a one-sided cameo, sadly.
Well, that’s the awesome zaniness of the Dell Frankenstein comic. I’m glad I finally got to cover it and finish out this Dell Monster comic trilogy. Again, if you want to see the reviews of the other two comics check out Dracula and Werewolf by clicking on the below covers.
To finish us out here’s a house Dell ad for the monster super hero comics.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.