Review | Frankenstein #1

DC had me at "Frankstein, Agent of…" Fill in the blank with anything—the KGB, the IRS, Ron Artest—and you know you're in for the sort of daffy, ripsnorting thrills that only the medium of comic books can pull off.

Jeff Lemire again steals the show in week two of the reboot with a title to balance the tone of his other work. If the meta Animal Man (and his Cormac McCarthy–meets–Tim Burton epic, Sweet Tooth) delves into suburban nightmares, then Frankenstein is made of far fluffier horror. Here Ol' Bolt Neck, with ray-gun and broadsword in hand, is bossed around by Father Time, who is reincarnated in the body of Japanese schoolgirl. S.H.A.D.E. is headquartered in a miniaturized city hidden inside a floating metal orb. A winged vampire sports what looks like the University of Maryland's new football unis. There's just a load of madcap brainstorming to chew on with each page, from the recyclable androids to a mummy who brains baddies with a caduceus. Alberto Ponticelli animates it all with detailed, hectic inks. Call it an obvious blend of Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mike Mignola's B.P.R.D. and classic Universal Studios monsters, but it's a ghoul-decapitating blast.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)