Frankenstein (DC Comics)
DC's Frankenstein. Art from Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #2 by Doug Mahnke.
|First appearance||Detective Comics #135 (May, 1948)|
|Created by||Edmond Hamilton
Based upon the character by Mary Shelley
|Team affiliations||Seven Soldiers
Justice League Dark
Frankenstein is a DC Comics character who is based on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's original Frankenstein's monster, but is physically more reminiscent of the classic Universal representation of the character. He was created in 1948 by Edmond Hamilton and Bob Kane in a Batman Detective Comics story.
A later reworking was developed by Len Wein as the Spawn of Frankenstein concept. The monster fell under the thrall of Count Dracula. They often battled against Superman, Batman, or the Phantom Stranger.
Frankenstein's latest revamping was created by Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnke in 2005 and is similar to Doc Frankenstein. He is one of the Seven Soldiers, and bears a resemblance to the creature as portrayed by Boris Karloff in the 1931 film directed by James Whale.
Fictional character biography
Frankenstein is an undead body composed of parts from several corpses stitched together, created by Victor Frankenstein some time in the 19th century. He was assumed dead in Europe when he sank beneath the ice, but he survived and swam to America, having 'many adventures'. He was revived by Victor Adam, and vowed vengeance for restoring him to life, successfully killing him, but accidentally bringing about a coma for Doctor Thirteen's wife, Maria, in the process. In particular, Frankenstein became a frequent enemy of Melmoth, who he referred to as the Ringmaster of the Circus of Maggots. In a climactic battle in the year 1870, Frankenstein faced Melmoth and stopped him from destroying a town with maggot-hominids. The fight took place on a moving train, which was derailed during the conflict, and Frankenstein's fate was unknown.
In 2005, a high school student, called 'Uglyhead' by all the other children, acquires telepathic abilities through contact with the Sheeda, which he uses to torment his peers. At the senior prom, the now-docile students are killed by the Sheeda maggot-hominids. This causes the return of Frankenstein, who had survived in a state of hibernation underneath the town, who makes short work of the maggots and the boy, before burning down the school to cover the bodies. Afterwards, Frankenstein tracks down Melmoth and makes his way to Mars through an "Erdel Gate" (a reference to Dr. Saul Erdel who first transported the Martian Manhunter to Earth). On Mars, the Monster confronts Melmoth once again. Frankenstein frees the children Melmoth has enslaved to work in his gold mines, and feeds Melmoth to the flesh-eating, praying mantis-like horses of Mars. Before he is consumed, Melmoth reveals that it was not lightning that brought the monster to life, but several drops of his own immortal blood, sold to Frankenstein's creator, that still course through Frankenstein's veins.
In the third issue of the series, Frankenstein meets an old acquaintance greatly resembling the "Bride" in James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein, albeit with two extra arms grafted onto her by the Red Swami, a supervillain who brainwashed her into thinking she was the reincarnation of an assassin goddess. She is now an agent of the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive (S.H.A.D.E.), a secret government agency, which temporarily drafts Frankenstein as well. Of their previous relationship, she says, "It's nothing personal, but you were never my type."
In the final issue, he stows away on a time-ship which brings him to the Sheeda realm in the distant future. There, he destroys their world-destroying fleet, kills the Sheeda-Queen's time-yacht's steersman, and hijacks her ship to the present. Once in the present, though, Klarion gains control of Frankenstein using a witch-brand and forces him to take the castle back to the future.
He appears briefly in Infinite Crisis #7, which takes place one week after the Frankenstein miniseries. He is seen fighting against General Wade Eiling. Frankenstein is armed with a three-foot-long sword, which he claims once belonged to the Archangel Michael, and a large antique pistol, which he calls his 'steam-gun'.
A character called Young Frankenstein has appeared in Teen Titans as a member of the team during the "Lost Year" covered by 52. Young Frankenstein is apparently killed by Black Adam during WWIII, but actually survives as shown in the Infinite Halloween Special and Countdown to Mystery #2.
Frankenstein and S.H.A.D.E appear in Final Crisis #3, also written by Grant Morrison. He again appears two issues later, leading a squad of superheroes against Darkseid's forces, who are led by Kalibak. He is also seen in the final issue fighting in humanity's last stand before Superman gets the Miracle Machine working. Frankenstein is immune to Darkseid's weapon, the Anti-Life Equation, because he is already dead.
Frankenstein confronts Solomon Grundy in the latter's current limited series, and again during the Blackest Night. Grundy, having been transformed into a Black Lantern, rips out Frankenstein's heart, but, due to having an extra one in his chest, Frankenstein survives this attack.
As part of The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), a new ongoing series Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. was released, based on the Seven Soldiers version of Frankenstein. It was initially written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Alberto Ponticelli. Matt Kindt and Alberto Ponticelli replaced them with issue 10 and stayed with the book until it was cancelled with issue 16.  The character later joins the Justice League Dark.
Powers and abilities
Frankenstein is undead, composed of assorted body parts taken from dozens of different sources.
Because of his undead nature, Frankenstein can replace damaged or missing limbs with grafts taken from individuals of similar build and adapt it to his unique physiology. 
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Frankenstein was awakened during World War II and attacks Nazi soldiers to save Lt. Matthew Shrieve. Later, Frankenstein is invited by Project M to join the Creature Commandos. Leading a raid with the Creature Commandos, Frankenstein personally killed Adolf Hitler. After the end of World War II, however, Project M was deemed obsolete by Robert Crane's government services. Frankenstein refuses to accept, but is subdued and put into stasis by the G.I. Robot. Later, Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos revive and escape from their prison and discover they have been awakened over 65 years later. Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos travel to Gotham City, where Dr. Mazursky might live and believe him to be alive. The Creature Commandos found Dr. Mazursky's cabin, however they discover that Dr. Mazursky has moved to Romania, when Creature Commandos are ultimately ambushed by Matthew Shrieve's granddaughter, Miranda and a group of soldiers. Frankenstein attacks the soldiers, but he was sprung by the G.I. Robot to be subdued again. Creature Commandos saved Frankenstein by tearing the G.I. Robot apart. During the attacks, Creature Commandos are saved by Frankenstein's wife, who is eventually alive. Bride explains to her husband that she is working as an agent of S.H.A.D.E.. Later, Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos then travel to Romainia with Miranda, who was being manipulated by General Sam Lane, who is revealed to be the one truly responsible for the deaths of Miranda's family. They arrive in Romania, where they found a small village populated by monsters. The village is then attacked by a giant G.I. Robot. After they destroy the G.I. Robot, Frankenstein, Bride and Miranda depart from the Creature Commandos and participate in the Atlantean/Amazon war.
In other media
- Frankenstein appears in The World's Greatest Super Friends episode "The Super Friends Meet Frankenstein." He is one of the creations of Dr. Frankenstein (this one being a descendant of Victor Frankenstein) who uses his monsters to terrorize a local village enough for the Super Friends to be called in to investigate. When Batman and Robin attack Frankenstein's monster, Dr. Frankenstein ordered his monster to lure Batman and Robin to Frankenstein's Castle in order to trap them. When Batman and Robin short circuit Frankenstein's monster, Dr. Frankenstein arrives and traps them while thanking them for giving him an idea for his next creation more powerful than the original one.
- Frankenstein appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
- Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Vol. 1: War of the Monsters (Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1-7)
- Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Vol. 2: Secrets of the Dead (Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #0, #8-16)
- The Phantom Stranger (vol. 2) 23-24
- Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #3 (April 2006)
- Superman/Batman #66 (November 2009)
- Superman/Batman #67 (December 2009)
- "The Dark- September DC solicitations". The Source. DC Comics.
- Renaud, Jeffrey (June 8, 2011). "Lemire Discovers the Dark Sides of "Animal Man" & "Frankenstein"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Truitt, Brian (September 12, 2011). "It's alive! Frankenstein electrifies DC Comics' 'New 52'". USA Today. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- "DC Cancels "Blue Beetle," Three Others in January". Comic Book Resources. October 15, 2012.
- Justice League Dark #13
- Frankenstein: Agents of S.H.A.D.E. #5
- Frankenstein: Agents of S.H.A.D.E. #0
- Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #4
- Frankenstein: Agents of S.H.A.D.E. #5
- Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1 (June 2011)
- Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #2 (July 2011)
- Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3 (August 2011)
- Frankenstein at Comic Vine
- Spawn of Frankenstein at the DCU Guide
- Frankenstein at the DCU Guide Wiki
- Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein annotations at Barbelith
- Frankenstein (Seven Soldiers) at the Comic Book DB