Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Vol. 1 War of Monsters Breakdown and Review!

Welcome back to my DC Comics New 52 reading series. The last two weeks we spent looking at Animal Man and Swamp Thing as they separately fight the Rot that threatens to claim the world. At this point Frankenstein is not involved in this storyline but he will be when we hit issue #13-15, so for now I have kind of clumped him in with the Animal Man and Swamp Thing stuff. Frankenstein also has a crossover with OMAC in issue #5 here. For now, I am reviewing it here as just an issue but when I get to OMAC I will be sure to link them together. That should happen in Week 24 which will be in December. I have considered posting a schedule, so if you are interested in that, please let me know.

This Volume encompasses Issue #1-7, but I am also going to throw in Issue #0 for back story. Mostly in this Issue we see Victor Frankenstein killing people to harness their souls to them power his creation which we know as Frankenstein. This is a pretty standard origin for the monster Frankenstein, except he is powered by souls over electric. Because of the conscience imbedded in Frank at his origin he recognizes that Victor is wrong in killing and sees to end this. Frank extracts Vic’s wife as Vic makes new monsters seeing Frank as a failure. He then sets out with his new creations on a hunt for Frank.

 Frankenstein then wonders the world walking for a thousand miles until he comes to brazil, in the Amazon is where he truly discovers humanity. After helping the tribe defeat a darkness living in the region (I’m highly suspicious that this is linked to the Green Kingdom) SHADE, who had been monitoring Frank was going to step in at this point but there was a paperwork error (Typical) and Vic movies in with his monsters and killed the villagers. After Frank defeats the monsters and Vic, he is then approached by a woman named Father.

In Issue #1, we discover more about Frank and his current happenings. The opening of the issue is of a grandpa and grandson fishing at Bone Lake when they are attacked by monsters. Meanwhile, we are introduced to the Ant Farm which house the SHADE organization with the help of Ray Palmer, known for his work with Dwarf Star Alloy which allows for things to shrink. It is also explained that Father is an immortal that takes a different body every decade or so, this explains why Father is now a little girl.

Frankenstein, who is the best SHADE agent is brought into the Bone lake situation. Since the original attack of the grandpa and little boy, the town has been overrun with monsters and destroyed in a matter of a few hours. Included in the missing is Frank’s wife, Lady F. While Frank usually rides solo, he is given a team for this mission which is comprised mostly of Monsters created by Dr. Nina Mazursky. They include Nina herself as an Amphibian human, Warren Griffith a werewolf, Vincent Velcoro a vampiric crossbreed, and then Khalis, a mummy of unknown origin (He is also the healer of the party) They are called the creature commandos. They have 6 hours to get in, take out the threat, get Lady F and then get out or the town will be nuked.

They ae quickly bombarded with the monsters and eventually Khalis sense that there are survivors and discovers the hideout of children. In Issue #2, it is explained that this town has been sacrificing children to the lake in order to keep the monsters at bay. Ray Palmer discovers that there is a wormhole in the lake itself which is the origin of the monsters. Frank and Nina head underwater to check it out where they see the bones of the sacrificed children. This reminds Nina of when she created her first monsters who turned out to be evil instead of forces for good like Frank. The research though led her to create new monsters and she even transitioned herself.

Ray continues to scan the wormhole and concludes that it has been open for over 100 years with generations of children sacrificed. Frank and Nina encounter monsters at the portable and they assume that the monsters that have been coming through were scouts for an invasion of Earth since the Monster Planet is dying.

In Issue #3, the Creature Commandos travel through the wormhole to the monster planet to get Lady F. The Monster Planet turns out to be expertly named since it is covered in monsters. The Commandos are overpowered but they are unable to leave because the egg they rode through the hole was damaged and will take time for it to fix itself. Khalis is the real hero at this moment when he wipes out the spider continent with his staff of light. However, this drains him for the remainder of the fight. The spiders though were just the offspring of this big ass titan spider that rises out of the ground. Frank attacks it on his own and when the spider swallows Frank the others take off running. It is only a few moments later when Frank slices the spider from the inside out killing it.

While this is a cause for celebration, there are two other areas. The Ogre continent and the sea monsters, plus it all needs to be done before the planet reaches the wormhole in 3 hours. Griffith, Velcoro and Lady F head to the ogre continent while Nina and Frank head into the ocean with Khalis left with the egg to recover.

Back at the Ant Farm, there is another layer added when the psychics begin to relay a message from the planet itself that it is in urgent need of help. Turns out these monsters are killing the living planet. There is also the message that in southeast Asia there was a strange reading which we will see play out in Issue #6.

Lady F, Velcoro and Griffith struggle with taking out the ogres and a machine called the Toybox is sent in to help, which is this crazy tank like thing that eliminates the ogres and the ogre titan. Frank and Nina have an interesting time since the sea monsters think that Nina is their mom. They do find the sea monster titan and Frank quickly kills it. Now they have limited time to get to the egg to leave. Since the planet is free of the titans it is booking it out of there. Again, Khalis saves the day by picking them up and zipping them out of there.

In issue #5 we get to the OMAC storyline and like I mentioned there is more to this story in OMAC Volume 1 that I will link here when I get that far. Overall it isn’t necessary to understanding this issue but the events here do lead to what happens in Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE Issue #6 and #7.

Frank at the start of this issue is fighting mountain trolls in Tibet and gearing up for some time off when he is called in by Father. They meet with Maxwell Lord and Sargent Steel. If you are familiar with DC Characters then you know that Maxwell Lord should be a red flag. Both Lord and Steel are running a program with the government called Checkmate and are looking for help from SHADE to find and bring in a rogue meta, OMAC. Frank feels right away that there is something fishy with this mission and Father agrees but really wants Checkmate to owe him a favor. They also have not information on OMAC making this a particularly complicated assignment for Frank.

They air drop frank literally right on top of OMAC. We haven’t covered another about OMAC, but OMAC stands for One-Man Army Corp and he gets his powers by saying OMACTIVATE, powers that were given to him by Brother Eye. More on Brother Eye as we go through the next few issues. When Frank jumps out of the plane, he lands on OMAC who matches him in strength pretty much blow for blow. While they are fighting, the Ant Farm is again experiencing a security issue as some other conscience is entering the system. Father tells Frank to keep OMAC busy but OMAC seeks help from Brother giving him some upper hand over Frank.

With the help of Ray Palmer, they discover that it is brother eye infiltrating their system. Father lets it happen only so he can get information about the system. When Ray defeats brother eye in the system, OMAC then teleports out of the fight taking Franks arm with him.

Frank is taken to the med bay where Nina can grow him a new arm and thinks that she can help identify all these pieced together parts he is made of. When Father arrives, Frank lets him know that he doesn’t appreciate being used to get information on brother eye.

In Issue #6, Ray is learning more about the Ant Farm to right a report for his other job, the CIA. They part he is learning about now is the humanid program run by Nina, which is the androids on the farm. They are created there but only last 24 hours before they then melt down and are used for energy. Ray admits that he feels bad for them and they give him the creeps, but Nina assured him that they don’t feel anything, or do they? We see one of them become conscience and hide.

Meanwhile, Frank and the commandos are in action following that reading from issue #2 while they were on the Monster Planet. They are in Vietnam with Frank telling them about his time here during the Vietnam war with a fellow meta Dwayne Maillet, AKA Colonel Quantum. Quantum went mad with the weight of the war he disagreed with and left Frank in Vietnam and fell of the radar. His signature was monitored until he fell off the radar about 40 years ago. About two weeks ago (In issue #2) they picked him up again when he blew up several villages killing thousands.

While Frank and the Commandos are out in Vietnam, Lady F is at the Ant Farm looking for work as the Humanids begin their plan to take over the Ant Farm, they also talking about brother eye awakening them.

Back in Vietnam, Frank and the Commandos find Colonel Quantum’s location but Frank goes in alone. Quantum tells Frank that he has been trying to die here alone for 40 years and finally he had enough. He wanted to show “them” what they did to him. Frank though gets him settled down and even offers for him to come back to SHADE but Quantum just wants to die at this point. Frank then shoots him with an anti-nuclear bullet designed by Ray. At first it causes Quantum to grow very large, but the he shrinks down and eventually dies.

At the Ant Farm, the Humanids make their first move by releasing prisoners from the zoo. This has Lady F and Nina heading down to that part to fight Nina’s originally creations that we learned about in Issue #1. The recognize Nina as their mother although she has changed since their imprisonment. They are though, pretty upset with her for locking them up.

In the chaos it is Ray Palmer that notices the lack of Humanid hanging around alerting Father to what is really happening here. However, the humanid’s makes there stand against the agents and give them one hour to evacuate or die. Father is having trouble getting the point since the humanids all die within 24 hours but with their hive mind they would live on as long as new humanids are being produced. Father also does not negotiate with terrorist and calls for the agents to fight against the humanids.

As the Commandos arrive back at the Ant Farm, they plow through the humanids and then separate to divide and conquer. Khalis and Frank head to the zoo to help with the release prisoners, Velcoros shuts down the pit and then he and Griffith head to the armory for weapons. They then work on killing all the humanids. When Frank and Khalis arrive to help Lady F and Nina, Lady F has already taken care of the monsters. Ray and Father even get in on the action fighting the humanids with them and securing the hub.

When they believe all the enemies have been neutralized, Invisible fiend makes his presence known by lobbing off Khalis’s head. Instead of fixing it like Nina wants, Father orders them to the teleport room where one of the prisoner’s escapes, one that is so dangerous they didn’t even keep records of him. Turns out the zoo has been holding Frank and Lady F’s son as well.

Starting next week we are breaking away from the Red Kingdom , Green Kingdom and Monsters to begin our introductions of Justice Leaguers in Year One of New 52! Next week will be Green Arrow Vol 1. Midas Touch!

Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Who knew that Frankenstein’s monster was actually a legit hero? I really enjoyed reading this volume not only for the introduction of Frankenstein but for all of the monsters that get linked into the DC Universe under the direction of Father. If there was anything I could change it would be that things almost wrap up too quickly.

Where to Buy:

Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE Vol. 1 War of Monster:

Green Arrow Vol. 1: Midas Touch:

Read All of My DC NEW 52 Breakdowns!

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