Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #16
Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Alberto Ponticelli
Inks by Wayne Faucher
Review written by Steve Seigh
Classic movie monsters, in this day and age, have no idea what’s happening to them. It seems as if with each new film franchise or fad that comes along that vampires, werewolves, and things that go bump in the night are losing their edge. Remember when vampires were the most feared monsters of the night? They would seduce you, drain you of your life and leave you for dead. Today, vampires sparkle. They drink from blood storage packets, and wear designer brand skinny jeans. All the while, Hot Topic is taking a mighty bite, robbing them of their heritage and scare factor. Werewolves are “adorkable”, no one even remembers The Mummy, and the biggest, baddest monster of them all, Frankenstein, hasn’t seen the torchlight of a pitchfork clad mob in what feels like ages.
So when I had learned that DC was making Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. part of their DC New 52 lineup, I was overjoyed! Not only was this to be a series revolving around the classic monsters I grew up with, doing the impossible, but between the writing talents of Jeff Lemire and, more recently, Matt Kindt, this was a series very much at the top of my reading list each and every month. Though, like all good things that much come to an end, this, sadly, is a review of the all too early end of Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #16 is a real shame. And by this I mean that it’s a shame that it will be the last for an undetermined amount of time. I’m not really sure that many comic readers are aware of just how awesome the Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. run has been. It’s got everything you could want in a big action comic including over the top personalities, hordes of undead being slain by the dozens, conflicts of which their consequences would have a lasting effect on the world as we know it, an overwhelming emphasis on teamwork, and the importance of fighting for a better tomorrow. It saddens me that more people did not buy this book. Though, I do understand that more than likely the title was simply lost among the many other “big name titles” of DC’s lineup. Though, that still doesn’t make it any less of a shame that this adventure has to come to an end.
Final issues are tricky. Especially when the hammer comes down so quickly and unexpectedly that you have little or no time to tie up loose ends. In that respect, I wish that we’d had at least a few more issues to bring about closure to certain events that were happening within Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E.’s bloody pages, but I suppose that can’t be helped, now. Because you see, while Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. certainly does end, issue #16 feels more like a new beginning than a fond farewell. But rather than coming off as just the start of a new arc (only to go unfinished), issue #16 feels more like a showcasing to the core values of the book, as well as a salute to what could have been.
Even though we no longer get to view the adventures of Frankenstein and his team, issue #16 leaves you with an amped up sense of purpose for the Creature Commandos. It will definitely leave you angered by the reality that the series is ending, but it manages to send you on your way knowing that Frankenstein and his team are still out there fighting the good fight. It’s my hope that these characters will find their way into other titles within the DC universe * cough * Frankenstein would make a great addition to Justice League Dark * cough cough *
With that, and so much more that I’d love to say about this wonderful series, I will leave you to enjoy the end of a great series, or to discover it for the first time and work your way back. It’s been horrifying. I salute you, Frankenstein, and the rest of your Creature Commandos on a job well done.
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. has been a wonderful series and issue #16 does a fine job of honoring the series characters as the book comes to a close. Some readers might feel cheated by not having a few of their burning questions answered, but this is what happens when not enough people make the purchasing efforts of a book well worth the scratch. In my opinion, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #16 is a mighty fine read and given the time that was allowed to bring this epic series to a close, is a damn good end.
* This review was written while listening to Monocyte by the band Saltilo.