This review is for: Monster of Frankenstein Vol. 1 (Paperback)
Collects The Monster of Frankenstein 1-18, Giant-Sized Werewolf 2, Marvel Team-up 36-37, material from Monsters Unleashed 2, 4-10, and Legion of Monsters #1 (1975).
Ploog’s artwork is excellent on the Frankenstein issues. The overall collection has several highpoints and a few lowpoints. The retelling of Shelley’s work is mostly excellent, if a bit labored in the stage setting of the first issue. Ploog excels, especially with the water renderings. I read these issues years ago at my uncle’s house. In rereading for the first time since, I was surprised how dark the Comics Code allowed these stories to become. Both of the lead characters commit despicable acts, though we sympathize with the Monster’s plight.
John Buscema has some rough linework in both the comic and the magazine work, with the black and white work being cleaner, but a bit too simple when contrasted with Mayerik. A few of Buscema’s panels look like they were enlarged from smaller images.
The Monsters Unleashed work compares favorably to concurrent work on Warren magazines from the 70s. Val Mayerik’s artwork was fantastic on the 4-color issues and the black and white magazines. Doug Moench’s writing was very good on the magazine issues. The two-parter with Winters was a bit bizarre in that the woman was knocked out for so long, even as the Monster battles the “Freaks”, tigers, and the police, but I enjoyed the stories nonetheless. The “spy” story where assassins are on a train with Frankie and a woman was different. I enjoyed this one as well, though the plot sounds very odd as I’m writing it out.
From Monster of Frankenstein trade paperback. Art by Val Mayerik, 1974 from Monsters Unleashed magazine.
The later comic stories go off the deep end. The robot story is especially weird as the robot changes character from one issue to the next.
Though this wasn’t the best from Marvel’s horror in the Bronze Age, I’m ecstatic that Marvel has collected this material. Now if only we could get Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows collected…