When we last saw Frankenstein and his Creature Commandos they were pummeling an entire planet’s worth of vicious monsters. The “War of the Monsters” storyline comes to a close in next week’s Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #4, and Paste has an exclusive preview. Where can writer Jeff Lemire take the Creature Commandos after they literally beat up a world in issue #3?
“Issue #4 wraps up all the plotlines from the first three issues and sets the next arc in motion,” Lemire explains. “It’s a big fun science-fiction adventure with lots of monsters killing other monsters. At the end it sets up Frank’s team, the Creature Commandos, with S.H.A.D.E., and we go with that for a few issues.”
You can expect some surprises in Frankenstein next spring, though. “There’s a real shift right around issue #7 where everything set up in the first six issues suddenly twists in on itself,” says Lemire. “There’s a big change of tone and direction coming at that point.
“You can’t sustain an on-going with monster battles,” he adds. “Monsters beating up monsters every month is really fun for like five or six issues, but it gets stale and formulaic to keep repeating it. The fun and interesting thing to do is to shift the tone around that time, halfway through the first year. We’ll still have the action and the adventure and the sci-fi concepts, but I’m going to focus a lot more on Frankenstein himself, his past, where he came from and how he became how he is. Build him up as a character and give some depth to him. I want to expand who this guy is and the role he plays in this larger New DC Universe. So I really needed to shift the tone in somewhat of a more serious direction. The readers need to know who Frank was and why he’s important and why they should care about him before going back to the big action stuff again.”
Lemire plans to fully exploit Frankenstein’s longevity. This is a guy who’s been around since the early 1800s, after all. “It’d be a shame not to explore the character’s past,” Lemire says. “So in issue #6 we see him in 1969 in Vietnam, and in #7 and 8 we see him in the 1930s and World War II. There all kinds of really fun things you can do, while at the same time adding depth to the character and making him a little more serious and three-dimensional. He’s a monster made up of the body parts of many different people, and the idea of who they different people were that make him up has never been explored, who they are, what each gave to him and his personality.”
Before that happens Frankenstein has to finish the job up on Monster Planet. Here are the first four pages from Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., available at comic book stores and digitally through the DC Comics app on Wednesday December 14.