During my look at the Grant Morrison penned Seven Soldier's series, I covered his reboot of Frankenstein As that miniseries progressed, Frankenstein was found and employed by S.H.A.D.E which stands for "Super Human Advanced Defence Executive". His job to seek out places where science and monsters had run amok and deal with them, he gained an wi-fi internet connection to the base and was able to have information downloaded into his brain. His ex-wife, known only as "The Bride" then and more commonly referred to as "Lady Frankenstein" here, also worked for S.H.A.D.E. She had two extra arms grafted onto her and was an excellent kicker of asses. Basically this whole set-up has been used to kick off this Frankenstein based series which launched as one of the first of DC's The New 52, it's 2011 universal reboot. The only difference being that in this version of the DCU Frankie had been working for S.H.A.D.E. for many decades rather than having just recently been revived and returned to action. This time the writer is Jeff Lemire and he does a good job springboarding off Morrisons ideas, keeping Frankenstein as the same kind of lugubrious but intelligent philosopher while really going crazy with S.H.A.D.E. Alberto Ponticelli's art deserves some praise as well. It's has a nice, thick lined weight to it set off by a limited palatte that emphasises green keeping things looking a little sickly and monsterous.
The story begins with an old man and his grandchild fishing by a lake, their dog goes off to investigate something and when they look for it they find it dead and skinned. Then several monsters appear causing the old man to stutter "It's..it's finally happening.." We are then introduced to S.H.A.D.E and it's new base called "The Ant Farm". It's a miniturised city inside a three inch sized sphere that hovers miles above the Earth. S.H.A.D.E have been helped in this regard by Ray "The Atom" Palmer, who is a representative of the government and there to keep an eye on things.
|Frankenstein meets with Ray and Father Time in his new body.|
S.H.A.D.E are keeping the monsters contained to the town right now, but Frankenstein will need help and is assigned a new field team. Doctor Nina Muzarsky, an amphibian/human hybrid. Warren Griffith, a wolfman. Vincent Velcoro, a vampire and Khalis a mysterious mummy who doesn't hardly speak. Frankenstein is appalled at this meddling with humanity.
Vincent: "Relax old man. We volunteered for this. What's the matter? Don't like the competition for monster of the year?"
Warren: "Watch your mouth Velcoro. This man deserves your respect. Agent FRankenstein it's an honour if I may say sir. You're the reason I joined S.H.A.D.E."
Nina: "Yes. You and your life inspired all of my work."
|Nina, Griffith, Velcoro and Khalis.|
Questioning the woman with the children, Frankenstein discovers the children were being used as "bartering chips in some ancient pact". Frankie knocks the old woman out and calls for evacuation of the children. Ray Palmer contacts them and says the invasion is coming from a "temporal rift" under the lake. The Creature COmmandos set up a "firewall" round the lake to keep the monsters contained, then Frankenstein and Nina, who can both breathe underwater, go down to investigate the lake bottom.
|Nothing suspicious about this at all...|
Frankenstein: " Innocents sacrificed by the terrified people of this town in some insane attempt to keep whatever lurks down there at bay."
The fight off three monsters down there with Frankenstein approving of how quickly Nina adapts to the situation. Nina says she needs a brain, so Frankenstein rips one out of the defeated monsters. Nina hooks it up to some equipment and reads it. The three monsters were scouts looking for suitable planets to conquer. The locals misread their intentions and started sacrificing children to them which amused the creatures.
|The temporal rift under the lake.|
Lady Frankenstein: "Don't talk, just shoot!"
Velcoro: "Shoot?! There ain't enough bullets in the world!"
Lady Frankenstein: "Charming new friends you have dear!"
Frankenstein contacts Father Time saying it's a suicide mission, but The Egg needs to repair itself before they can leave so for the moment they are stuck there. Things look grim, but then Khalis concentrates and a huge flash of energy bursts out of him, killing not only the monsters in the immediate area but all over the continent as well. There is still another continent with monsters on it and an ocean too, but for now they are safe.
|Outnumbered on the moster planet.|
There is a similar "Titan" on the second continent and under the ocean and the team have three hours to deal with them before the planet reaches the temporal rift under the lake on Earth and all the creatures can invade. The team splits up, Lady Frankenstein takes Velcoro and Griffith to the other continent and Frankenstein and Nina go down into the water to look for the undersea one. Back at The Ant Farm, the psychics suddenly start freaking out, all yelling the same phrase: "Help me!".
Ray: "They're just channelling a message."
Psychics: "Help Me! Help Me! Help Me!"
Father Time: "A message from whom?"
Ray: "It... It's from the planet itself!"
|My heart will go... wait did that one already. Frankie kills the Titan.|
Lady Frankenstein's team is having trouble reaching the second titan, so Father Time authorises the sending through of something code-named "The Toybox" to help them out. This turns out to contain a huge battle vehicle, covered with spikes and guns and crewed by a lot of android soldiers.
Underwater the monsters there don't attack Nina and Frankenstein. Nina's fish like appearance makes them think she is their mother and they swim placidly along with them as they search for the titan. They soon find it. Nina says she could learn much from it, but Frankenstein reminds her that it was enslaving the planet-entity, torturing it for eons and has an "evil nature" and he draws his sword to attack it.
Back with the other team, The Lady Frankenstein orders the battle vehicle to smash into the titans kneecaps, while Velcoro and Griffith stab it in it's single eye.
Velcoro: "Aye aye Captain. And what the hell are you going to do?"
Lady Frankenstein: "Me? I'm going to stand here and look good of course."
|Velcoro, Griffith and Lady F. take down another Tita.|
Father Time: "So, Frankie. What do you think of your new field team now? Pretty awesome no?"
Frankenstein: "Hrrm...They'll do."
|Frankenstein's holiday fun.|
On the way Frankenstein says the whole thing feels suspect, S.H.A.D.E also has no information on O.M.A.C, "I don't like going in blind" comments Frankenstein. He is dropped down on a normal looking man who yells "Omactivate!" and changes into a hulking, mohawked, brute. While it and Frankenstein fight S.H.A.D.E.Net is under attack from a foreign intelligence. Father Time says to let it have access to S.H.A.D.E's systems. Meanwhile Frankenstein and O.M.A.C keep fighting, Frankenstein gets the upper hand and crys out "Brother! I need help!" then he unleashes an energy pulse that knocks Frankenstein back.
|Frankie and OMAC fight.|
The next issue starts with Nina showing Ray around more of The Ant Farm. They overlook a huge vat called "The Pit" where the humanids are broken down and recycled into new ones, "a perpetually regenerating non-human workforce." Ray says he knows they aren't sentient and that S.H.A.D.E.Net acts as their collective hive mind but he still feels sorry and a little creeped out by them. As they leave, one of the humanids become self-aware.
Humanid: "What am I? Why am I? Where am I? Must run. Hide. Learn."
|Tying up loose ends in Vietnam.|
They find a mutated Quantumn in a temple, he is a broken man who wishes only to die. Frankenstein has a gun with anti-nuclear bullets that will return him to normal but also kill him.
Frankenstein: "Are you sure?"
Quantum: "Yes. I'm sure. I want to rest."
Frankenstein shoots him and Quantum suddenly grows huge, before shrinking down and returning to human form. He dies content, holding Frankenstein's hand.
|Quantum just wants to die in peace.|
Frankenstein and his team bust their way back into The Ant Farm and are faced by a group of armed humanids. Turns out Brother Eye was responsible for their sentience and rebellion and a fight ensues. Lady Frankenstein meanwhile, blasts her way out of the wax creature then confronts the rest of Nina's "children". Velcoro and Griffith break into the armoury and liberate some powerful ordanance and go to close down The Pit.
Frankenstein: "Who Father? What the hell did you have trapped in that thing?"
Father Time: "It was him, Frank. It was your son!"
|Frankie and the Creature Commandos do what they do best.|