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Seven Soldiers of Victory: Frankenstein #2

Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"Red Zombies"


Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Doug Mankhe, John Kalisz(c)
Publisher: DC

Um...yeah.

Okay. While I'm a huge fan of Grant Morrison, this is just nothing. It's better nothing than the nothing from other authors, but for Grant Morrison, this is nothing. Frankenstein lacks the zany umph I have come to expect from the author.

What this issue does do is better connect the Seven Soldiers titles. Fresh from Klarion, Melmouth, whom we learned last issue is Frankenstein's arch nemesis, takes his kid army to Mars. Frankenstein follows.

Sometimes the connections in Frankenstein work. Other times, they do not. The presence of the kids seen in Klarion smoothly fit into the story as well as the overall mosaic that Morrison tries to create with all the Seven Soldiers titles.

Connecting Frankenstein's origins with the Seven Soldiers continuity takes away some of the majesty from the myth and gives Melmouth too easy an out.

Morrison's Mars confuses with that ambivalent continuity of Seven Soldiers title. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that this Mars is J'onn Jones' Mars, but why would there be gold in the dead cities J'onn's Mars? Why would the Martians value gold? Why would they value a tomb of gold enough to leave behind guardians? What are those guardians anyhow?

Usually I can take Morrison's plot elements at face value, but when he starts throwing in a basis, that's when I start asking questions. I probably wouldn't have asked these questions if he had chosen a different planet, one of his own design, but here he seems to be tethering the book to the DCU, and that's where he loses me--though not as badly as Zatanna and the reference to Identity Schistosomiasis.

Doug Mahnke's Frankenstein is still a powerful visual, and his scenes involving the romanticism of the beast ring true. What doesn't ring true is Mahnke's Mars, which is inked too heavily and should really be sharper, more realistic to contrast the weirder elements. As it is things just blend together.



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