Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Publisher: DC Comics
They drank the water!
If I read this issue correctly, the entire population of a town drinks the same fluids that fuel Morrisonís own crazy imagination. Okay, not exactly, but the people and animals of Salvation Valley go on a blood frenzy and Frankenstein comes in to shut them down, but not before being saved and recruited by the mysterious organization S.H.A.D.E., along with the help of a modified Bride (you know, ď. . . of FrankensteinĒ, that Bride) to take down the source of the poisonous water.
Within a single issue in the middle of a miniseries, Morrison puts Nextwave, Doc Frankenstein and Howling Commandos to shame all at once. Frankenstein features the absurd plotlines of Nextwave along with the over-the-top action of Doc Frankenstein with the creepy macabre horror aspect of Howling Commandos, and then throws in DCU references and Seven Soldiers themes and mysteries Ė and makes it all look easy. Itís okay to be a little jealous.
Iím not one of those rabid Morrison fans Ė I canít make sense of Mister Miracle, and I loathed his New X-Men. But when Morrison has fun, the readers have fun too, and Frankenstein contains the kind of zany irreverence that made his Doom Patrol such a wild ride. The one thing I canít stand about Seven Soldiers, just like Manhattan Guardian, is that when the books really go full throttle around the third issue, itís heartbreaking to stop and realize thereís only one issue left. If one Soldier has to die, it better not be Frankie.
Iím not going to forgive Mahnke for the lateness on this issue, but to his credit this is the fourth title heís been juggling in as many months (along with Team Zero, Batman, and guest art on the recent Superman crossover story). Itís great that he can keep up the beautiful quality of detail in this book while juggling multiple assignments; there really arenít enough artists working in comics with this kind of commitment. However, Iíd much rather see commitment that doesnít affect the shipping date, and I wish him better luck in the future.
Frankenstein has been the sleeper hit of the Seven Soldiers event, itís a shame that itís practically over.
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