Review: Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE #4

An entire planet full of savage monsters, and only a small group of Creature Commandos to take them on.  Bring it.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE #4

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. has been a reasonably entertaining series so far, if not particularly remarkable.  It would seem writer Jeff Lemire is saving most of that remarkability for the twisted work he's doing to make Animal Man a critical darling.  However, with Frankenstein #4, it becomes clear that Lemire is now showing us where exactly people like me can stick our remarks – he's gonna show us awesome monster fights and it's gonna rule.

There's a Monster Planet.  It's full of evil toothy monsters.  There are giant monsters in control of the normal-sized evil toothy monsters.  The giant monsters are parasites hurting the world.  Frankenstein, his four-armed bride, a vampire-bat-man, a werewolf, a mummy and a fish lady have to kill the giant monsters to save the world.  No cheerleader saving necessary.  Already, you've got a winning story.

How do you make that story better?  When the good guy monsters need back-up, the science weasels back home send them a toybox.  What's in the box?  Not Gwyneth Paltrow's head, thank goodness.  Instead, we get a goddamned platoon of G.I. Robots!  And two massive goddamn War Wheels!  What's a Goddamn War Wheel?  This is a Goddamn War Wheel!

Monsters, robots and Goddamned War Wheels!  There is absolutely nothing not to like in this story.

Well, okay, there's the muddy art from Alberto Ponticelli, but that's not objectively bad by any means.  It's just an acquired taste.  The level of detail is impressive and the monsters are crazy fugly in the way monsters are supposed to be.  It's just that it probably will take about four issues to really get into it, if you're anything like me.  It's a boo about monsters.  It ain't supposed to be pretty.  That's why it works.

If you have doubts, allow me to reiterate:  monsters, robots and Goddamned War Wheels.