While Frankenstein Agent Of SHADE #0 isn’t much more than origin story, it is one of the most interesting origins in the zero run. It’s hard to take a classic character like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was translated into a comic book entity in the Golden Age, and try to make him relevant to the current DC Universe. Writer Jeff Lemire did a great job of that with Frankenstein: AOS, and the man who took over, Matt Kindt, has done an equally good job of keeping the series exciting.
Attempting to give Frankenstein a solid and organized origin from the pieces parts of his history is much like trying to build the monster itself. This issue needed to take the best of the original story and give it a kick, plus work in the entry of SHADE. Kindt fires on all cylinders here and does exactly what he needed to do. Issue 0 begins with Dr. Frankenstein, the scientist who originally constructed the monster. Kindt has SHADE looking at the doctor as a possible agent.
Problem with that is Dr. Frankenstein, in this version, doesn’t dig up bodies, but rather uses live subjects who are cut up and mutilated while conscious. SHADE is about to turn the lights out on the good Doctor when their interest becomes peaked by his monster. Mainly, the conscience this monster has from the instant he’s brought to life. Seeing the horror his creator has wrought, Frankenstein unleashes vengeance on him and his laboratory. Fleeing the scene, Frankenstein ends up in the jungle, living as a God and protector to a group of natives.
Hating that his creation betrayed him, Doctor Frankenstein brings a boatload of mutant hired killers to destroy his monster. Several violent battles later and Frankenstein eliminates the Doctor with one swift and brutal blow. SHADE, impressed with what they’ve seen, offers Frankenstein not only a job but also a home. The last few pages outline the history of Frankenstein within the SHADE organization, including one against a gigantic Nazi spider that I want Kindt to write a full issue about.
While not as thrilling or bizarre as the standard series, Frankenstein Agent Of SHADE #0 is a really entertaining reboot of a classic character that solidifies his existence in the DC Universe.