Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Off The Rack Reviews by Dave Dorders
The New 52 from DC seems to be doing everything that it set out to do. From what I’ve seen and heard many issues are selling out in record numbers and multiple copies are being reprinted. This could be exactly what the industry needed to bring in another generation of reader.
The reviews of the books themselves have been mixed, but on the whole I have been able to find positive reviews (at least one) of every book that has been released thus far. Several have received nothing but praise. This is a very good sign for DC. One of the books that I have heard very good things about was Animal Man.
I couldn’t find my own copy. Another good sign for DC. I mention all of this to explain why I decided to pick up Frankenstein Agent of SHADE. Jeff Lemire is the author of both of these books and it seems that the ‘dark’ books featuring more obscure characters are getting the best reviews. Not wanting to be left behind again, I made my way to my LCS to pick one up. I actually picked up three new books, setting a personal record for the millennium.
I was not disappointed. This book has it all. It’s fun, dark, a little twisted, mysterious, action filled and has enough of a plot and storyline to get me interested in just where this is headed. DC isn’t spilling the beans themselves on just who Father Time is, so I won’t either, but it made for an interesting moment or two. Ray Palmer makes an appearance as well which is quite cool. I am developing a fondness for him that began back when I first read Identity Crisis. He had some of the better moments in Blackest Night recently as well.
I expect this issue to be a worthwhile investment as one of the dark horse hits from the new 52. I had planned all along to pick up Swamp Thing and Animal Man but they flew off of the shelves, so you may want to grab a copy of this one soon. If this one takes off as well I will get an actual pull box from my LCS so that I don’t miss All Star Western #1 which I think will be the next one to take off.
I’d like to say just a bit more about the writing for this issue. It has very good pacing throughout. The sole exception being the laborious computer captions to explain every question posed within the book. The opening page does a wonderful job of establishing a serene family moment that you just know is going to be interrupted but it really draws you in nicely. The poor little dog should have been named Ensign Jones as his demise was quite obvious, and yet it was still rather satisfying, if I can call it that. Apparently, I can.
The art fits perfectly and tells the story well enough. There is a really nice splash page at the beginning of their battle and some neat moments as well. Big Frank kneeling to make a point with Father Time being a prime example. Though I can’t for the life of me figure out just why he drew his sword at that moment. Really, that’s just nit-picking, but, that is who I am. It’s kind of my thing. Since I began to pick at that little scab I’ll go ahead and mention that placing the fence right next to a three story building was bad planning. I can’t see the military being dumb enough to do that when there are trying to keep horribly large creatures contained within a perimeter, but again it’s nit-picking.