Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dogwood City A to Z: Frankenstein

I can't decide if using Frankenstein's monster in Dogwood City is a cop-out or not.  At the end of the day, though (whatever that really means), I'm a pretty big fan of the character in many of his forms (perhaps indicated by my recent header change here on Monstrous Matters).  He's a great intersection of horror, science fiction, history, and (sometimes) heroism, and I'd love to have him show up in this big southern town.

First...let's get this out of the way:  There are times here that I'm just gonna call him Frankenstein.  I used to have a quibble with that practice, but I've gotten over it.  The tipping point was when Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE came out as one of the most fun comics in DC's New 52 initiative.  Frankenstein is a fine apellation, and I'm probably showing some restraint by not just calling him Frank.

Now, I'm actually a little surprised that there aren't more versions of the big guy over at Public Domain Super Heroes.  So you don't have to click the link, I'll just tell you...there are only three.  One is the traditional monster of Mary Shelly's classic novel.  One (from Prize Comics) is set in the time of the comic's publication, a "modern" monster inspired by Shelly.  I suppose there's a strong precedent for this, since as far as I can tell, the classic Karloff flick was actually set in the time of its production.  And one (who encountered the Wild West-era Ghost Rider) turned out to be a guy in a suit.  (Oh yeah...spoiler alert.)

With that last one, though, the reason everyone fell for the costume is that a fellow named Wilcox had a theory that the monster actually escaped the angry mob who cornered him (that's him digging out of the windmill escaping through a tunnel under the windmill, up in the MM header) and eventually headed to the United States.  So...that's the one who found his way to Dogwood City.  Is he a villain?  A hero?  An antihero?  An antivillain?  I'm really not sure yet.  I just know that he's been around a long time and has the potential to show that in a lot of cool ways.  Here we go...rules of the GRIND apply...and yeah, this is pretty much just a simplified flesh golem.

aka Frankenstein's Monster, the Monster, Adam, the Modern Prometheus
Level 9
8 Hero Dice
Defense 15

2 fists (melee) +8 (2D damage)
By weapon

Frankenstein will avoid fire whenever possible.  Electrical attacks that hit him heal 1D hit points rather than dealing damage.

Epilogue brought to you by the letter F

While I ended up going with Frankenstein for this entry, I was really close to presenting a pretty different public domain super:

And he's probably as ridiculous as you're imagining.

Something really interesting about him, though...well, look at the blurb at the top of the cover...

Yep, this was another effort by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman, and without whom I would probably be doing something very different with my time at this moment.  Don't get me wrong...I'm all about ridiculousness in comics.  Somehow, though, I just couldn't pull the trigger on having Funnyman as a regular defender of Dogwood City.

I do think, however, that Funnyman could be a stellar archnemesis for the dark knight of the Dogwood City universe...

You can read Funnyman's funnybooks at this link.


  1. Young Frankenstein was funny. Teri Garr was hot.

  2. I agree about the name quibble. Used to bug me, but doesn't anymore. That being said, I read this the other day and love it:

    Intelligence is knowing that Frankenstein is the doctor and not the monster. Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein is the real monster.