Fables #29 (2004)
One of the great things about Bill Willingham’s Fables series is its ability to jump genres whenever it wants, like in this horror/war flashback tale. In it, the Big Bad “Bigby” Wolf leads a squad of WWII soldiers in a mission to take out some Nazis in Frankenstein’s Castle. Turns out, the evil scientists are studying the Creature in hopes of making some monsters of their own. Bigby tries to stop them and Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man all over again.
Doc Frankenstein (2004)
In this series written by the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix), the Monster lives through the end of Mary Shelley’s novel, takes his creator’s name, earns a degree, and moves through history as a fundamentalist-fighting liberal. Though the Wachowskis wrote it, Doc Frankenstein was actually created by Steve Skroce (who draws the comic) and Geoff Darrow (Hard Boiled, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot; also conceptual designs on The Matrix).
The series promoted itself as being about “the Messiah of Science who has returned to save our world from the Monsters currently running it.” It’s an interesting and valid take, if strident and on-the-nose.
Neal Adams’ Monsters (2004)
Essentially Neal Adams’ take on the Universal House movies, Monsters has Dracula coercing Frankenstein’s nephew into building a new Monster by holding the man’s fiance hostage. There’s also a werewolf, but I don’t want to spoil that part as it’s one of the cooler bits in the story. It’s not a perfect comic, but Adams’ creature designs are cool and there’s also a lengthy sketchbook section with examples of Adams’ work on various horror films like From Beyond and The Funhouse.
Wake the Dead (2004)
Wake the Dead is Steve Niles’ modern-day retelling of the Frankenstein story with extremely gruesome artwork by Chee. It’s an interesting experiment in that it puts the story in a contemporary setting. My favorite part is that it keeps Victor as a college student. I usually forget how young he was supposed to be, instead thinking of him mostly as the Baron. The comic’s set to be adapted into a film starring Haley Joel Osment.
Though it’s bold, Wake the Dead isn’t my favorite of Niles’ adaptations of Shelley’s novel. We’ll get to that one this weekend.