Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. 2: Secrets of the Dead

frankenstein agent of shade volume 2 secrets of the dead cover
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Great concept

Feels rushed and fragmented

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Matt Kindt/Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Alberto Ponticelli

# of Issues:  10

Release Date:  2013


Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #8

Reprints Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #0 and #8-16 (June 2012-March 2013).  With Lady Frankenstein leaving S.H.A.D.E. and his creator Victor returning, Frankenstein finds himself trying to deal with the Rot and its attempts to take over the planet.  Frankenstein finds he might be immune to the effects of the Rot but protecting those around him could be more difficult than he ever expected.

Written by Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire and featuring art by Alberto Ponticelli, Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Volume 2:  Secrets of the Dead is part of DC Comics’ New 52 relaunch.  Following Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. 1:  War of the Monsters, the series features a crossover with Animal Man and Swamp Thing’s Rotworld storyline.  The volume is the final volume of the series.

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. was one of the more intriguing titles of the New 52 relaunch.  Unlike many of the characters, Frankenstein hadn’t really had a solo comic (he was part of Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory series) and it was unclear what the comic’s tone would be.  Though I loved the idea of Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., I found it a difficult and sometimes frustrating read.


Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #14

The writing is both overly complex and then vague.  At points, you have difficulty following what is going on in the story (like the “Satan’s Ring” storyline) and you have to keep rereading to see if you missed a step.  It is frustrating because I like the characters and some of the storylines are interesting…it just isn’t always readable.

I like the joke-y overly acronymed world of S.H.A.D.E. where everything has a complex name, but the mysteries of S.H.A.D.E. also falter this volume.  Frankenstein essentially goes solo for most of the book and the stuff they did with S.H.A.D.E. in the first volume is never expanded upon.  It is a frustration of the cancellation, and the Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #16 is a very unsatisfying “conclusion” to the series.

I think the worst part of Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. is the missed potential.  The series obviously borrowed from Hellboy, and Frankenstein in the pre-New 52 world would have had a ton of occult and mystical events to explore with S.H.A.D.E.  Instead, he was dropped into a new world where mysteries had to first be revealed and then uncovered…it wasn’t a good fit.  Frankenstein didn’t “die” with the end of the this series and went on to frequently appear in Justice League Dark (until that title ended as well).

Related Links:

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E 1:  War of the Monsters

Animal Man 3:  Rotworld—The Red Kingdom

Swamp Thing 3:  Rotworld—The Green Kingdom

Men of War 1:  Uneasy Company

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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