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Essential Monster Of Frankenstein Volume 1 TPB Paperback – Oct 20 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics (Oct. 20 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785116346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785116349
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 17 x 3.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #959,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

In the same vein as Essential Tomb of Dracula marvel unleashes the never before reprinted 70's horror title Monster of Frankenstein!

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Torie Monaghan on Jan. 30 2012
Format: Paperback
This book starts strong and I could really feel for the monster and all his trials and tribulations and betrayals and loss but somewhere around issue 11 the monster is shot twice with a gun and goes off to die, quite happily he goes off to die i might add. Of course he doesn't die and the stories just go downhill from that point, in fact in future issues bullets from guns have no effect on him.

Its worth reading but once you reach that point, you'll know where it is, its all downhill from here, but i do sympathize a bit with the writers because what is there to write about really, how many other monsters can he find to fight or Frankenstein descendents to hunt down or how many friends can he have die. By the end its pretty pathetic, but the early issues are really good, worthy of a big budget movie.

Three Stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A patchwork monstrosity - the comic not the monster July 9 2007
By Bill7704 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Trying to cash in on the monster boom of the sixties and seventies, as well as the success of Warren's black and white horror comic magazines CREEP and EERIE, Marvel Comics launched a wave of monster titles in both comic and magazine form. Mummies, werewolves, zombies, vampires and even Satan's son mingled with Spider-man and the Hulk at the newsstand.

THE MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN starts off as a worthwhile endeavor, but because of the frequent rotation of writers, artists and inkers, the comic, like the monster himself, quickly morphs into a slow-moving, lifeless patchwork mess. The persona of the monster rapidly looses focus simply because the writers cannot decide weather he is a sympatric hero or vindictive villain. Devoid of personality and purpose, Frankenstein is relegated as a second rate character in his own book.

Most of the narrative for the comic series is supplied by those who come in contact with the monster, weather it be a Satanic cult, killer robot, or a troupe of circus freaks. Their motivations shape the storylines as an unaware Frankenstein, mute and directionless, is eventually usurped thematically by the flamboyant supporting characters around him.

In the fifties, Dick Briefer created the ultimate Frankenstein comic,The Monster of Frankenstein. Because the Comic Code Authority was not in effect, Briefer was free to portray Frankenstein as a sadistic brute with animal cunning ever vengeful at the world that feared him. He was a force of nature with his own sinister desires, which usually led him into conflict with the police, Russian spies, mad scientists, the military, werewolves, mummies, zombies and ghouls, all with devastating results. It is a pity that the stable of Marvel Comic writers never saw Dick Briefer's comic, they would have learned a great deal from it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One of the better '70s Marvel Horror titles Nov. 10 2007
By mrliteral - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Back in the 1970s, Marvel had a line of horror comics, many of which are now being re-released in Marvel's Essentials books. Up to now, my feelings of these horror comics have been mixed: while I have enjoyed The Essential Dracula, I have been far less impressed with the Essential Werewolf by Night and Essential Marvel Horror. So it was with a bit of wariness that I picked up The Essential Monster of Frankenstein, but I found myself pleasantly surprised. While not great, it is a decent collection.

Despite all the issues within featuring Frankenstein's Monster, there are actually two separate Monsters appearing in different storylines. In the issues of Monster of Frankenstein (later titled Frankenstein's Monster), the story begins in the late 1800s, with the Monster being thawed out and his story recounted. The Monster, like in Mary Shelley's novel, is actually intelligent but has a major chip on his shoulder. After an encounter with Dracula, he loses his ability to speak and is eventually refrozen and awakens in modern times, where he tries to track down Frankenstein's last descendants. This storyline ends inconclusively.

We then get the storyline of Monsters Unleashed, featuring a Monster who is of subhuman intelligence and entangled in a plot involving brain switches, animated corpses and other twists. While still savage, this Monster is also not as angry at the world.

Even within the storylines, we get inconsistencies, especially in the first one, where the Monster somehow loses his intelligence in the later issues. In general, the parts of this volume are better than the whole: the individual issues are often fun to read, but taken in its entirety, there is a bit lacking. With that caveat, I still recommend this collection for fans of the Marvel horror comics.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery Sept. 26 2013
By RL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The early stories here are a workmanlike reconstruction of the classic novel and some basic Hulk rip-off plots. The second half is the more interesting piece here. Although it is clearly aping both the look and themes of the immortal, original Swamp Thing book, it's a fairly good imitation and an enjoyable read. Val Mayerick's art in particular is an interesting mix of John Byrne and Bernie Wrightson.
Starts out great then goes south Sept. 7 2008
By G. B. Keefer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This series starts out fantastic. Ploog's artwork is awesome and the retelling of the classic Frankenstein story works well. Once that ends though it hits very troubled waters. Doug Moench decided somewhere along the way that his narration would be a better way to convey the thoughts and feelings of the Monster and that's where the whole series just tapers off to garbage. Frankenstein's Monster spends most of the series trying to track down and kill a seemingly endless supply of Frankenstein heirs. Anyone who befriends him is doomed the second they become friends which makes the Monster angry....rinse lather repeat. For such a low price it's a fun read but disappointing that it had such wasted potential. It could have been AWESOME.
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Marvel's turn to tell tales of the Frankenstein monster Feb. 5 2005
By Lawrance Bernabo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Once upon a time there was a comic books company named E.C. that published a whole line of comics, including "Tales from the Crypt," "The Vault of Horror," and "The Haunt of Fear." Then Dr. Frederick Wertham, a medical doctor and psychiatrist published his infamous "Seduction of the Innocent" in 1954, which claimed comic books contributed to making children delinquents (and worse). Even Superman was attacked for "arousing fantasies of sadistic joy in seeing others punished while you yourself remain immune." The industry was forced to adopt the Standards of the Comics Code Authority for editorial matter (the "Good Housekeeping" seal of approval on the cover.

General Standards Part B of the Code originally adopted reads as follows: "(1) No comic magazine shall use the word "horror" or "terror" in its title. (2) All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted. (3) All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated. (4) Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader. (5) Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited."

So it was that for many years the only place future delinquents could read comic book horror stories were in such black & white magazines published by Warren as "Creepy" and "Eerie." However, in 1971 the Comics Code Authority relaxed its strictures on the horror genre and the following year Marvel comics released "Werewolf by Night," "Ghost Rider," "Man-Thing," and "Tomb of Dracula." Once you get to the King of Vampires can the Frankenstein monster be far behind?

"The Monster of Frankenstein" was not on the same level as "Tomb of Dracula," which is one of the great horror comics of all time, but it does have its moment. Originally written by Gary Friedrich and drawn by Mike Ploog (who made his artistic reputation on "Werewolf by Night" and "Ghost Rider"), the comic book took a different approach from "Tomb of Dracula." Whereas Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan were dealing with the historical and literary figure of Dracula in contemporary times (with a supporting cast that included descendants of the characters in Bram Stoker's gothic novel), Friedrich and Ploog began by adopting Mary Shelley's novel in the first four issues.

The adaptation is the best part of "The Monster of Frankenstein, Volume 1" collection, very close to Mary Shelley's novel, especially in comparison to any of the Universal or Hammer movies you have ever seen. However, once you get past those first four issues the stories do seem a lot like those Hammer movies (e.g., #6 "--In Search of the Last Frankenstein"). The big difference is that this Frankenstein monster (remember, the Frankenstein of Shelley's title is the doctor as "the Modern Prometheus" and not his creation) talks and he talks a lot. Granted, this is faithful to Shelley's conception, but the more the monster talks the stranger it gets (and the word balloons for the creature's thought are really weird to me).

The monster does have an encounter with Dracula way back when (#7-9), drawn by John Buscema, and then we get back to the Last Frankenstein bit (#10-11). But at that point the comic book undergoes a radical change. Doug Moench becomes the writer, with Val Mayerik the primary artist with a revolving door policy on the inkers (I like Vinnie Colletta and Mayerik inking his own work the best with Jack Abel at the other end of the spectrum). More importantly, the monster falls into a glacier, gets frozen in ice, and (presto) the monster now walks among us in the present day.

At this point I really lost interest in the comic book. There was an effort to lessen the monster's vocabulary but the abrupt shift to the present really set the character adrift. When Bill Mantlo took over the scripting chores things did improve (e.g., #18 "The Lady of the House") and what we get in the issues of "Monsters Unleashed!" are the best of these stories, written by Moench, but more in keeping with what Mantlo put together (having a supporting cast of recurring characters was helpful). Ironically, to bring things full circle we are back to black & white magazines and not four-color comic books.

Ultimately, "The Monster of Frankenstein, Volume 1" is of more interest to those familiar with the Frankenstein myth more than to fans of horror comic books. This is primarily because of the extension of Mary Shelley's original vision of the monster created by Frankenstein. All of the Frankenstein movies have been primarily concerned with telling the original story in a slightly different way. Making the creature a leading character turns out to be extremely problematic, but that only makes the attempt more interesting. With "Monster of Frankenstein" #1-5, "Frankenstein Monster" #6-18, "Giant-Size Werewolf" #2, "Monsters Unleashed" #2 & #4-10, and "Legion of Monsters" 31 (with the Neal Adams cover), this is pretty much the complete Marvel Frankenstein.