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Doc Frankenstein:
The Best Comic Book You May Not Be Reading...

I'm sure you've heard it before. Maybe it was in regards to some movie that your best friend swore was a cinematic masterpiece that you hadn't seen yet. Or maybe it was an album that the guy in the music store was hyping as the next White Album. But when it comes to Burlyman Entertainment's Doc Frankenstein, it's very likely that you really are missing out on something fantastic.

Written by the Wachowski Brothers (or is it siblings?), Doc Frankenstein details the life and adventures of the universally known Mary Shelly monster set in today's timeframe. An agent for the government, Frankenstein is given duties that might fall in the laps of policemen, the Navy Seals, or the Men in Black.

The first issue starts off with the good Doctor taking down a monster that could have graced any kaiju movie and saving the day. Not exactly something you'd think a quilt of a man would be capable of.

However, once you start reading Frankenstein's self-narrated introduction the realization that this character isn't going to be terrified by something as banal as a pitchfork and torch-bearing mob comes rather quickly.

The Wachowskis do a great job of fleshing out his background with a collage of events over the past two centuries all the while conveying a sense of loneliness in the Doctor and a bit of pity for the human race. After the first seven pages of the first book it's easy to identify Frankenstein as a hero.

Artistically, Steve Skroce excels. Known for his work at Marvel on Cable and The Amazing Spider-Man, Skroce was also a storyboard artist for the Matrix movies. Sprawling two-page detailed action scenes are the norm here, but even more impressive is the way emotions are communicated to the reader. In the panels where Frankenstein comes to grips with his fears and learns to overcome them, his set jaw and steeled eyes scream out determination with just a bit of insecurity hiding underneath.

While the social commentary and not so subtle digs at the current government and organized religion stick out like sore thumbs, the fantastic art and depth of plot and characterization make Doc Frankenstein an excellent read.

To back up that statement, Doc Frankenstein was nominated for the 2005 Eisner Award for
best new series. So go out and grab the first four issues if you can find them. You'll thank me later.

Ryan Adams

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