Random Retrospective #21 – Flashpoint: Frankenstein And The Creatures of The Unknown #2

The results of FLASHPOINT – the wiping clean of decades of continuity and history, the rebooting of basically every character in DC’s pantheon – was divisive to say the least, but the event itself wasn’t that bad. True, the main storyline seemed rushed (there was little to no build up, it just appeared on the horizon suddenly) but while it was running, the rest of DC seemed to grab hold of the concept of a new world and run with it. It was basically a shared Elseworld for a few months, leading to a slew of mini-series and one-shots where, as always, some were better than others. Jeff Lemire’s FLASHPOINT: FRANKENSTEIN AND THE CREATURES OF THE UNKNOWN was definitely one of the better ones.

Lemire reinvented the Creature Commandos and teamed them with a Frankenstein that was straight out of Grant Morrison’s SEVEN SOLDIERS event, a pairing that worked splendidly.

Arrayed against them are the US military in the person of General Sam Lane and the rag-tag group he’s using to track them down, including Miranda Shrieve, the grand daughter of the Commando’s original leader back in World War II.

She’s working under the belief that her grand father was killed by the Commandos and so is more than happy to hunt them down and, in the final battle in this issue, explain her motives to them. Just before she and her squad kill them, however, the foot soldiers are taken out by the appearance of Frankenstein’s Bride.

By the end of the three issue mini-series, Shrieve has been told that General Lane is the real villain and cause of her grand father’s death, and she joins SHADE to work alongside the Commandos.

It was a good short series and, once the New 52 launched, I was pleased to pick up the FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF SHADE ongoing that picked up many of the threads here, though always confused why Miranda Shrieve never made the jump from the mini-series to the ongoing.

100 Issues Ago October 2011

I came across this “100 Issues Ago” panel in an old JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and thought I’d tidy it up and re-purpose it. If one month = one issue, what was I reading 100 Issues Ago?

Month Two of the New 52 and, for the most part (at least from my somewhat ailing memory these days) I was still cautiously optimistic about things.

This month’s featured issue above of FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE #2 was one of the better issues, along with DEMON KNIGHTS, ALL-STAR WESTERN, RESURRECTION MAN and even VOODOO. The bigger titles, like JUSTICE LEAGUE and AQUAMAN were benefiting from Geoff Johns embracing the new era, with the other titles I was getting hoping to gather speed.

The only ones that weren’t really gelling for me at this point were FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN which I’d picked up due to Gail Simone scripting, but something wasn’t right. TEEN TITANS, also, wasn’t really sitting well with me.

But this was still early days, like I said, and it was good to see DC taking a punt on some odd titles.

Outside of DC (18 monthly titles at this point) I was getting THE BOYS and it’s side-miniseries BUTCHER, and the Jason Aaron written PUNISHER: MAX series.

100 Issues Ago July 2011 (Part 2)

I came across this “100 Issues Ago” panel in an old JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and thought I’d tidy it up and re-purpose it. If one month = one issue, what was I reading 100 Issues Ago?

And lo, the FLASHPOINT spin-offs have landed! I picked up 34 issues from DC this month, of which 20 were FLASHPOINT related miniseries or one-offs. This one – FRANKENSTEIN AND THE CREATURES OF THE UNKNOWN – was one of my favourites as it took Grant Morrison’s version of Frankenstein from his SEVEN SOLDIERS miniseries and had fun with it.

This was also my first exposure to Jeff Lemire’s writing and I became something of a fan, picking up the later FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. series by him as well as others.

Pretty much everything else by DC was wrapping up – TEEN TITANS was being produced twice monthly in what seemed like a desperate attempt to reach issue #100 before the New 52 reboot!

Wait a second . . . didn’t we have one of these just last week?

Yeah, we did . . . because I’ve been doing them wrong for the last year or more. Since I started these 100 Issues Ago posts, I’ve been subtracting 100 months from the current date but then looking at the comics that have the resulting cover date. As the majority of my collection from this time is DC, this means I’m highlighting issues that are two months older than I should be looking at.

Last week I looked at FLASHPOINT #1 because November 2019 minus 100 months is July 2011 . . . but I actually bought FLASHPOINT #1 in May 2011 when it was released.

So this week and next you get two extra posts to bridge the comics I bought in June and July 2011 so that when we get to December 2019 and I subtract 100 months, we’ll be looking at comics I bought in August 2011, rather than those with the cover date of August 2011.

Sunday Reviews

It’s been a while since I’ve done any reviews so thought I throw some short notes out there – might become a regular thing, might not.


Garth Ennis and Goran Sudzuka have got a fantastic horror story on the go here; the last six issues have been a well written tale of FBI agents on the hunt for a child killer and what happens after they catch him. Each issue flips back and forth between the present and flashbacks, building up the story in stages, the horror of a child killer and the hunt for him in the past, the supernatural horror of what’s happened to the agents in the present. And in this issue, Ennis has gone Biblical in a very literal sense.

Really recommend you pick this up.


Sticking with Biblical horror, BABYTEETH is a tale of a young woman who’s given birth to the Antichrist and who is fighting to just raise him as normally as she can. And then of course a Devil worshipping cult led by her estranged mother gets involved, not to mention assassins and, in the last couple of issues, a trip to Hell itself where, here in #14, they meet Satan. As conversations about child support and absentee fathers go, this is a blast. In almost every issue of this series, just when you think you know where the story’s going, it throws something else at you.

Again, really good.


The tale of the other Ark during the Biblical flood, the one which didn’t hold Noah and all the fluffy animals, but instead held vampires and manticores and all manner of beasts and monsters. The rains have stopped, the monsters have landed and Shrae, the wizard who played the role of Noah to his weird cargo, has just one night for him and his family to enjoy themselves before the monsters turn on them. They are, after all, monsters. But then they’re all attacked, monster and human alike, by mysterious beings who slaughter some and capture others, forcing Shrae and the vampire Nex to team up.

It’s good, but it’s starting to feel a little stretched, like it should be wrapping up rather than introducing another plot line.


The hook on this new Hawkman series is that he’s been reincarnated throughout the centuries not just on Earth, but on other planets. This time round, Hawkman finds himself face to face with a previous incarnation on Krypton, just as the planet’s exploding. It’s a pause in the story of the recently (as in last issue) revealed Deathbringers, the race/army of killers that Hawkman led in his very first life; his constant resurrection cycle is to allow him to atone for the millions of deaths he and the Deathbringers caused. His Kryptonian counterpart gives him some advice just in time for the arrival of the Deathbringers on Earth’s moon.

I enjoyed Robert Venditti’s work on GREEN LANTERN and I’m liking this take on Hawkman and the Bryan Hitch art is gorgeous as ever.


This issue feels like it should have been out around Halloween – four short horror stories introduced by Man-Bat which feature members of the Justice League Dark coming up against manifestations of the Otherkind, the deeply horrid extra-dimensional beings that want to invade our reality and consume all the magic. JLD have been facing off against them since the start of this series and here we get the League as well as a handful of cameos – Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos working for SHADE, for example – fighting the Otherkind.

This is probably my favourite Justice League book right now; not only is the writing really good, but the art is simply stunning, and this issue was a delight!