“Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown” is a bit of an odd mini-series. At a glance, it looks to be a teaser for the upcoming “Frankstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.” series debuting in September, also written by Jeff Lemire. But as the mini-series is progressing, it’s feeling increasingly less relevant with each issue.
Part of the problem is that it’s unclear if any of the back story or supporting cast will carry through. Considering how much attention is being paid to Nina the fish-girl, it means that we aren’t getting that much (if any) of a focus on Frankenstein himself. Aside from a comment about how he hasn’t used his lungs in a century, he’s an unmemorable character in his own comic. And of course, like so many “Flashpoint” mini-series, it appears to have no real connection to “Flashpoint” itself.
On the plus side, looking at “Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown” as its own entity unconnected to anything else, it’s not a bad story. The discovery of the secret base is exciting, and it’s hard to keep from feeling bad for poor Nina and the mess she’s gone through up until this point. Lemire might not have me caring about Frankenstein or most of the cast, but Nina is the exception to that statement.
Ibraim Roberson draws the first half of the issue, and I’ve grown to love his art over the last year. His soft art style looks at times like it was airbrushed onto the page (and kudos to Pete Pantazis for maintaining that look when moving it into color), and his facial expressions are top notch. The second page of the comic looks great, from Nina straining at the glass at the top of the page, to her father looking in on her with a smile, and the way that their hands “touch” through the glass. It’s strong storytelling, and great visuals. Alex Massacci takes over for the second half of the comic, and while it’s a perfectly fine art style, it suffers only in comparison to Roberson’s work. I’m hoping Roberson will be back for the final issue, if only to see how he draws the surprise villain on the last page.
“Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown” is ultimately a book that you need to temper your expectations towards. It’s not any crucial piece of “Flashpoint,” and right now it looks to not really be that much of a lead-in to “Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.” It’s not a bad book, but I suspect at the end of the day it’s going to prove to be forgettable.