Written by: Matthew J. Barbour
Joe Frankenstein, by Graham Nolan and Chuck Dixon, has a fascinating premise. The monster Dr. Victor Frankenstein created found remorse after slaying his creator. As penance, the Monster pledged to protect Victor Frankenstein’s heirs. Since that time, he has done so from the shadows and, of course, become very wealthy as all immortals would do, right?
Fast forward to the present day, pizza boy Joe Pratt is accosted by vampires. The Monster saves the boy. He reveals to Joe that he is Dr. Frankenstein’s descendant. Together, the two share a bond coded in their DNA which can unlock the secrets of immortality. This secret is coveted by dark sinister forces, including the Bride of Frankenstein, Golgatha, and the mysterious entity known only as the Master. For Joe’s own safety, he must come to live with Frankenstein’s Monster. However, the encounter with the vampires has alerted these creatures to his presence and they will stop at nothing to get him.
While the narrative plays on horror concepts and themes, the story’s focus is on action and adventure. Joe Frankenstein is a story written for children. As a children’s story, it is amazingly successful. What kid would not want Frankenstein’s Monster protecting him? Not to mention, the Monster is rich, super hip, and he spends most of his time battling evildoers. Joe Frankenstein is now part of that world and accompanied by not only Frankenstein’s Monster but a werewolf named Finnabar, a genius named Enoch, and a supercomputer known as I.G.O.R.
Adults will dig it too. Those growing up in the 1980s will find some of the concepts and delivery akin to the movie Monster Squad. Like Monster Squad, the graphic novel, Joe Frankenstein, never takes itself too seriously. After all, you are dealing with a superhero which can be “recharged” with an electric jolt! So if you are looking for something that is fun and appropriate for children of all ages, consider picking up a copy of Joe Frankenstein.