Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1

It amuses me how The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is still influencing the naming of “secret agencies”, so many still have periods after every letter, sometimes meaning each letter represents a word, sometimes just making fun of the trope. They’ve combined a few DC institutions in this new series, the agency S.H.A.D.E which is a fairly recent creation, Frankenstein and his wife, also fairly recent creations (and this is starting to sound like the Gilligan’s Island theme) and the Creature Commandos from back in the 80s era war comics. I had thought the Creature Commandos were older.

This is a fairly straightforward monster vs. monster book so far. There’s a team of monsters, Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos, working for S.H.A.D.E. and they’re sent out on a mission to stop an infestation of monsters in a small town from spreading. Could be amusing. It’ll be interesting to see if they keep the cast of commandos stable or if they frequently kill off the characters and have them replaced by different monsters or different types of monsters. I’m betting they’ll keep the lineup of the team with occasional “new members” who’s purpose it is to be killed off on dangerous missions.

┬áStrangely, this comic also introduces Ray Palmer apparently before he becomes the Atom, but after he’s invented shrinking technology. He’s created a miniaturized headquarters for S.H.A.D.E. that flies around the world. This miniature world was in the Atom comics in the pre-reboot universe, but had been recently introduced by a relative of Ryan Choi, the latest Atom. They’re talking about superheroes like they’re a new phenomenon, but the organization, and the unusual agents are implied to have been around for awhile. Perhaps operating in secret or hidden from the world in another way.

The leader of the organization is Father Time, sort of a morally ambiguous counterpart to Uncle Sam, or at least that’s how I’ve perceived him since his introduction. Father Time has recently re-incorporated in a new body, this one being a 10 year old girl, possibly only 8. Sure, fairly amusing, but the explanation is off. Father Time states “Every decade I randomly generate a new body to act as my host. The old one was past due.” Unless this body ages at an accelerated rate, this body will be discarded when Father Time is only 18 to 20, which makes little to no sense, even in an over-the-top monster-hunting fantasy world. I’m hoping the character ages noticeably between missions, but I’m betting the image of a little girl in a domino mask with a gun ordering monsters around and talking like an old man while going on the occasional field mission is going to be too hard for the writer to resist.

This one is going to take several issues before I decide if I’m going to continue getting it, maybe more than one story arc, if it lasts that long.

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