Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ol Groove's Request Line: Spawn of Frankenstein by Marv Wolfman and Mike Kaluta

We're back with the wretched wrap-up of our 2009 Halloween party! For our fearsome finale, here's the legendary Phantom Stranger back-up...Spawn of Frankenstein (as requested by Groove-ophile John Short) by Marv Wolfman and Mike Kaluta. While Marvel was adapting Mary Shelley's classic a'la Gary Friedrich and Mike Ploog, Wolfman and Kaluta were giving us the modern-day adventures of Frankenstein's Monster. The catch is that the Wolfman/Kaluta Spawn of Frankenstein ran for only three issues (Phantom Stranger #s 23-25, November 1972-March 1973). Wanna see 'em? Here ya go!

In Phantom Stranger #26 (May 1973), the Monster teamed with his comicbook host in a story by Wolfman and Len Wein with art by Jim Aparo. Issues 27-30 (July 1973-January 1974) featured a new writer/artist team, Steve (Aquaman, Plop!) Skeates and Spectre co-creator Bernard Baily. I guess I'll share those with ya next Halloween--unless, that is, enough of you demand to see them sooner. It's up to you, Groove-ophiles!


  1. Thanks so much, Groove! You've taken simple suggestions and turned them into something really special for Halloween. So thrilled to finally get to read WEREWOLF, and I had no idea you were gonna give us the entire SPAWN OF FRANKENSTEIN! And on top of all that goodness you gave us a BRAVE AND THE BOLD, of which I am fast becoming a bigger, and bigger fan. You've made it a GREAT Halloween. Thanks again!

  2. Hey, I've been researching the Spawn of Frankenstein and I was wondering if anyone could help me answer some quetiosns:

    1) Why was the Spawn Of Frankenstein called, well, "the Spawn Of Frankenstein?" In the story reprints on this page it looks just like the original Frankenstein monster brought back to life in modern times. So what was the meaning of the new name? Is "The Spawn of" supposed to be Frankenstein's (the monster,not the man) son? I never understood that.

    2) Does S.o.Frankenstein have anything to at all to do with Grant Morrisons Seven Soldiers-Frankenstein and the Teen Titans "Young Frankenstein?"

    If anyone can help, that would be great! Thanks!


  3. 1) It was probably titled "Spawn of Frankenstein" to separate it from the million other Frankenstein series, in comics alone, let alone elsewhere in books, films and TV shows. It picks up with Frankenstein being thawed out of the polar ice, where he was left at the end of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's original Frankenstein novel (which was frankly overly stilted and flowery in its prose for my taste. But beautifully illustrated in 1983 by Wrightson!)

    2) I honestly don't care, and am completely indifferent to anything Morrisson does, but still pulled up a link to hopefully answer that for you.

    The character also appeared in Didio/Giffen's recent OMAC series. Nice to see Giffen's version of the character, but otherwise it offered no development, Spawn was just tossed in there to provide someone for OMAC to slug it out with.

    Wrightson's final work FRANKENSTEIN ALIVE ALIVE 1-4 (just released in a collected hardcover) has remarkable similarities to Kaluta's "Spawn of Frankenstein" series.
    Wrightson did art for 1-3 and pencils for 4. But Wrightson died before issue 4 was completed, and so it was finished by Kelley Jones, Wrightson's own pick to conclude it.



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