Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Merry Marvel's Frankensteins!



Mary Shelley's famous and frightening creation met the Uncanny X-Men in late 1967, but it turned out the Frankenstein's Monster depicted here by George Tuska was not the real deal, but a robot built by aliens. Sheesh!


Update: It was brought to my attention by Britt Reid (see comments section) that a later reprint of this comic had the Tuska Frankenstein head altered by Marie Severin. I'm a bit fan of Marie's work, but in this instance her more "human" Frank face is less menacing.



Later in 1968, Norrin Radd runs across the infamous creator, or at least his heir Ludwig and finds himself the victim of the Frankenstein family's genetic predisposition to meddle with Mother Nature. This cover and the rejected variant (which I prefer but understand why it was rejected -- not enough Surfer) are both the work of the great John Buscema.



Finally in 1971 Marvel unveils the real McCoy, giving the epic saga of Frankenstein and his "Monster" their own ongoing comic. Mike Ploog was tapped to give...er...life to the saga, one I've long regarded as the greatest ghost story ever written.

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8 comments:

  1. I preferred the Surfer variant, also. It piqued my interest much more than the Surfer firing on a mad scientist. What's compelling about the Surfer firing on a mad scientist?

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  2. There's a variant to the cover of X-Men 40!
    When the story was reprinted in X-Men #88 (1974), the face of Frankenstein was redrawn by Marie Severin!
    http://marvel.wikia.com/X-Men_Vol_1_88

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  3. Comicsfan - I know, but I guess they were thinking about the cover reaching out from the newsstand. I can see the reason for the change, but the other image is more interesting by far.

    Britt - Thanks for the heads up. I added that bit of lore to the post.

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  4. Nice images. Do you own all the comics you feature? Sometimes I have to use my Masterwork volumes for the required covers.

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  5. Rip --

    In regard to the original art on the Frankenstein X-Men cover, you'll notice that Warren is a stat. I wonder what the deal was there? If he was redrawn by someone other than Tuska (doesn't appear to be), or his angle of flight was the issue. I just love seeing corrections and/or explanations of why art and covers were altered or rejected outright.

    Thanks,

    Doug

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  6. Kid - Most of them actually. Kinda' pitiful. As it happens I bought all the ones in this post right off the newsstands save the first X-Men comic which I gathered later.

    Doug - I'm guessing that Tuska didn't put him in the original and then editorial demanded the Angel appear. So a little drawing gets done and glued into place. Sadly modern art will never offer us these behind-the-scenes glimpses since most all of it is done on computers.

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  7. That X-Men cover brings back some memories. That was one of my first back issue purchases. I wonder why they redrew ol' Franky's head for the reprint, though.

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  8. I cannot think of a good reason. The first head seems a stronger image by far. Maybe someone thought it was too scary. Sheesh!

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