Frankenstein is back and free of restraints, so he’s hunting down his arch-nemesis!

Gotham City Monsters 1
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils and Inks by Amancay Nahuelpan
Colors by Trish Mulvihill

I really fell in love with DC Comics’ version of Frankenstein during the New 52 era – one of the few characters that I thought had a good outing during those 5 years. That series, which saw the monster as an agent of the super-spy organization S.H.A.D.E., was written by Jeff Lemire, and the series was one of the books that made Lemire one of my favorite writers.

When I saw this miniseries announced, I was excited to see Frankenstein back (after last being seen in some early Rebirth SUPERMAN issues). But I was given pause by seeing the writer attached to the book. I’ve tried a bunch of series from Steve Orlando over the last couple of years. I’ve wanted to like them all, because he’s handled some great characters at DC Comics. But something about his writing just doesn’t click with me.

But I continue to try, mostly because I want to see more books featuring Frankenstein.

GOTHAM CITY MONSTERS sees Frankenstein come to Monstertown, the part of Gotham City that was built around the destruction caused by Doctor Hugo Strange in the “NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN” story from the early Rebirth era. Frankie is seeking his nemesis Melmoth, and situations are conspiring to bring Frankenstein together with other monsters, like Killer Croc, I, Vampire, Lady Clayface and Orca.

In addition to the ties to the Monster Men crossover, the series’ first issue is steeped in current DC Comics lore, with references to EVENT LEVIATHAN and the CITY OF BANE arc in Batman, tying together some disparate big events going on at the same time. It’s a bit much, but Orlando does a good job here of keeping the story moving with a lot of needed exposition.

The first issue was good, though the characterization of Frankenstein and other members of the cast felt a bit stilted at times. The problems I’ve had with other Orlando series are there, though I feel like GOTHAM CITY MONSTERS did a better job of keeping me interested in seeing what happens going forward than some of his other books. I’m willing to pick up the next issue to see what happens.