The tale of FRANKENSTEIN is unarguably timeless. So how does one take such a culturally recognized figure and alter him within the world of FLASHPOINT? Stepping up to the plate is fan-favorite creator Jeff Lemire, whose miniseries FLASHPOINT: FRANKENSTEIN & THE CREATURES OF THE UNNKNOWN sets the legendary monster in the heart of World War II. We chatted with Jeff about his spin on the character and his process as a writer:
THE SOURCE: FLASHPOINT: FRANKENSTEIN AND THE CREATURES OF THE UNKNOWN uncovers the wierd war tales of the FLASHPOINT world. When Frankenstein awakens in issue one, his first words are "was... something... left... undone?" What is he referring to? Where has Frankenstein been?
JEFF LEMIRE: That was actually an homage to the Grant Morrison/Doug Mahnke 7 SOLDIERS mini-series. In that book, those were the first words the creature said as well, and it occurred to me that if Frankenstein woke up in 1942 or in 2003 like he did in that series, he'd have the same reaction...he’d sense a world in turmoil.
Without giving too much away Frankenstein was a secret adventurer and protector of humanity in the early part of the 20th century before being...um...put out of commission for a while.
JEFF: He is THE war hero. Frankenstein is driven to root out evil at all costs and it leads him on a pretty MAJOR mission during World War II. One that not only changes the direction of the war, but also the history of the Flashpoint Universe's costumed heroes as well.
How does Project M impact the Second World War?
JEFF: Frankenstein and his team of Creature Commandos created by the mysterious Project M end up leading the charge in Europe. As a result, teams like the JSA and All-Star Squadron are not needed in the same way they were in the regular DC Universe. Thus their destinies are altered as well.
There's a common thread to your work for DC and Vertigo. SWEET TOOTH features hybrid human/animal creatures and SUPERBOY features the monthly adventures of a super clone. Now you're writing the adventures of monsters who are super soldiers. What draws you to stories about lab experiments and science fiction?
JEFF: I am actually a clone myself. I come from a long line of clones. My dad was a clone, my grandfather...in fact I've cloned myself a number of times. It's how I'm able to write two monthly books and write and draw another every month.
Seriously, though I love these characters who have nebulous origins and are born as outsiders...or born being inherently cut off from the rest of humanity, and as a result need to manufacture either own place in the world. It's a very unique point of view to write and for whatever reason, one I can relate to and one that continues to interest me creatively.
What makes this Frankenstein unique from other takes on the character?
JEFF: This Frankenstein is a total badass. An unstoppable, unkillable machine of destruction. But inside is the romantic heart of a poet.