Sunday, February 06, 2011

Retro-Review: Frankenstein #1, Part 3!

frankenstein01_14The third story in this issue features Frankenstein in “Frankenstein's Wife,” and once again, it's all Dick Briefer! The bride in this couple definitely doesn't look like Elsa Lanchester, does it? I do have to say, I get a kick out of the oversized briar pipe and the slippers!




















Since the last story, Frankenstein has moved into an old abandoned mansion in Mippyville given to him by the mayor. “Ah – this is wonderful! Bats, rats, creaking floors, groaning doors, spiders and webs. What more can I ask?” he muses... and then he realizes one corner doesn't have enough cobwebs, and tells Stanley the Spider (who seems to have only six legs) to get to work! You'll recall that in Frankenstein's origin story, the scientist's serum was supposed to make him evil, but had the opposite effect... obviously, while Frankenstein may be a peaceful enough fellow, he does have a taste for the spooky! Frankenstein recalls a letter he received two days ago from W.C. Bowl (W.C.? As in water closet? So W.C. Bowl would really mean “toilet bowl,” if I'm not mistaken!) from Spic & Span Spider Homes Inc. just before there's a knock at the door! Frankenstein answers the door to see who the salesman is that they've sent, and to his surprise...

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Now, to you and me, she may look horrific, but to Frankenstein, she's the girl of his dreams (shouldn't that be the “ghoul of his dreams?”), and he's her dream hero (more likely “dream horror,” but let's not nitpick). The two embrace immediately, and next thing you know, the saleslady has married Frankenstein and submitted her resignation! Soon, the honeymooners are settled into blissful matrimony... Frankie (who calls her “Poopsie”) compliments her soup, while she tells Frankenstein (whom she calls “Mousy”) she doesn't deserve it! But such bliss doesn't last, and when Poopsie is reading the newspaper, she sees some new dresses being advertised, and asks Frankenstein if she goes to the city to buy a new dress. He agrees, and his wife is next shown in a trio of panels set at the doorway to Ye Smarte Dresse Shoppe, where a sign above the door reads, “Through this door pass the world's most gorgeous women.” In the first panel, she's entering, in the second panel she's leaving, and in the third panel, that sign is in the trashcan. She returns home, and shows off one of her dresses to Frankenstein.

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Frankie tells her she looks like a society debutante, and she tells him they're going to crash society, getting nice close and having a clean house, giving up “this horrid way of living,” as she puts it. Frankenstein doesn't want to be in high society, but next thing you know, he's in a tuxedo (which he doesn't like), she throws away his best briar pipe, she cleans out the cobwebs, and chases out the rats and bats! When he protests, Poopsie says, “Mr. Frankenstein, don't “No” me! Do as I say!” So now, the house looks like any other high society mansion, and the two are off to Mrs. DeRotte's function. They weren't invited to it, but it doesn't matter, for when they arrive, the doorman faints, removing the only obstacle. Mrs. Frankenstein (or as she has them announced, “Van Frankenstein”) chats with the high society women... “My maiden name was Sandra Alycia Poopnoodle of Virginia. Certainly, you remember my father, old Colonel Hammock Poopnoodle.” With this line of poopnoodle, she bluffs her way into being recognized. Frankenstein, towering over the other men at the function, is asked why he's married to “that old bag,” and if he's happy with her. Frankenstein suddenly gets an idea, and insists that he's not only happy...

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Yes, with the lie that his wife has a four million dollar inheritance, suddenly she's very much in demand with the single men at this function! She dances with just about everyone but her husband, which is fine by him. Soon, Frankenstein spots Poopsie walking out with a very short man, and Frankenstein follows them to the justice of the peace, who handles marriages and divorces. Apparently, in Mippyville, it only takes one spouse to initiate a divorce, and it can be done in minutes (with a second marriage taking place almost simultaneously), and that's exactly what happens! Poopsie is no longer Frankenstein's wife, and her new husband thinks he's rich (we never find out his reaction when he learns the truth). Frankenstein heads for home, and things are back to normal again!

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Now, I don't know much about Dick Briefer, and none of the web sites I could find with info about him said if he ever married or not... but if this story was an example of his idea of marriage, well...

It's still a fun little mini-epic of 10 pages... if someone was to do this in modern comics, this one storyline would've been extended out at least a year! One wonders why Frankenstein never just applied for the divorce himself, but perhaps in Mippyville, only wives can file for divorce?

Next: “The Mananimals”!

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