In 2004 Chaos magician and rock star comic book creator Grant Morrison brought to life a vibrant, weird and understated superhero magnum opus: Seven Soldiers.
Morrison took the name of an old Golden Age superhero team (The Seven Soldiers of Victory) and he took inspiration from a 1970’s period in DC Comics where strange, lush horror comics were en vogue.
And with a healthy dose of his own ideas, his vision for the Seven Soldiers was this: a team of seven third-to-fourth rate unknown superheroes become part of a team – and yet, they never even meet or fight together! An ancient Elizabethan-tinged evil (the Sidhe faerie-folk of our lore) sought to “harvest our culture” and leave our planet a drained, withering husk. Only the Seven Soldiers, through their own unwitting individual adventures, stand between the Sidhe and our world.
Seven Soldiers was published as seven individual four part interlocking miniseries, with a prologue and finale bookending them. And guess who made the team?
The DC Universe always had Frankenstein in its canon (ah, the joys of the public domain). Morrison re-envisioned him as a poetic, John Milton quoting badass, wielding what may have been the sword of the Archangel Michael. He consciously takes the name of his creator (hence why he’s not “The Monster” or “The Creature”) In the course of his four-issue adventures he encounters a high school horror, a sojourn on Mars, and the shadowy government organization that employs his intended Bride.
Regarding The Bride: Morrison reimagined her as a gun toting badass government agent, mowing down her enemies with style and skill. She’s snarky, self-assured, stitched together and sexy. In homage to James Whale, she tells Frankenstein that he’s not her type, as in, “not living.” Her origin is also wonderful. As she explains, she was captured, given two extra arms and conditioned by the supervillain Red Swami into thinking she was the reincarnation of his cult’s ‘assassin goddess.’ Perhaps a roundabout reference to Kali? This is the Hammer horror movie I want to see.
Doug Mahnke was the penciler on this project and he was terrific. The renderings were beautiful and weird, with just the right touch of superheroic awe. There has been a continuing series, Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., that I plan on delving into.
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