The 6 Best Comic Book Uses of Classic Horror Monsters
Happy Henchman Halloween, boys and ghouls! I come to you once again with a scary List of Sinister Six, designed to fill you with fright and a certain amount of comic book trivia! Because the comic book industry isn’t immune to holiday specials, and there has been some truly fun comic book spookiness over the years. This week, we’re going to look at the best comic book appearances by those classic Universal Studios movie monsters: Dracular, Frankentein, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and all their friends!
You’d be surprised what some creative types can do once characters are in the public domain. Sometimes they’re really imaginative and fascinating. And sometimes they attach a random adjective onto the monster and call it a day. So join me won’t you to discover the six best comic book appearances of some of Hollywood’s most iconic spooksters!
6. Living Mummy
Marvel Comics has always been a leader when it comes to adjectives! The Amazing Spider-Man! The Uncanny X-Men! And The Living Mummy! Doesn’t really have the same excitement, does it? The Living Mummy is N’Kantu, an ancient Egyptian slave who was mummified and then revived in the modern day, and doesn’t have a problem with walking around like a classic movie monster. N’Kantu became a legit superhero, even going so far as to join Nick Fury’s Howling Commandoes, then the Legion of Monsters, and even fighting against the Superhero Registration Act, because who’s going to force a mummy to get a mummy license?
5. Invisible Man
The literary Invisible Man himself was picked to join Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, back when it was a respectable comic book and not the embarrassment that is Sean Connery’s last film appearance. But this Invisible Man was a traitor and a bastard who opted to join a Martian Invasion rather than fight it. Don’t worry though, he got what was coming to him – brutally beaten, killed and then eaten by Mr. Hyde. Isn’t literature fun?
4. Lagoon Boy
When looking to add some supporting characters to Aquaman’s comic, DC took the Creature from the Black Lagoon and turned him into a teenage superhero named Lagoon Boy. Does he come from an actual lagoon? Or did they simply not try very hard when it came to the name? Who knows! He went on to be a somewhat prominent member of Young Justice before DC turned him into a sacrificial lamb on Titans East. At least he got some newfound respect in the Young Justice cartoon show…until Superboy stole his girlfriend. Lagoon Boy gets no respect.
3. Werewolf by Night
Sporting possibly the worst superhero name ever is Jack Russell, the ‘Werewolf by Night’ – because I suppose ‘Jack Russell Terrier’ was too much of a pun, even for a werewolf. There’s nothing particularly special about Werewolf by Night. He’s literally just a werewolf running around the Marvel Universe, occasionally teaming up with Iron Man or Moon Knight or whoever. He’s also gained the ability to change into a werewolf at will at any time during the day, so the ‘at Night’ part is kind of just for show nowadays. I guess he’s big into brand retention.
2. Marvel’s Dracula
In one of the finest examples of comics using public domain characters however they want, Marvel just up and decided in the 70s to start writing a comic about Dracula. It was popular enough to turn the character – who resembled the classic Bella Lugosi version – into a reoccurring vilain in Marvel Comics. Dracula battled the X-Men in several encounters. Dracula! The Dracula fighting the X-Men! It was totally a thing. But then along came a certain book series… Remember a few years ago when sexy vampires were huge thanks to Twilight? Marvel definitely remembers, because long after that trend had already started to die down, Marvel decided to bring Dracula back and turn him into a dark, brooding, sexual vamp hero, who teamed up with the X-Men to fight a sexy vampire uprising. It was not Marvel’s finest hour.
1. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
What Marvel did with Dracula, DC Comics decided to do with Frankenstein’s monster – only DC seemed to have a lot more fun with it. Their version of Frankenstein is a tough-as-nails, no-nonsense, badass secret agent, and a member of the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive. Suck on that, SHIELD! Frankenstein is a pretty unflappable guy as he busts heads and wields giant, steampunk firearms. When Batman’s son was killed, what did the Dark Knight do? He kidnapped Frankenstein and started autopsying him to figure out the secret of his unlife, but Frank’s head just continued talking to try and convince Batman it was a bad idea. At least this Franky puts his undead badassery to good use instead of desperately trying to seize upon recent, glittery pop culture crazes.