Mike Ploog brought his artistic talent to shed light on Marvel's version of the Monster of Frankenstein in 1972. Here are some of the best covers, with the original black and white art versions for comparison.
Monster of Frankenstein #2 is one of my top 10 favorite Marvel covers of all time, and perhaps my favorite Ploog cover as well. You can really feel the Monster's pain as he carries his Bride (snuffed out after a horrific rebirth by Victor Frankenstein) away from the castle. I loved this cover so much, I put a piece of light paper over it, traced it, and inked it in junior high school. There was a girl in my class who was really impressed by this: You drew that? I nodded my head. What the heck, was she gonna know who Ploog was?
There is one negative thing about the cover: that logo is one of the worst designs for a title that I've ever seen!
The original art to this piece is even more stunning, the textures and shadows are wonderful. Who is the lucky sonofagun who owns this piece? John Butler from comicartfans, unless it was sold to another person.
After Victor crushed his dream of friendship and love, the Monster gets revenge in issue #3 by murdering Elizabeth Frankenstein on her wedding night. The cover is just classic horror to the max: the Monster's rage with the full moon in the background, Elizabeth's décolletage, her expression of surprise, and the candles getting snuffed out by the sudden gush of wind. Just as Elizabeth herself will be snuffed out.
The original art to Monster of Frankenstein #3. From the collection of John Scarpone at comicartfans.
Issue #4 featured a departure from the general story of Mary Shelley's novel. The Monster winds up meeting a tribe of native aborigines who adopt him. The creature finds a home for a while--until a war with a neighboring tribe kills all of his friends.
The original art to Monster of Frankenstein #4 looks a lot more striking in black and white. If this scan is correct, Marvel flipped the cover. Notice the mountain and sky in the background--completely erased in the printed cover. Once again from John Butler's gallery. I am getting really envious of that dude.
Now here's an interesting behind the scenes look at the design of Marvel's Frankenstein Monster. This character design sketch was done by John Romita Sr. There is a note written in ink by Roy Thomas to Ploog.
This is (the) version Stan wants to see. Please call me to discuss.
Ploog then created this Frankenstein conceptual drawing based on Romita's sketch and Roy Thomas' comments. I think I first saw this in the Essential Monster of Frankenstein a few years ago. Both of these character design pieces are from Doug Edelman on comicartfans.
Many thanks to all of the Mike Ploog fans on comicartfans for these scans. It's nice to know that many people love Ploog!
You can also view Ploog's recreation of Frankenstein Monster #6 from a post I did in Jan 2009. Nuff said.
Update: Comments from my old MT blog...