When I was growing up, before Svengoolie, WGN Television here in Chicago ran a program called Creature Features on Friday nights. It was the one night I got to stay up late. They showed the old black and white Universal Horror films. Two films in the late show time slot.

The first movie I saw was the 1931 Frankenstein directed by James Whale. Boris Karloff’s sympathetic depiction of the “monster” combined with Jack Pierces amazing makeup job set the standard to which all other depictions of the “Monster” are held.

The second film I watched was the sequel, the 1934  Bride of Frankenstein again directed by James Whale. The film begins with Lord Byron and Percy Shelley pleading with their Mary, played by Elsa Lanchester, to finish her story.  The opening scene begins at the burning mill where the last film ends. In this film Boris Karloff spoke giving the “Monster” a greater depth. Jack Pierce sadly received no screen credit for his makeup work in either film. Yet every year we see his work  on Oct. 31.

In high school I read the novel Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The story is chilling and dark and frightening and I loved it.  But it was nothing like the films.

I grew up reading comics. One of my favorites was The Invincible Iron man. So when Iron Man 3 was rumored to be about Extremis and Mandrin I could not wait to see it. I loved this particular story line and wanted to see it on film.

The film was nothing like the comics.

I was disappointed.

So why am I talking about Frankenstein ?

When I saw  Iron Man 3 the first time I went without my son.  He really wanted to see it with me. I told him I didnt’t like it. But He still really wanted to see it so I took him. Sitting there watching my son enjoy the movie I realized this movie was not for us hardcore comic fans. This movie was about what happened after NY. After the Avengers. Like most kids his age, my son did not grow up reading comics. What he knows about Iron Man he knows from the movies. So I watched it again with new eyes.

What I saw was a perfect compliment both to the Iron Man film saga as well as a follow up to the Avengers movie. Is this a billion dollar movie ? Yes, actually it is. Without my preconceived notions of what the film should be, it actually delivers on all levels.

So why am I talking about Frankenstein ?

When I saw the films Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein I loved them. In fact I watch them every time they are on. I love the book as well. I have a B&N leather bound copy of the book. The funny thing is that when I finally read the book I did not start hating the movies. I liked the movies and took them for what they were. Great movies. I did the same thing with the book. Great book.

So why did I have the such an issue with the film ?

Because I became an elitist comicbook snob who couldn’t enjoy different stories being told in different venues about the same characters like I did when I was a kid.

I love the comics for what they are. I love the films for what they are.

It is OK to love them both.

Hopefully with Marvel Unlimited my son will read the comic version of the storys and love them both the way I do. Either way no more seeing movies without my son !

One last thing…tell me this isn’t cool !


Monster Make-Up

Jack Pierce and Boris Karloff. Making a legend.

I hope that Marvel realizes its the same for Robert Downey Jr.

He is Iron Man. Anyone else will just be a poor copy of the original.

Pay him Marvel. Just pay him.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper



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