A Tale Of Romance With A Twist
♦ Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden gives us his latest in a regular series about comic series that never were. Today it’s the turn of Mark Wheatley’s Frankenstein Mobster: The Werewolf Syndicate…
Mark Wheatley’s Frankenstein Mobster: The Werewolf Syndicate…
Acclaimed creator Mark Wheatley scared up a crime comic with horror panache when he unleashed his innovative series, Frankenstein Mobster. What many fans didn’t know was that he was building towards a second graphic novel with the unreleased Frankenstein Mobster: The Werewolf Syndicate.
Within the monster book’s pages, Wheatley chronicled the tale of Terry Todd – a good cop who tried to be a good father. As it so happened, Todd’s dedication to the police force inspired his daughter Terri to follow in his footsteps and become a detective. After he died, though, he became the “made man” known as the Frankenstein Mobster – a creature patched together from the bodies of three ruthless mobsters. Now, besides facing off against his very daughter, the Frankenstein Mobster also fights for control of the evil trio’s souls in a terrible conflict that could turn the corrupt Monstros City into a hell all its own.
“Essentially I was working on a second graphic novel called The Werewolf Syndicate,” Wheatley said. “I was working on Frankenstein Mobster #10 when the first graphic novel – which collected issues one through seven – was due out from Image Comics. When I called the Image offices to ask why the graphic novel did not come out on the day it was expected, I was informed the book had been canceled three months earlier.
“No one had thought to tell me of the cancellation, nor had they made any reaction to the complete eighth issue I finished –as well as the covers and ads for issues nine (which was scripted) and 10 that I had just delivered. Their production department was actually still working on those issues. So Image had not informed them of the cancellation either.
“The Werewolf Syndicate introduced romance for Frankie,” said Wheatley, “and had him facing off with zombies and other fighters in the boxing ring. And it deepened the relationships and characters introduced in the Made Man graphic novel from IDW. But the major element that was explored was the addition of a crime organization for the monsters, one that could stand up to the human crime bosses and the corrupt police force. I was also working to increase the amount of quirky humor in the series. As the regular characters became better known, I was able to add more character humor. And, this was important as a contrast to the higher stakes playing out as Frankie became a major player in the struggle between all the deadly forces at play in Monstros City.”
“One of my frustrations is that Del Rey was trying to get me to leave Image and let them publish the graphic novel,” Wheatley added. “I had turned them down to remain loyal to Image, since the book was selling well and sales were going up on each issue as well as back issue reorders. So, the cancellation was a real shock. IDW released the Made Man graphic novel as part of the entire Mark Wheatley collection – which is still available for purchase through Amazon.
As far as The Werewolf Syndicate goes, Wheatley would like to return to the story one day.
“I have long since lost track of where I was going with the original story,” Wheatley confessed, “but I vaguely remember what the concept was beyond those issues. I still entertain a fantasy of getting back into doing it at some point in the future.”
For more info on Frankenstein Mobster: https://www.markwheatleygallery.com/frankenstein-mobster/
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