Is there a legal issue with the name Bride of Frankenstein? Like, does Universal own that specific grouping of words? In that case, The Bride would work just as well or better, unless there’s an issue with Kill Bill. Basically, I am saying THE NAME IS FLEXIBLE.
The deal with the Bride is this: Victor Frankenstein created a woman with the intent that it would become his first creature’s mate, but the she-creature wasn’t having it (in Morrison's Frankenstein!, she says “It’s nothing personal. But you were never my type. … Alive. One of these days they’ll figure out how to sew on a sense of humor.”). The Bride escaped captivity and lived a wandering existence before “the Red Swami brainwashed me, grafted on two extra arms, and passed me off as a reincarnated assassin goddess.” That incident brought her to the attention of the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive, or SHADE.
What is SHADE? Their leader is Father Time, a master manipulator who only seems callous and amoral because he can see the big picture (and I’m talking the biggest). Like a certain celebrated Time Lord, he periodically regenerates into new forms, except Father Time does it every January 1st (comic book time being what it is, it would theoretically be years between regenerations, but it would be more fun to have Father Time obey the real-world or "higher" calendar, to the great confusion of the characters within the book). I’ll let Morrison, via Father Time, explain the organization’s mandate:
“Here’s the pitch. Superman meets James Bond. Big time for a little while. These days we clean up the crap no one else will touch, on a budget that wouldn’t buy you breakfast at a fancy hotel.”
God, I love that notion. SHADE headquarters hasn’t been remodeled since 1978 and the paint is peeling; since every penny they get goes to developing new and innovative superhumans for the purpose of national defense, their computers are perpetually four years out of date, and everyone has to chip into an office fund to buy the coffee. Even if you don’t drink coffee, you have to pay into the fund, and I cannot stress that enough.
SHADE is drawn like a Jim Steranko spy-fi comic, except all the characters are ugly.
The Bride is the perfect operative to work for SHADE, and here’s why:
1.) She’s quick-witted with a dry sense of humor and a strong stomach. The latter will come particularly in handy when a monster composed of self-loathing, disappointment, desperation and alcohol vomit coalesces in the sewers beneath Ivy Town and attacks the college students from which it originated.
2.) She’s got the flexible morals her job requires; she has no problem ordering an entire Manhattan city block vaporized when a lack of flow renders the architecture poisonous and threatens to spread; that act, however, doesn’t exactly get her on the Guardian’s good side, and there is of course a fight until they realize they have to team up to defeat the sinister Landlord.
3.) She’s infinitely adaptable and has a lust for life. Something of an aesthete, she dresses in the latest, most outrageous fashions, and it is her stylistic convictions that make her alone immune to Nightmare in Plaid. The Bride surrounds herself in fine art, food, and music, and desires (and is desired by) some of the handsomest men in all the world; unfortunately, this taste for the finer things leaves her highly susceptible to the 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 configurations of Baron Sensor’s Pleasure Cube, and that mission does not go very well.
4.) The Bride is extremely professional; she has no ties, and so the mission doesn’t become personal. One of the few exceptions to this rule is when the last in the Frankenstein bloodline is discovered living in Toronto. The secret of the Frankenstein Process is encoded into his DNA, and using this, the Men from MOMMA derive their experiments with the end goal of no longer needing women to reproduce. This project turns out to have military applications, and from it will come the only creature who might be considered the Bride’s equal: the mysterious supersoldier and poet, Lilac Vapour.
5.) The Bride is probably the coolest person you’ll ever meet, but if you ever have occasion to meet her, it probably means you are going to die very soon.
(Also, Josh: If DC called tomorrow and wanted more story springboards, I’d pitch them the “Bitter Cold” killer-snowmen idea from Wyatt, in which a science-priestess curses the raiders that destroyed her laboratory village, binding their souls to water molecules and leaving them to freeze in the winter. But that is okay because you should totally be drawing this.)
Another asset: You have to understand, approximately one in three SHADE agents will eventually go rogue, and the agency has learned to just accept that. Mental breakdown is a frequent side effect of superhumanization. You might agree really quickly to have supercool pilot skills uploaded into your brain (as do the members of the X-Hawks Squadron), but you may become unhinged when you can’t sleep because your mind is incessantly playing out hypothetical combat simulations. A young agent signs up to gain ESP at the cost of his sense of smell; it sounds like a good trade-off, but when he can’t enjoy movies because he knows how they’ll end, and when the smell of cooking bacon has no effect on him whatsoever, he’ll want revenge on the superscientists who did this to him (and of course, with the ESP, they can’t hide a damn thing from him).
It is, of course, one of the Bride’s jobs to track down these rogue agents and kill them or try to salvage their enhancements. And they can trust her with it, because she’s got another edge over every other SHADE agent.
She never had any humanity to lose in the first place.
NEXT: Mister Miracle (I guess).