Victor Frankenstein, of “Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus” by Mary Shelley, Herbert West, of “Herbert West — The Reanimator” by H.P. Lovecraft, Dr. Moreau of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” by H. G. Wells, Griffin, AKA The Stranger of “The Invisible Man”, also by H. G. Wells, and Lex Luthor of “Superman” by Jerry Siegel, are just a few of the MAD SCIENTISTS that jump to mind.
Some mad scientists want to take over the world, control weather, create monstrous weapons, seek revenge or simply defy the laws of physics. When they create MONTERS things get out-of-control very quickly!
Some of the best monster stories start with the desire of the mad scientist to improve on mankind or to circumvent the usual way people get “made.” Umm… you’ve got to wonder about that one. The usual way has been doing a good job of producing people for a long, long time. Using science and technology to aid in conception is one thing, using science and technology to make a new and improved version of us, usually creates something monstrous (bigger, faster, stronger, smarter) but not really BETTER and more than a little MONSTROUS.
If the lessons of science fiction stories are anything to go by, the mad scientists never get it right. This, of course, started me pondering an entirely different kind of “successful” monster creation.
Let’s just imagine that a mad scientist succeeded. Picture a patchwork “Frankenstein” who wasn’t ugly, odd and immediately rejected by natural humans. Maybe one of Moreau’s experiments turned out right — right enough to slip outside his island and mix and mingle in the “real” world. What if the invisible Griffin got a job in charge of research and development at a big pharmaceutical company? Would the rest of us be able to identify the monsters among us?
I’ve met a few house cats that seemed to have a bit extra going for them — a dash of chimpanzee or a little bit of tiger? Maybe the mad Moreau was successful?