The Frankensteins derive their name from the Rock of the Franks, part of the future Bavaria once inhabited by the bloodthirsty Franks, who later moved south and settled what would become France. In 948 A.D., Arbogast Frankenstein (or von Frankenstein), master of the castle on the Rock, became infamous by slaying knights in jousts. 15th-century Frank Frankenstein and his Teutonic Knights brutally converted heathens until being impaled by Vlad Dracula
. In 1531, Hans Frankenstein sacrificed his brother's lover to placate the Scheusslischer Lindwurm dragon; Georg revived too late to save Annemarie, but slew the dragon and was killed in return. Georg earned the legendary title St. George, while Hans eventually went mad after sacrificing another maiden to another dragon. The Frankensteins sold the castle to the state in 1662, but alchemist Konrad Dippel earned the title to Castle Frankenstein in 1732 and started a new dynasty. After Konrad, Baron Frankenstein, died a mysterious death, his family fled to Geneva, Switzerland and started a new life and a new Castle Frankenstein. Konrad's son Alphonse grew into a respectable bourgeois, and his wife bore Victor in 1760, followed by William and Ernst. Another Castle Frankenstein exists in Transylvania.
In the late 18th century, Victor, a University of Ingolstadt student, began experiments to create new life and to reanimate the dead, seeking immortality. Aided by an unspecified assistant, Frankenstein assembled a giant body from various parts of different fresh human corpses and somehow brought it to life. Frankenstein was horrified and threatened by his monstrous creation, narrowly escaping after holding him off with fire. Wandering the woods, the Monster killed a bear for food and its pelt, and learned to speak by hearing others. He befriended an old blind man, but was mistakenly driven off as an attacker by the man's family, and the anguished Monster killed Victor's brother William to punish his creator. The Monster later coerced Victor into creating a mate, but Victor slew the "Bride of Frankenstein" shortly after its awakening and then fled.
The Monster killed Victor's friend Henry Clerval, and then trailed Victor, killing his wife, Elizabeth, on their wedding night and tracing him to the Arctic ship of Robert Walton, but Victor died before the Monster could reach him. He befriended a tribe of misshapen Outcasts in the Arctic wilderness before they were slain by a rival tribe, then fell into the freezing waters and entered suspended animation. In 1815, Ernst Frankenstein told his brother's story to writer Mary Shelley. In 1850, an unnamed alien race created and sent a robot to earth in the hopes of facilitating communications; intended to mirror humanity, this robot was a virtual duplicate of the Frankenstein Monster. After malfunctioning and menacing humanity, the robot was also frozen in Arctic ice. In the modern era, this robot was reactivated by Dr. Powell and destroyed by the X-Men.
In January, 1898 the frozen Monster was found by Robert Walton IV, great-grandson of the man who had encountered the Monster in the past, who brought him aboard his ship. The Monster awakened and was attacked by the fearful crew; he slew them all save Walton, Canute, and Sean Farrell. These three perished shortly after the ship was destroyed by harsh weather; before dying, Walton revealed there was another living Frankenstein. Traveling to Ingolstadt, the Monster slew the werewolf Lenore and the insane Colonel, who fed people to his giant spider in Castle Frankenstein, abandoned by Jason Frankenstein (perhaps from the Frankensteins inhabiting the castle after Dippel's death). The Monster befriended Carmen and Marguerita, who tricked him into freeing the entombed Dracula
. He staked Dracula
, but also destroyed the secretly vampiric Carmen, who lacerated his vocal cords, rendering him mute.
The Monster then encountered Vincent Frankenstein, great-grandson of Ernst. Protected by the monstrous and kyphotic Ivan, Vincent offered to give the Monster a more normal body and to give the Monster's body to Ivan; however, the Monster responded poorly to anesthesia and rampaged. Ivan subdued the Monster, but was slain by Vincent, who feared the Monster's destruction; and Vincent was slain by the midwife Betty, who blamed him for the death of his wife Lenore, who died delivering Basil. Wandering off again, the Monster was pulled through time by Kang the Conqueror, serving in his Legion of the Unliving before being returned to his own time, falling off into a cliff and entering suspended animation in the icy waters below. In adulthood, Basil Frankenstein joined the Nazis, creating some misshapen people and his own monster, dying alongside it fighting the Invaders. Basil's son, Ludwig, later created more deformed people before creating the X-Machine and making a Silver Surfer replica, which was destroyed by the true Surfer. Ludwig also fathered two daughters, Veronica and Victoria.
Found sometime in the latter 20th century by an oil tanker crew, the inert Monster was stolen and placed on display in a U.S. carnival. Derek McDowell became obsessed with the Monster and his girlfriend died trying to destroy it, unwittingly reviving him instead. McDowell tried to use the Monster to obtain a new body for the brain of his dying friend, Owen Wallach. Unable to obtain a healthy normal subject, McDowell transferred Wallach's brain into the Monster, but the distraught Wallach then strangled McDowell. As the Monster, Wallach captured trapeze artist James Talbott, intending to switch minds via his molecular transposer, but a rat interfered with the process. Wallach's brain was transferred into the rat and the rat's brain into the Monster, who smashed the Wallach/rat before rampaging through the city. Meanwhile, the psychotic Master (James Sinoda) sought the Monster's body for his own purposes and used voodoo to revive McDowell, who used Wallach's transposer to switch minds with Talbott and restore the Monster's brain to its rightful body, but was smashed and killed by the disoriented Monster. The Master then manipulated Talbott (in McDowell's decomposed body) to bring the Monster to him and his Freak army, then slew Talbott and tried to befriend the Monster, only to perish alongside the Freaks while trying to punish Julia Winter, who had rebuffed his advances. The Monster rescued Julia, who fled from him upon awakening, then opposed a presidential assassination attempt and killed a man who murdered his wife and framed the Monster.
The Monster befriended adventurer Ulysses Bloodstone at some point. It is as yet unknown whether there is a connection between the Monster and the First Line member known only as Frank. The Monster eventually returned to Manhattan, then traveled to Los Angeles in hopes that the Brotherhood of Baal's leader, Anton Vayla, could give him a human body. This led to a battle with the Jack Russell Werewolf, where the Monster helped the Werewolf slaughter the cultists after learning they intended to place their demonic master in the Monster's body. Back in Manhattan, the Monster befriended Ralph Caccone, whose geneticist father tried to clone a new body for him but was slain by the Jigsaw Monster, a rogue multiple animal hybrid experiment his wife had unwittingly created while sabotaging his work. The organization I.C.O.N. (International Crime Organization Nexus, reportedly headed by Ludwig Frankenstein), whose Operation: Marauder sought world takeover via an army of undead servants, captured the Monster to see why he possessed more intelligence than their creations; but the Jigsaw Monster had followed them, and its ensuing assault destroyed the Operation: Marauder facility. Private investigator Eric Prawn flew the Frankenstein Monster to the Swiss Alps chalet of Veronica Frankenstein, who surgically restored the Monster's speech, after which the Monster battled and later befriended I.C.O.N.'s Berserker android. The android was destroyed and the Monster captured by Victoria Frankenstein's Children of the Damned (the creations, and their offspring, of Basil and Ludwig), who brought the Monster to the Swiss Castle Frankenstein, but the Monster found kinship and happiness among them and made this his new home.
The Monster was teleported away by Baron von Shtupf, the Monster Maker, who wished to create a super-powerful army based on the Monster, the Man-Wolf, Spider-Man, and any other superhumans he could capture; but with the aid of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Judith Klemmer, they defeated Shtupf. Victoria Frankenstein was later taken hostage by the Dreadknight, but the Children brought Iron Man (Tony Stark) to help, and he helped the Monster defeat Dreadknight. The Monster had gone off on his own when Borgo, former servant of Ludwig Frankenstein, transformed himself into another Silver Surfer replica.
Geneticist Dr. Walter Kraft plotted to create an army of "Frankenclones," genetically created replicas of the Monster's patchwork form and power, enlisting the aid of Ivan (still surviving since the 19th century) in return for a promise to place his mind in the Monster's body. Ivan duped the Monster into believing Kraft would give him a normal body and imprisoned Victoria, but Spider-Man - doing a story as Peter Parker on Kraft's public genetics developments - revealed the truth, and the Monster slew Ivan and destroyed Kraft's castle and the Frankenclones. The Monster eventually took the name Adam and became the caretaker of Ulysses Bloodstone's magical possessions and befriended his daughter, Elsa, giving her the Bloodstone Choker and accompanying her on several adventures.
Note: A number of other Frankensteins and similar monsters have been reported, but chronology and analyses of these remains incomplete.