Classification: Terrestrial technology

Creator: Ludwig von Frankenstein

Possessors/Users: Borgo, Ludwig von Frankenstein, Victoria Frankenstein/Baroness von Frankenstein;

Creations: Silver Surfer duplicate, Silver Surfer duplicate (Borgo; "Frankensurfer"), Silver Monster;

Location: Castle Frankenstein, the Alps, Geneva, Switzerland

Aliases: X-Ray;
    the X-Machine/X-Ray was used in Experiment X

First Appearance: (As the X-Ray and as the technology behind Experiment X )Silver Surfer I#7 (August, 1969);
    (as the X-Machine) Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37 (January, 1992)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The X-Machine could analyze one being and replicate its form and abilities (up to some limit, apparently) in another being that it created from clay.

(Silver Surfer I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Having developed the means to replicate another being, Ludwig apparently vowed never to attempt it for unrevealed reasons. 

(Silver Surfer I#7 - BTS) - After Ludwig failed in his efforts to reanimate a corpse as his ancestor had done, the villagers assaulted and set fire to Castle Frankenstein.

    Ludwig then resolved that he had no choice but to complete Experiment X and use its results to destroy the villagers; he considered it worth breaking his vow to prevent all of the knowledge of the Frankensteins from dying with him. x-machine-ludwigfrankenstein-clay

(Silver Surfer I#7 - BTS) - When the Silver Surfer happened by and drove off the attackers, Ludwig convinced him that he was a benevolent scientist who was attacked by those who did not understand him.

    Ludwig subsequently resolved to have a different fate than his ancestors, achieving instead total power, which would be his when he completed Experiment X.

    Borgo warned Ludwig that Experiment X was far more dangerous than what his ancestors had done, and Ludwig agreed, noting that that was they prize would be even greater.

    Apparently to prove his genius, which would ensure Experiment X's success, Ludwig demonstrated his mind transfer process between the minds between a rabbit and a wolf.

(Silver Surfer I#7) - Considering that experiment a success, Ludwig then prepared/completed his X-Machine (see comments) and then prepared to summon the Surfer.

     Shining a beam of intense light into space in the Surfer's proximity, Ludwig led the Surfer back to Castle Frankenstein, where he convinced him to be the test subject of a process designed to drive evil from men's minds. Not trusting Ludwig, the Surfer surrounded himself with an aura of cosmic force to prevent any weapon from harming him.

    Via his X-Machine, Ludwig replicated the Surfer's power and form from a blob of lifeless clay. Sensing betrayal, the Surfer broke free from Ludwig's device but was then attacked and stunned by newly-created duplicate. Ludwig then instructed the duplicate to leave the true Surfer behind and to instead attack the villagers.

(Silver Surfer I#7 - BTS) - The Surfer engaged and ultimately destroyed the duplicate. Stopping Ludwig from attacking the villagers, Borgo seemingly caused his and Ludwig's deaths.

(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#37 (fb) - BTS) - Victoria Frankenstein learned that Borgo had survived, crippled, and lived under the care of the local Müller family. Feeling that her family had been responsible for Borgo's fate, Victoria took him in.

x-machine-ludwigfrankenstein-dsss37-rubble(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#37 (fb)) - Once back in the castle, Borgo told Victoria that the X-Machine could restore his damaged spine and legs. Eager to make amends, Victoria had her "Children" clear away the rubble that covered the device. 

    Borgo guided Victoria and the Children to cover him in the clay from which Ludwig had created his Silver Surfer duplicate, with a second lump of clay beside him. Directing Victoria how to operate the X-Machine, Borgo was transformed into another Silver Surfer duplicate, the "Frankensurfer," with the extra clay becoming his surfboard.x-machine-ludwigfrankenstein-dsss37-clay.jpg

(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#37 - BTS) - Borgo planned to slay Victoria so she could never reverse the process that had given. During a battle with Dr. Strange, Borgo unwittingly slew Frau Müller and then, in his grief, crashed into a nearby mountain, apparently killing himself. Borgo's

    Strange took the blast and Frau Müller, who had previously cared for Borgo, rushed to Strange to care for him as well. Borgo accidentally slew her and in his grief crashed into a nearby mountain, killing himself. Victoria watched Strange fly away after leaving the body of Borgo in the care of Herr Müller, who planned to arrange a fitting funeral.

(unpublished Shamrock and Peregrine story, episode#3 (fb) - BTS) - Under the direction of Ludwig -- as Rainbow, the head of I.C.O.N. -- Lilac captured and decapitated the Frankenstein monster, leaving his agonized head connected to various tubes and electrodes, with the rest of his body dissected and in vats or on slabs.

(unpublished Shamrock and Peregrine story, episode#4 (fb) - BTS) - As Ludwig's X-Machine had recorded the Silver Surfer's alien "skin"/metallic coating, he created a monster similar to the original Frankenstein's monster but covered with such a coating: The Silver Monster.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Vince Colletta.

    Ludwig's machine was called the X-Ray in its initial appearance, but was identified as the X-Machine (although Ludwig presumably called what the X-Machine fired "X-Rays"). Presumably Ludwig was not familiar with the Wilhelm Roentgen, who discovered the more commonly known x-rays in 1895 A.D.?

    The first several times I reviewed this story, I thought that the mind-transfer was Experiment X and the duplication process was different, but re-re-reading it, I think it was just something that Ludwig did to convince himself (and Borgo) that he would succeed in his replication process, which was the true Experiment X? I don't know why.

    It was apparently normal clay that Ludwig transformed into the duplicate via his X-Machine, but -- especially since the duplicate seemed to have its own mind/thoughts -- it does make me wonder just how far Castle Frankenstein in Geneva, Switzerland was to Mount Wundagore in Transia. Especially since the Puppet Master once used such clay to create another Silver Surfer duplicate.

    Jean-Marc Lofficier was kind enough to send me the unpublished plot intended for a Marvel Comics Presents story. You can read it HERE.
    The identity of Rainbow from Lofficier's story was included in the Frankenstein Monster profile in OHotMU Horror 2005 (and in the A-Z hardcover), and the encounter was also referenced in le Peregrine's profile in 
All-New OHotMU Update#3 and Shamrock's profiles.
--Markus Raymond

    The Silver Surfer duplicate will get its own profile at some point...probably in 2026.

Profile by Snood.

The X-Machine should be distinguished from:

x-machine-ludwigfrankenstein-mindtransfer-wolfenergizedx-machine-ludwigfrankenstein-mindtransfer-cagedMind Transfer process

(Silver Surfer I#7) - When Borgo warned Ludwig that Experiment X was far more dangerous than what his ancestors had done, Ludwig agreed, noting that the prize would be even greater.

     Announcing that they would give the beasts their final test, Ludwig led Borgo to a room containing a rabbit and wolf, and he noted that the gentle rabbit and the murderous wolf's natures made them fitting subjects for what he would now prove.

     Ludwig then instructed Borgo to watch and see his genius at work, which would show why Experiment X could never fail.

     Ignoring Borgo's notation that he was afraid, like never before, Ludwig bathed both animals in energy from his machinery.
x-machine-ludwigfrankenstein-mindtransfer-rabbitattackx-machine-ludwigfrankenstein-mindtransfer-wolftame     Borgo exclaimed that he had fatally electrocuted them both and, despite Ludwig's warnings, he rushed to pick up the collapsed rabbit, which suddenly revived, released a growl, and leapt to attack Borgo.

     As Borgo begged for help, Ludwig petted the wolf, noting that it was now the gentle one, before finally shooting and apparently killing the rabbit.

     With this experiment a success, Ludwig then began to prepare the X-Machine.

--Silver Surfer I#7

Note: So...transferring the minds of two animals is pretty different from taking a lump of clay and turning it into a sentient near-duplicate of the cosmically-powered Silver Surfer. I'm not even sure what the processes have to do with each other.

    As this was the beasts' "final test," it would seem likely that there were previous tests +/- treatments prior to the mind-transfer.

    So, where is this device? I would like to see Veronica von Frankenstein or Maximilian Frankenstein or maybe Ian McNee or Elsa Bloodstone or someone travel to Castle Frankenstein and discover this machine. Maybe the rabbit did not die? The wolf was last seen in its cage, and then Ludwig seemingly perished and at least disappeared for a prolonged time period. Borgo did not come back until much later.
     Maybe the rabbit devoured the wolf. Maybe it's still out there and is something like the killer rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail? Maybe it mated with another rabbit and there's a whole group of these things somewhere?
     Incidentally, the Holy Grail came out in 1975, so maybe they were inspired by this scene to create their own killer rabbit? Probably not...but one never knows, does one? No, one does not...

     Interestingly (presumably for space reasons or perhaps because it didn't make ), the Fantasy Masterpieces II#7 reprint/version of the Silver Surfer I#7 is missing pg. 15-17, which contain this mind-transfer. The dialog in the last panel of pg. 14 is even altered to make the sequence of events flow more smoothly...or something?

images: (without ads):
Silver Surfer I#7, pg. 15, panel 3 (mind-transfer process; wolf and rabbit caged);
       pg. 16, panel 1-2 (wolf and rabbit-energized);
          panel 4 (rabbit attacking Borgo);
          panel 5 (Ludwig petting docile Wolf);
       pg. 17, panel 1 (Ludwig shooting rabbit);
          panel 3 (readying X-Machine montage);
       pg. 20, panel 1 (X-Machine; Surfer within tube);
          panel 2 (energy around Surfer's head);
          panel 3 (clay beginning changes, with tech above);

      pg. 21, panel 2 (clay taking silvery humanoid form);
Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37, pg. 18, panel 2 (uncovering X-Machine);
          panel 3 (Borgo covered in clay)

Silver Surfer I#7 (August, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Sal Buscema (inks)
Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#37 (January, 1992) - Jean-Marc Lofficier, Roy & Dan Thomas (writers), Geof Isherwood (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Unpublished Shamrock & Peregrine story for Marvel Comics Presents by RJM Lofficier

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First posted: 10/01/2023
Last updated: 10/01/2023

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