The reshaping of Mary Shelley's story began almost from the moment it first appeared. The 1931 Universal Studios production of Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff as the monster, capped more than a century of variant tellings of the original story.
Compared to Shelley's sensitive, articulate creature, Universal's was crude and unformed. But the sheer power of Hollywood image-making gave him an impact as great or greater than Shelley's, and made him into an icon of popular culture.
In 1818, Shelley's story was published as Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. This story — both in the original novel and shaped into new forms, such as plays, films, and comics — has captivated people ever since, exposing hidden, sometimes barely conscious fears of science and technology.