Victor Frankenstein is the titular character of Mary Shelley's novel. He is a Swiss scientist who becomes obsessively convinced that he can bring the dead back to life, or rather, create life through means of chemistry and biology. Through ambiguous means, he assembles a body composed of previously deceased men (implied to have been criminals) and succeeds in creating life, but becomes horrified by his creation and turns it away.
Victor soon becomes remorseful after the Creature, referred to as "The Daemon" throughout the novel, begins killing those closest to him. He forces Victor to create a bride, but when he refuses, the Creature kills his fiance Elizabeth. Victor chases him to the North Pole where he is found by an explorer whom he relates his tale to. Victor dies and the Creature, saddened by his death takes his body deep into the winter wasteland.
Along with his monster companion, as well as other literary scares such as Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein has become an icon and has been portrayed by numerous actors. The famous 1931 film adaptation, directed by James Whale, starred Colin Clive as the doctor and gave him a hunchbacked assistant named Fritz (commonly mistaken as Igor) while the 1957 film by Terrence Fisher starred Peter Cushing in a more sinister depiction.
Victor Frankenstein is a clever and industrious 11-year old boy who is inspired by science. He lives with his parents and dog, Sparky, in the town of New Holland. Victor immerses himself in making films and inventing in his attic workshop. When Sparky dies in a car accident, Victor uses scientific ingenuity to bring him back to life.
Victor is shy, introverted, brilliantly creative, and exceptionally intelligent. He spends most of his time with his dog or up in the attic where he works on his science experiments. In the ending, he shows a heroic side that is not shown at first due to his shyness, and the apparent need to work alone.
Victor appears to harbor a crush on his neighbor, Elsa Van Helsing, a somber yet soulful girl whose uncle is the mayor of New Holland; although confirmation is never cleared. Their dogs Sparky and Persephone, however, are another story entirely.
Victor appears on Once Upon a Time, played by David Anders. Dr. Victor Frankenstein is a scientist who believes magic to be inferior to science. He is the older brother of Gerhardt and the son of Alphonse.
In the Land Without Color, Victor originally seeks a way to restore life to the dead but has his funding pulled by his father. Rumplestiltskin offers him gold in exchange for the scientific method on how to revive the dead as magic could not. Victor robs a grave for body parts to experiment on but is caught by Gerhardt who is shot by a police officer. As Victor attempts to bring Gerhardt back to life, electricity cannot revive him, so Rumplestiltskin instead offers a heart from the Enchanted Forest. As part of a bargain, he creates a false attempt to reanimate Daniel to make it easier for Rumplestiltskin to manipulate her. In his own world, Frankenstein reanimates his brother with the heart, thus creating Frankenstein's Monster, who beats Alphonse to death. Victor imprisons the Monster until he can devise a way to help the Monster overcome his psychotic rage. When the Evil Queen cast her curse, Victor is sent to the Land Without Magic.
In Storybrooke, he is Dr. Whale, a doctor working in Storybrooke General Hospital. He originally assists Regina Mills, doing whatever she says without hesitation. After the curse is broken, he leads a mob to Regina's home intending to kill her. Victor later seeks a way to return to his brother, believing if he were to do something for Regina she would bring him back. He successfully reanimates Daniel's corpse with a magical heart, turning him into a monster who savagely rips off Whale's arm. Mr. Gold later reattaches his arm. He is transported back to the Land Without Color when Regina undid her curse.
After Snow White cast a new case, somehow, Victor returns to Storybrooke, resuming his position as the doctor at the hospital. He also helps deliver Mary Margaret's and later Zelena's baby. He later helps Dr. Jekyll with his experiments to create a new serum to defeat the Evil Queen.
- Victor is based on Mary Shelley's Doctor Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster from the novel Frankenstein.
- Victor Frankenstein looks like a child version of Victor Van Dort from Tim Burton's 2005 film Corpse Bride. On a related note, both characters had and lost their dog at a young age. However, both characters had their dog returned back to them from the dead.
- In Once Upon a Time, Frankstenstein goes by the name "Dr. Whale", in Storybrooke. This is a reference to director James Whale, who directed Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935).