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Man-Thing #1

by Forrest.H on March 08, 2017

Writer: R.L. Stine
Artist: German Peralta

In his Marvel comics debut penning the eponymous Man-Thing, R.L. Stine spends a little bit too long treading familiar ground but nails a specific tone and eventual setup that leave room open for better things to come.

Ted Sallis, the Man-Thing, finds himself unemployed after a brief, ill-advised flirtation with Hollywood-stardom. His mind, memories, and control returned to his body, he wanders the streets a veritable monster, looking for meaning and, by the issues end, finds it in a fight with something very familiar.

The problem then, is that this first issue spends more time on Man-Thing’s past, Sallis’ past, rather than where he is now – there’s more time spend telling how he became Man-Thing, a well told story over numerous other runs, than there is in telling why it matters now.
It’s well written, of course, as Stine is a veritable master of this kind of punchy, one-liner laden shock and awe horror awash in pulp but, there’s not much to tell, the narration is good, a hyper-indulgent pulp shock and awe guide to the issue that balances out the straightforward dialogue and overly long retreads.  

Narrative missteps aside, the issue shines in its presentation. The art is effective, well laid out and layered – colors are punchy but tailored, a pulpiness adheres the whole thing together.  Man-Thing himself looking very out-of-place, as he should - the red glow around his eyes betraying the man trapped in this body. When the eventual foe emerges, too, a kind of even match, the brief punches thrown demonstrate that this team will be more than ready to handle the cool set pieces I believe are coming.

It’s not the strongest of introductory issues, certainly not as strong as one might expect from Stine, but it is more than enough to entice at least until the second issue. Fans of Tales-From-The-Crypt-esque writing and visuals should tune in. 
 

Our Score:

6/10

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