Thursday, April 24, 2014

Back-Issue Spotlight: Man-Thing#1 (1997)


Who watched Arrow last night? Hell of an ending right?
No spoilers yet for those who haven't, but damn is it going to be interesting to see how what happened at the end of last night's episode, shapes not only the rest of the season, but next season as well.


Ok, so today's back-issue spotlight is heavily on Man-Thing today. Specifically, Man-Thing#1 from December of '97.

Now to put in the proper state of mind, this is when the MU lost the Avengers and FF due to the whole Onslaught saga, thus Marvel was launching new series using pervious second and third-stringers like Ka-Zar, Alpha Flight, and the Thunderbolts.

Out of that experiment came the reborn Strange Tales brand title, focusing on the supernatural corner of the MU. First up was Man-Thing.

Man-Thing#1 (Vol.3) (Dec, '97)  "Shame" By J.M. DeMatteis and Liam Sharp.

Sorry, couldn't find a lot of scans on this issue apparently.

Anyhoo, the issue starts off with a look inside what appears to be Man-Thing's mind, or something closely resembling a mind. Whatever's going on(probably the aftermath of the Heroes Reborn on the nexus of realities) stirs man-Thing to leave the comfort of the Everglades in search of something.....or someone.

That someone is Ellen Brandt, Man-Thing's ex-wife and partner. She's the reason Man-Thing's doing his best Swamp Thing impression when she betrayed him to AIM.

She's having nightmares about her betrayal. So bad are they, that she's forced to seek out her ex-husband in an attempt to put an end to them.

There's then a side sub-plot concerning Dr. Strange and a great cataclysm of destruction on it's way that has something to do with Man-Thing. Probably something to do with the Nexus again.

Man-Thing stumbles along into the town of Citrusville, where he runs into a child molester, Owen Jackson. Apparently Jackson molested his only daughter. He looks into the eyes of Man-Thing, and instantly re-lives everything he did to her. He then knows fear, his daughter's fear of him, and burns for it and is sins.

It's then that Man-Thing runs into the local sheriff of Citrusville.....

Amazingly the sheriff survives the encounter because he was the only one not afraid, or at least more determined to stop Man-Thing than he was afraid of him.

The scenes switches back over to Ellen Brandt, as she stops into a the local dinner. She gets harrassed by some asshole named Henry. At first he wants to fuck her, but upon seeing her scarred face and her slapping the taste out of his mouth, he's ready to reciprocate.

That's when her ex-husband shows up in time and fucks Henry up.

They have a moment, where both of their memories cause each other to look intently at the other, w/Man-Thing trying to figure out who the hell she is.

The sheriff comes back, interrupting the tender moment with guns a' blazing.
But this time he's intent on blowing Man-Thing away, when Ellen jumps in front of her ex.

Right when she's about to be killed, Dr. Strange shows up, saving Ellen.
And that's how the issue ends.

I didn't pick up the rest of the issues in this series, but I'm assuming everything got handled and wrapped up nicely.

I think it only lasted about 4 issues anyways though. Go find 'em in the quarter bins if you can.

Well first Thursday so far where no one I know personally died, so yay!
You guys have a good weekend and stay out of trouble;)


Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

what happened to her face? did MT burn her in some previous story line?

Dale Bagwell said...

@Slomo: It happened during her and Man-Thing's first appearance.

After she betrayed him, he burst into the same room as her and the guy AIM agent she was cheating on her husband(Man-Thing) with, and he kills the guy, and burns her due to her being scarred after what she just saw him do to her lover.

The King of Thessaly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The King of Thessaly said...

-Can't really go wrong with J.M. DeMatteis... That's a nice looking cover too!
I like that shot where he's regenerating but missing the eye still- creepy.
I'll have to keep an eye out for this one this Summer- I did not even know it existed.

karl said...

Swamp Thing was more my style from DC but this sounds good! Man-Thing was always a bit too creepy for me, still great to see this.

Dale Bagwell said...

@King: It's not bad so far, but then I'll admit I don't have the rest of the issues for this story. Still, as you pointed out, J.M. DeMatteis is usually a pretty solid writer, especially when dealing with psychological issues/themes.

I like that image too;)

@Karl: I never really followed either really. Too outside the mainstream for me, and even as I've gotten older I don't have much issue-wise from either one. Although I do own more SW issues than Man-Thing.

Dan W said...

That is an amazing looking cover! I've never read an issue of Man-Thing, Swampy was always my guy, but the whole burn your lover thing is interesting enough I might see if some are floating around on Free Comic Book Day :)

I promise not for tutorial purposes next time my lovelife goes in the can either ;)

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan: Ha! Right? I recommend the Steve Gerber Man-Thing issues, and then this one. PLus he was in Thunderbolts fora bit too a year or two back.

The King of Thessaly said...

Speaking of Man-Things: I never noticed this- -because it was such an awful movie... but that's actually pretty cool!

Dale Bagwell said...

@King: I did not know that...especially since I have yet to sit down and fully watch IM3, but cool find though.

The King of Thessaly said...

Hell, everything is comin' up Man-Thing! He just got a reference in tonight's S.H.I.E.L.D.

"Get Snakey"

Hey whattaya' know, it's a brand new skit this week. Enjoy this fun little homage to one of the more recently popular "danc...