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"Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics


Written by Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Francesco Mobili
Colored by Guru-eFX
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2021, 38 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on March 31st, 2021


There's a horror that lurks within the swamps of Florida. No, it's not a weirdo hunting gators (although that can be scary too). It's the dreaded Man-Thing. Dr. Ted Sallis' life went awry while trying to replicate the super soldier serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America. In a desperate move, he took the serum himself before dying in a car wreck in a supernatural swamp. Science met magic, creating the mysterious Man-Thing, protector of an interdimensional portal called the Nexus of All Realities.

Man-Thing's silent and stoic nature is challenged as Harrower, a frightening new villain, wages a deadly attack, literally tearing it to shreds. This sends shockwaves around the world, as extensions of the Man-Thing sprout up all over the place, sending out poison seeds that cause people to burst into flames if they feel fear. You can imagine how quickly that fear spreads.

Man-Thing is a strange character within the Marvel Universe and it's one that I, and I'm sure many others, aren't super familiar with. Fortunately, writer Steve Orlando fills us in pretty quickly, not only giving us a short history of the character, but making us care about him in a big way. Ted Sallis sort of disappeared when Man-Thing popped up, so it's not like he has a secret identity or anything. What was left of his soul was consumed within this creature...but what if that's not the whole story?

Click images to enlarge

This leads to a fascinating exploration of the character that looks poised to completely revolutionize him, just like Immortal Hulk has done for the Green Goliath and House of X and Powers of X have done for the X-Men. This could be some big stuff and it's pretty exciting.

Artist Francesco Mobili's work is absolutely haunting. It's a perfect fit for this story, particularly the early scenes of the swamp. Man-Thing rises up out of the depths like a towering monster of vines and tentacles. It's an immediate jarring and powerful tone. This makes Harrower's attack all the more shocking as she rips into him like a hot knife through butter. She's totally ruthless too. Despite her heinous actions, her face remains completely composed.

We get a glimpse into Man-Thing's consciousness which is a land of fears. Mobili plays up the horror here with some frightening versions of faces from the past. Guru-eFX paints a dark and dreary tone for this world. It's one where shadows rise and terror awaits around every corner. This contrasts well with the bright light of the rest of the planet we see as the Avengers leap into action.

Click images to enlarge

There's a lot to take in with Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 and letterer Clayton Cowles handles this well. The “history lesson” is broken up into small bursts so they're much easier to digest than a big information dump. There's some great sound effect work too that really adds to the scenes too. My favorite is the big “Crunch” shown with a decisive blow of Captain America's shield.

Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing is the first chapter of a bold new path for the protector of the Nexus. It has the potential to redefine the character, putting Man-Thing on the map in a big way. This story sets a high bar right out of the gate and it's clear we're in for an epic adventure, bringing all kinds of horror into the Marvel Universe.


Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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