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

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics


Written by Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Andrea Broccardo
Colored by Guru-eFX
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2021, 36 pages, $4.99
Comic released on May 5th, 2021


We thought we knew the story of the Man-Thing. Doctor Ted Sallis was trying to recreate the Super Soldier Serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America. In an act of desperation, he injected himself with the serum, then got into a car accident in a swamp and turned into the Man-Thing. In reality, there was a deal with the devil in the mix. Sallis sold his soul to a demon in exchange for help, and now Magik, the current ruler of Limbo, holds his marker.

Curse of the Man-Thing has been a fascinating examination of the character and this last issue is no different. Writer Steve Orlando has redefined Man-Thing and grounded him in the supernatural side of the Marvel Universe. He's done it while also providing a showcase for the Avengers, Spider-Man, and now the X-Men. Orlando shows he can write for just about any character in this world and I certainly hope we get to see him explore many more in the near future.

Click images to enlarge

I'm impressed by how this story has tied together so many characters. Each chapter has linked Man-Thing's history to these other folks. The X-Men connection is not as clean as that of the Avengers or Spider-Man, but it works here. Magik is a great gateway though, bringing in not only the demonic areas but mutantkind as well. Her team of Dark Riders is made up of some of the weirder residents of Krakoa like Marrow, Mammomax, and Shark-Girl.

This is where artist Andrea Broccardo shines. The fight scene towards the end of this issue is action-packed as these oddballs rally around Man-Thing to duke it out with Harvester. Man-Thing looks like a monster in the best possible way. He's huge and powerful and we're glad he's on the side of the angels.

One of the core aspects of this character is the line, “Whoever knows fear burns at the touch of the Man-Thing,” and that is on full display here. You can see the pure terror on the face of Harvester as she finally gets her comeuppance. In the scheme of things her motives weren't all that strong, but she is the catalyst for this entire series, so I'm fine overlooking that for this great story. Letterer Clayton Cowles hits this with a one-two punch between Harvester's screams and the sound of flames erupting.

Click images to enlarge

Colorist Guru-eFX strikes a nice balance between the dark shadows of horror and the bright colors of super heroes. The sun starts to shine again on Earth as the crisis is averted, but we can't forget the terrors we've just witnessed. That danger is still lurking just below the surface. It's an eerie feeling that's captured well in the colors.

Curse of the Man-Thing is a great re-introduction to this character as it celebrates its 50th Anniversary. It's redefined Man-Thing and put him squarely in the horror side of the Marvel Universe. Although this story is done, the door is left wide open for more and I certainly hope we get the chance to see this revisited soon.


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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