What I thought of Giant-Size Man-Thing #1

giantsizemanthing

Back in the midsts of time, the title ‘Giant-Size Man-Thing’ would provoke laughs of Sid James proportions, but as the comic wasn’t distributed in the UK you had to really search to get your hands on a ‘Giant-Size Man-Thing’.

Fnarr, fnarr.

Anyhow, there’s no exciting new comics out, and Comixology put this up, and it’d be rude not to have a good look at it, but a bit of background first. Man-Thing was Marvel’s swamp monster (all comics companies should have one) akin to DC’s Swamp Thing. Man-Thing was formally scientist Ted Sallis who when transformed to the Man-Thing also had the ability to set people on fire as those who know fear burn at the Man-Thing’s touch. Most of the time the character is a second rate Swamp Thing, but when writer Steve Gerber and artist Mike Ploog got their hands on it the strip shone.Gerber was an exceptional writer who predated Alan Moore in terms of introducing a more intelligent approach to superhero comics.

giantsizemanthing1

On the surface this is just monsters fighting each other, but the villains here are a cult that believe that entropy must be worshipped, and is a bit, well, odd.

giantsizemanthing2

The brain turns out to have some history.

giantsizemanthing3

Gerber then treats us to some panels of the adventures of a golden brain.

giantsizemanthing4

The brain forms a body who wanders off to get some clothes and we’re back with the Entropists.

giantsizemanthing5

After some 1970’s style environmental concern there’s more monsters fighting.

giantsizemanthing6

And more fighting…

giantsizemanthing7

This is a great little 1970’s monster comic that has a wee bit more going on between the ears than I expected going back to it for the first time in probably 20 years at least, though Mike Ploog’s pencils are ruined by some dismal inking. Even so Ploog does a great job, even if he’s inked so badly it makes his art look dreadful in places.

I miss these types of 70’s monster comics. Fighting, monsters, philosophy and Giant-Size Man-Thing’s….

Advertisements

One thought on “What I thought of Giant-Size Man-Thing #1

  1. It should be noted that publication of the first Man-Thing, in the magazine Savage Tales, preceded the first published Swamp Thing story, in the anthology series House of Mystery, by a month or and oddly enough Gerry Conway, who wrote the first Man-Thing story shared an apartment at the time with Len Wein who not only wrote the first Swamp Thing story but a few months later wrote the 2nd Man-Thing story to see publication but then went back to DC to write more Swamp Thing stories after it was awarded its own self-titled series. And both Conway & Wein have stated that neither knew what the other was working on with those first stories. Gerber has stated that when he took over the writing for Man-Thing (when it was still in the anthology series Fear), he got together with Wein to discuss future plots with the intention of making sure that whatever he, Gerber, did with Man-Thing, was nothing like what Wein intended to do with Swamp Thing, and I think he pretty well succeeded. Both muck monsters, of course, were ultimately inspired by both the first comics muck monster, the Heap, introduced in the early ’40s, and the Heap in turn was inspired by the Theodore Sturgeon short story “It”, published in 1940. I enjoyed both Gerber’s & Wein’s stories, although I have a preference for Gerber’s. Alan Moore, naturally, took muck monster stories to an even greater level of excellence, and ways his stories showed inspiration from both Gerber & Wein, not to mention a touch of Walt Kelly!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s