First thing you should know – it’s ok if you don’t know who or what Marvel’s Man-Thing is, especially in light of the fact that DC’s Swamp Thing is the thee defining muck-monster in mainstream comics (can someone please applaud my illiteration? Someone? Anyone?)
Though both Man-Thing and Swamp Thing were unleashed around the same time by their respective companies, it’s been the Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson-created Swampy that’s had multiple films and tv shows, including the exceptional 2019 series that was cancelled far too soon. While the Stan Lee/Gerry Conway/Roy Thomas/Gray Morrow Man-Thing has been around since 1971, and even had a movie made about it, the character just doesn’t have the same clout.
However, maybe Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing might raise its profile higher, just in time for it’s 50th anniversary.
Thanks to the work of Steve Orlando and Marco Failla, the first issue of this limited series does an outstanding job of establishing what Man-Thing is (and in this case, the man behind the muck, Ted Sallis), and how his powers can affect the masses, especially when they fall into the wrong hands.
Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing is part body horror/part alienesque-invasion, and Orlando and Failla do a great job actually getting the reader invested in the action. This is the first story with the titular character that I’ve read where I actually found myself caring what happened and eager to read the next issue, as I’m sure anyone who picks up the title will also feel.
Ultimately, Man-Thing couldn’t ask for a better 50th birthday present than that.