Issue(s): Fear #11
The Man-Thing loses his protagonist status and becomes more of a passive observer in the plot...
...only getting involved essentially by accident or curiosity. He's a still a little more motivated and intelligent than we'll see in later issues, though.
Rich Buckler and Jim Mooney get to draw some cool battles with the demon that the Kale siblings accidentally summon, though.
Jennifer Kale, the sister, who has aspirations of witchhood, will indeed become a mystic and a regular supporting character in the Man-Thing's series.
We'll meet the grandfather in two issues.
And, as Michael confirms in the comments, the demon that appears here for the first time is Thog, a regular Satan stand-in for the Man-Thing's book (the MCP lists Thog's first appearance as issue #13, which is why i was unsure if this was maybe a similar looking demon or a fake duplicate he created or something per a later revelation, but that doesn't seem to be the case).
The demon is driven back into his dimension thanks to a combination of the Man-Thing's efforts and Joshua Kale burning grandpa's book.
As a story, and especially if you don't know the direction Gerber intends to take the book and the Man-Thing, it's a little strange to see the main character as a bystander in his own book and you might get the idea that this story is a bit of a bait and switch, but "bystander in his own book" is indeed the general idea.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Man-Thing vol. 1
Yes, this is Thog. The demon is referred to as the Netherspawn and Thog's full title is Thog the Netherspawn.
Posted by: Michael | March 11, 2013 11:13 PM
Head shops were late-1960's to mid-1970s fixtures for selling underground comix, posters, rolling papers, bongs, and other drug paraphernalia to hippies. They also tended to sell cheaply produced "occult" stuff.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 16, 2013 5:01 PM
Steve Gerber revealed in Comic Book Creator #6 that after Len Wein started writing Swamp Thing, Gerber met him in the Marvel offices and got him to spill the details to Swampy's upcoming issues in order to avoid accidental duplicating in Man-Thing's book.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 4, 2015 10:34 AM
Note the names on the theater marquee (panel 3 above), Bruce Carlin & Terry Fuller. Bruce was a high school friend of Steve and later did some scripts for Spoof and Crazy. He also worked with Steve on earlier fanzines. Terry may also have been a high school friend, but there are no credits that I could find in the GCD.
Posted by: Tim Stroup | June 30, 2017 9:27 PM
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