Characters Appearing: Man-Thing
Marvel Comics Presents #164-167 (Man-Thing)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #164, Marvel Comics Presents #165, Marvel Comics Presents #166, Marvel Comics Presents #167 (Man-Thing story only)
The first chapter is almost entirely a retelling of Man-Thing's origin, except instead of the nice Gray Morrow art from the original, we get this.
And then after he transforms into the Man-Thing and gets his vengeance on Ellen Brandt, he turns back into Sallis with no memory of what he's done.
He then stumbles around and eventually finds a group of people living at an old plantation. He passes out for "three days", and when he wakes up he takes a liking to a woman named Genevieve Beaumain. But she says that she can't leave with him.
A creepy boy at the mansion says that he should leave because he's "not part of the plot". Then he hears Gen scream and goes to the forbidden east wing of the mansion, where he finds the Man-Thing attacking her.
We start to get signs that there is some kind of reality warping going on. One of the other people at the mansion knows the Man-Thing's catch-phrase, and Sallis finds the creature vaguely familiar.
Then the creepy boy shows up again and we go into a full dream state. Something about a writer being held in the east wing, and the people at the mansion were all his characters from a novel.
Sallis discovers the writer...
..and then transforms back into the Man-Thing.
The first rule of a continuity insert is to Do No Harm, and this story doesn't actually mess with the Man-Thing's origin or anything. But inserting random nonsense into a character's backstory is a kind of harm in itself, so the second rule of a continuity insert is to Have A Damn Point, and this story definitely does not. Even as an attempt to mimic the weirdness of a random Steve Gerber Man-Thing story, it's a poor effort. But there was no need to insert such a story into the moments after Ted Sallis became the Man-Thing. There's no effort to look at Sallis in the context of his transformation. And it takes a hell of a wind-up; why waste a quarter of the story doing a poor retelling of Man-Thing's origin?
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place during and then a few days after Savage Tales #1. I haven't listed Ellen Brandt as a Character Appearing since her appearance here only duplicates Savage Tales #1 and can be treated like a flashback.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Paul Johnson did several stories for Epic, Vertigo(such as Books of Magic), and some imported British things; he's normally much better than this.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 23, 2018 7:50 PM
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