Issue(s): Fear #10
This first issue has only 10 pages for the Man-Thing, and with Conway/Morrow credits, i wonder if it was originally intended for the cancelled Savage Tales magazine. But do note the credit for Howard Chaykin; probably his first work at Marvel. The credits actually list Morrow first, implying that he drew it, but as you can see from the comments below, it was actually the other way around).
Unlike typical Silver Age monster-horror stories, the Man-Thing story is more gruesome and dark, with no twist ending. The Man-Thing observes a man throwing a baby over a bridge, rescues the baby...
...dropping him off with a Dr. Warren B. Thompson and his wife Margaret.
The monster then goes to the man's house to punish him for it.
The Man-Thing is more conscious than he will be in later stories (although not fully so), and playing a vengeance role that would better suit, say, Ghost Rider. Considering that, it's odd that the story still says:
Fear: the emotion that the swamp-creature hates with a seething passion -- and which, when present in a being touched by the Man-Thing's once-human hand, reacts with the chemicals that once transformed the man called Ted Sallis -- reacts -- and burns!
If fear is the primary motivator, why follow the father home for vengeance?
There's also a kind of weird message at the end, where this abusive husband and attempted baby-killer is saved by his abused wife whose love is "restored" by the Man-Thing's attack.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Man-Thing vol. 1
Chaykin was Morrow's assistant at the time.
I suspect this story wasn't full-length over concerns about the Man-Thing's ability to headline a comic, and a reprint was used to hedge against losing money.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 16, 2013 4:56 PM
For what it's worth, the Marvel Comics Database credits Chaykin and Morrow as penciler and inker, respectively, rather than vice versa, as the printed credits suggest. I presume the Allyn Brodsky story is new, not a reprint.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | July 24, 2013 10:21 AM
Thanks Matthew. I see that the GCD says "Howard Chaykin confirmed April 2007 that he penciled the book and Gray Morrow inked it."
Posted by: fnord12 | July 24, 2013 11:15 AM
The back-up story is "There is Something Strange About Mr. Jones", which originally ran in Tales of Suspense #17.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 24, 2013 1:58 PM
According to the UHBMCC, there was also "The spell of the witch!" by Allyn Brodsky and Jay Hawk and that's the one Matthew is saying wasn't a reprint. The UHBMCC also doesn't list any reprint info for that one.
I just have the Man-Thing story in Essential, though.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 24, 2013 2:28 PM
Oh, sorry. I flipped through the issue quickly, and missed the first short story. It's titled as "The Spell of the Sea Witch!" in the comic book.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 24, 2013 5:05 PM
That's correct. The artwork on the new Brodsky story is credited to "Jay Hawk" (Jack Katz) and "Black Bill" (Bill Everett).
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | July 25, 2013 9:27 AM
If you're interested, I've just discovered that the division of labor between Chaykin and Morrow was also revealed in the lettercol of #13.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | September 15, 2013 1:08 AM
Recently I decided to revisit my Essential Man-Thing trades, and in reading this story I noticed the page recounting Manny's origin was used in the Power Records Man-Thing edition. The Chaykin art proves quite a contrast to the Mike Ploog-drawn story ("Night of the Laughing Dead") that Peter Pan/Power used. Also, I do dig Chaykin's buff yet dark, almost brooding rendering of Man-Thing, appropriate for the grim storyline. On a more fun note, this is the second recorded Man-Thing v. Alligator throwdown. These should be tracked like the "so big, so fast" references that often pop up on this site.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | December 25, 2017 6:44 AM
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