I wasn’t a big fan of Man-Thing when I was a kid, but I did try to collect nearly every series I had the opportunity to if I could start with #1. Consequently I ended up with Giant-Size Man-Thing #1-5. Also along the way I ended up with the book & record set of #5, reprints of the earliest stories in the b&w Monsters Unleashed magazine, and coverless copies of Fear #19 and Man-Thing #1. Years later I filled in the rest of the Fear issues I was missing, but I don’t thnk I ever re-read Fear #19 and Man-Thing #1… until last night.

I can see why it didn’t appeal to me when I was 10. First of all, I thought #19 began in medias res but it didn’t, really. I had totally forgotten the beginning is a dream sequence. It follows upon events of the previous issues, certainly, but it definitely the beginning of a new story. There were also copious footnoted references to previous issues, not entirely necessary to enjoy the story (I know now), but which contributed to my felling of coming in during the middle of a story.

One of my favorite comic books (from the ‘80s but of all time) is GrimJack. I see now that Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik were charting some of the same territory years before John Ostrander and Timothy Truman developed Cynosure. (Yes, I know Peter Gillis introduced Cynosure, but Ostrander and Truman developed it.) This is the kind of stuff I really would have dug a couple of years later, but in the mid-70s Gerber’s non-traditional storytelling went right over my head.

Right now I’m reading through the new tpb that collects Man-Thing from the beginning up through issue #8 or so of his first eponymous title. After that I plan to continue on to those “Giant-Size” issues I read as a kid but not too often since. Then, if I’m still in the mood, I might move on to some more recent Man-Thing comics by J.M. DeMatteis and Liam Sharp.

Forewarned is forearmed.

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Or Tom Sutton. Then sales would drop and the new guy would get the blame when it wasn't his fault.

I was sorting through my “1970s Marvel Horror” box last night and remembered that, at the same time I acquired coverless copies of Fear #19 and Man-Thing #1 and #5, I also got a coverless copy of Fear #20, featuring Morbius, the Living Vampire. Mike Friedrich wrote the first issue, but the next few in a row were written by none other than Steve Gerber. I acquired the rest of the run (not to mention a copy of #20 with a cover) at diverse times, but I’ve never actually gotten around to reading them all in sequence. After today I’ll be offline until next week, but when I return I may host a brief discussion of the Morbius series in Fear.

Only issue of Morbius I ever had was the one with the monster with all those eyes, and the crabs walking along singing "We're off to see ol' Helleyes..." Wikipedia says Helleyes later became a Defenders villain, but that's the only story I ever saw him in.

I started this discussion a couple of months ago with the intention of reading the entire run of Gerber’s Man-Thing (plus), but I got side-tracked along the way into reading Howard the Duck. Although I kept this discussion in mind throughout my digression, by the time I finished Howard, I found my interest in Man-Thing had strayed. Yesterday I picked up where I left off, but make no promises regarding seeing this project through to completion in a timely manner.

GIANT-SIZE MAN-THING #1:

1974 was a pretty good year for me in terms of Marvel Comics. As I mentioned in my initial post above, I would buy any #1 issue, and 1974 saw the release of Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1 (Spider-Man), Giant-Size Super-Stars #1, Giant-Size Defenders #1, and Giant-Size Avengers #1. In the midst of these super-heroe tiles was Giant-Size Man-Thing #1.

This is actually a pretty good point to resume this discussion because, to the best of my recollection, Giant-Size Man-Thing #1 was my first exposure to Marvel’s muck monster. I would go on to buy and read the other issues of GSMT (not the regular series, though), but what initially appealed to me about #1 was that it (loosely) spun out of a Hulk story, and the Hulk was my favorite character at the time and was featured in flashback. This weekend was maybe only my fifth time reading this comic. I read virtually all my comics multiple times when I had so few of them, but this one wouldn’t have been one of my favorites. I probably read it a second time when Man-Thing guest-starred in Hulk #197-198, and a third when I acquired Hulk #129 (the story GSMT #1 is a sequel to). I’m sure I read it a fourth time in college when I began collecting back issues of Fear and Man-Thing. Finally, I read it for the fifth time this weekend.

Did I recognize Mike Ploog as the same artist who drew my beloved Planet of the Apes magazine when I was a kid? Not likely. My artistic eye wasn’t sophisticated enough to discern art styles at the time. I know I missed a lot of the subtext when I was in elementary school. (Possibly when I was in college, too, to be perfectly honest.)

Cool! As I mentioned above (and elsewhere), I used to have several of the "Power Records" book & record sets. I still have three of the comics, but I sure wish I still had the 45s.

Did you read the comments in one of those links? Somebody posted: "He's an interesting character, but i don't think he'll be in the mcu! They already have groot." Ha!

I don't usually read Youtube comments, you tend to see things that will make you despair of the human race.

Of course Groot did appear first in 1960, but how many people are familiar with that story?

Won't say what the problem is, but there's a Buddy Holly song that must have hundreds of the same dirty joke in the comments by different people. And you want to avoid new movie comments because you'll get multiple descriptions of the ending.

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