After being fired from show business, Man-Thing wandered the streets of Burbank only to run into himself! Man-Thing and Man-Thing fought it out until they were finally merged into one and were thrown back into the swamp.
Now, in the swamps of Florida, Man-Thing notices something strange in the environment. Gators are fighting, mosquitoes are insanely strong, birds are exploding, and chaos is the new norm. In an effort to save his swamp, Man-Thing enters the Nexus of all Realities to find Oldfather. Once he gets there, though, he is changed into his human form and pitted against brute strength. Does Ted Sallis have what it takes to save Oldfather so he can restore order to the swamp?
R.L. Stine, famous for Goosebumps, serves as writer on this series. Although I am a huge R.L. Stine fan, his writing on this series hasn’t been my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great series with a fantastic storyline. The only problems I have are humor that doesn’t quite fit in of flow too well and over-explication of narration. Small one-liner jokes like “You’re never too old to make an ash of yourself” are certainly clever, but subtly break the continuity of the issue and impact the pacing, too.
When the caption boxes kick in, there is so much narration that explains what we see in the panels. I appreciate the effort, of course, but the artwork can tell just as much as a caption box; both aren’t necessary. This makes the issue a bit text-heavy, but it’s still easy to get through with minimal effort.
Speaking of artwork, Peralta does a fine job illustrating this issue. The line work is clean but gets grimy when the story does. Along with Kate Niemczyk, Peralta is able to make this issue look very atmospheric, especially in the swamp when the dead start climbing out of their graves.
The coloring largely contributes to this atmospheric element of the artwork. We don’t see much emotion from Man-Thing’s face, but we can sense it in his body language. Some panels have base hues of orange and green, making them look really ethereal in presence, particularly with the strange environment at the swamp.
This is a great issue to add to the series. R.L. Stine does a wonderful job telling the story, even if there is a hint too much detail in the text. The artwork is phenomenal, and the creative team works so effectively in unison to orchestrate a really entertaining story. But you’ll have to keep reading to see if Man-Thing can overcome his enemies and save Oldfather! What does fate hold for the swamp? Head to your local comic shop and find out!
Written by: R.L. Stine
Illustrated by: German Peralta