Man Thing (2017) #1 Review
By Ezekiel McAdams
March 8 2017
When Marvel announced that they were letting R.L. Stine of Goosebumps fame take the reins of a new Man-Thing series, I was pleasant surprised.
Surprised because I thought what an interesting choice to take on a character rooted in Marvel’s back room of horror. I don’t know much of Man-Thing’s character origins or history other then he was the equivalent of DC’s Swamp Thing.
But I do know R.L. Stine, As a young child. R.L. Stine was my jam. Not only on a small list of favourite authors but also a man that that would send me running into the bookstores every month anxious and hungry to devour the next installment of his popular Goosebumps series. Goosebumps was the light horror snack that was perfect for a child who wanted to be terrified was too young for Stephen King but still slept with a night light.
So, when I picked up the first issue of R.L. Stine’s Man-Thing, the familiar feeling returned. The anxiousness to run home and slump on a couch only to be drowned by Stine’s world of monsters and the macabre.
So, I was a little saddened to be painfully hit by a story albeit dripping with wonderful prose that one could mistake for just another Goosebumps book was also laden with a narrative that was both parts self aware and meta but also not really sure what it wants to be.
The art by German Peralta, illuminates a world with paper thin exposition masquerading as clever, self aware writing that was confusing more the anything.
Now the fault may lie with me and my expectations that were not met but this first issue felt like the person who puts on a great face but stumbles through life.
The unexpected treat was the unrelated short story that was like the hidden juicy apple that is the middle of the fruit bowl. Stine’s short story “Put a Ring On It” was classic Stine. The ominous tale that leaves the character stuck with his own fate despite glaring warnings. The story made me wonder if Stine was better suited for a revamped take on the pulpy “Tales from the Crypt” instead of Man-Thing.