Science and magic. The two conflicting sides of the Man-Thing have collided before. However, neither have caused quite so much chaos as Curse of the Man-Thing sets out to do.
This kick off to the special anniversary mini-event begins three months of terror for the heroes of the Marvel Universe. In this inaugural issue, the Avengers team with the muck monster. It was created by Steve Orlando, Francesco Mobili, Guru-eFx, and Clayton Cowles.
The woman known as Harrower is determined to take control of the power of Man-Thing. With that power, she will burn the entire world, including the Avengers, and bring humanity to their knees. The only thing that could stop her? The man at the heart of the Man-Thing: Ted Sallis.
Orlando’s adventure begins in this issue and it’s a hard one to judge. It has a lot of plot to set-up and other ground to cover. However, he’s able to do it while giving the cast strong moments to shine (especially one in particular for Captain Marvel) and showing the reader why the Avengers are earth’s mightiest. He even gives us the most interesting take on Hordeculture to date.
The low spot of the issue is with Harrower herself. Her motivations are simply mass murder, so it’s hard to connect with her as a villain. She doesn’t need to be sympathetic, but making her more complex than an angry eco-terrorist would have added significant (and much needed) nuance to the character.
Mobili’s art is great from beginning to end. His lines have a smooth quality that makes the figures pop off the page. He’s even able to make some of the smaller moments of the story feel big and epic. He’s also able to make some of the story’s more scary moments feel genuinely frightening and unnerving, especially as the characters themselves start feeling fear. The Guru team’s colors add to that with a great palette that swings wildly through the story’s tone.
In the end, it’s an extremely enjoyable issue, even with some faults. This is largely set-up, but it’s enough that readers are going to keep coming back for the next two chapters. I definitely can’t wait to see what’s in store.
Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing is available now from Marvel Comics.
A fun introduction to the mini-event centered on one of Marvel’s longest lived, weird characters. This issue does a lot of heavy lifting and while it doesn’t always succeed, it’s a lot of fun all around.