Retro Review: Giant Size Man-Thing #1

Cover dated August 1974, Marvel comics published:

Giant-Size Man-Thing # 1.

How did they ever get that title by the Comics Code?  Marvel had been publishing the Man-Thing in Adventure Into Fear beginiing in 1972 and he had grduated to his own title in 1974.  Then in 1974 and 1975 Marvel Comics published a large number of giant-size comics featuring a large number of their most popular characters, including Man-Thing.

This first giant-size issue featured a nice battle cover both pencilled and inked by Mike Ploog, showing the Man-Thing slugging it out with The Glob, a mud-like monster that had once battled the Incredible Hulk.  The story was entitled: “How Will We Keep Warm When The Last Flame Dies?”. The story was written by Steve Gerber and drawn by the team of Mike Ploog and Frank Chiaramonte.

The story opened like most Man-Thing stories, with the Man-Thing stumbling out of the swamp and encountering something of interest.  This time, two men driving a truck being stopped by some obvious cultists of some type.  Easy to identify by their red robes!  The height of fashion for any good cultists!  These cultists were in control of a golden brain and they believed in returing everthing to a state of entropy, and they used said brain against the Man-Thing.  Our erstwhile hero prevails and causes the brain to sink into the primordial swamp.

But the story doesn’t end there.  No!  The brain frees itself from the swamp and reforms a human body from the mud.  Meanwhile, the men from the beginning of the story have created Omegaville, a self contained village of geodesic domes, in the middle of the swamp.  Of course the cultists want to destroy the village and they cause the re-made brain body to revert to it’s original form, of The Glob.  A quick aside here is that Ploog chose to draw the lead cultist as a spitting image of former President Nixon in this story!

Of course, the Man-Thing battles the newly re-created Glob and defeats him/it, as well, during a three page slug fest.  The leader of the cult meets a grisly, but well deserved and fitting end, as well.  And the Man-Thing sloshes his way back into the swamp.  Thus ends another adventure of the Man-Thing!

Not the most interesting story, but it did feature nice art.  I give it only two (2) out of five (5) Legion Flight Rings.  Frankly the title is maybe the best thing about this comic.  That and the Ploog art anyway.

About Greg Turner

Greg Turner (@gregturner16) is Back to the Past’s archivist and an auctioneer. He writes the columns “Fabulous Finds” and “Retro Reviews” on alternating weeks for the website and spins classic 45′s each week for Vinyl Tuesdays.

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