Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 begins a unique Marvel crossover event on March 31 written by Steve Orlando, with art by Francisco Mobili (and chapter page artist Carlos Lao), Guru-eFX drops the color, and you will read VC’s Clayton Cowles letter work. Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 is going to be a story to remember.
Avengers Headline Curse of the Man-Thing
The Avengers may be in the title, but the truth is, they’re not really the focus. Orlando instead focuses on the character and legacy of Man-Thing. Orlando shows off the unique storytelling potential by diving into Man-Thing’s horror origins.
Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing separates this issue’s story into three chapters that set-up the conflicts, the inciting incident, and the conflicts’ internal crisis. The set-up explores a dark counterpart to Man-Thing in series antagonist Harrower and how she perverts Ted Sallis’s legacy. The combination between science and magic she uses sweeps the world under its feet. The kind of world that shares its audience’s awareness of superhero events, only for the heroes and reader to be collectively caught off guard by Harrower’s plot.
The end of the issue highlights just how little the heroes and reader actually know. What little hope comes from the appearance of Ted Sallis quickly diminishes after a spoiler-filled revelation.
Art Has More Magic Than Science
Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing makes heavy use of enriching details in the art to tell the story. Not only by Mobili but every artist involved in this issue. A special mention goes to Lao, where the eyes of Man-Thing showcase the Bog Beast’s status. A wide-open eye closes in the next chapter page to display Man-Thing’s inactive status.
As for Mobili himself, the amount of atmospheric shading and backgrounds brings about an intimidating intensity. In just about all panels, there’s a sense of life happening in the background, in the form of plants or buildings. So when the backgrounds fade out, that sense of life practically disappears. Something that the coloring by Guru-eFX enhances with ghastly greens and blues. That is until more intense colors like bright red and yellow reacting to characters becoming afraid.
Cowles is certainly no slouch in the horror department with his lettering. Most of the dialogue spoken by characters is in your standard word balloons until fear makes them scream out in sound effect forms. Even heroes as mighty as Captain Marvel feel fear in these times as she watches people burn. Then there are the sound effects unique to Man-Thing that look tailor-made for tasks like growing dandelion seeds. The “Glerdt” sounds feel like an act of desperation.
Anticipate Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing
Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing will go down in Marvel’s history as a character-defining event. By taking advantage of an obscure character’s great potential, Marvel has the potential to start something new. With all of the horror elements at play, readers should pay close attention to the other issues in the coming months.