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Amazing Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 from Marvel Comics comes to comic stores on April 28. Writer Steve Orlando continues the journey of protagonist Ted Sallis through Spider-Man and his rogue, The Lizard. Artist Marco Failla with assistance from Minkyu Jung, put the atmospheric tensions between the two main settings in juxtaposition. That feeling enhances with the coloring by Guru-eFX, and letterer Clayton Cowles gives weight to every conversation in the issue.
Amazing Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing Plot
Orlando’s creative decisions in Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing are insightful. The inclusion of Curt Conners (The Lizard) fits well with his and Ted Sallis’ Florida eco-horror origins. But what really brings these two and Spider-Man together is Ted’s arc with his monstrous side, Man-Thing.
What makes Ted interesting is how he fumbles for a solution he believes he can’t find. So he’s trying to find people who can put an end to his misery. But while Lizard and Spider-Man aren’t the people he’s looking for, Man-Thing knows that they’re the people Ted needs. It’s a clever reference to all of the progress Lizard and Spider-Man have made. All that’s left is for Ted and the Man-Thing to come to an understanding for the final act.
The only problem comes from how awkward some of the transitions to Ted Sallis can get. For example, Spider-Man’s journey to Ted’s plot doesn’t feel organic; it’s random happenstance. This makes Spider-Man and series villain Harrower feel more like plot elements than actual characters.
Between Failla and Jung, they give Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing atmospheric tension. The use of two-page spreads and dynamic panel layouts present a strong sense of an urgent emergency. If that didn’t tell the reader how dire the situation is, characters scrambling about from Guru-eFX’s bright fires might. As for the inner turmoil by Ted, the dark and practically empty world of Man-Thing’s subconscious says it all. Ted is directionless and feels like he is in a purgatorial state. His green and brown clothing practically matches with the swampy landscape.
If all of the details in the above paragraph weren’t enough, the conversations by VC’s Cowles bring more weight. The bigger open spaces fill with word balloons that bring narrative urgency to Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing. From Ted, these words feel like a confession of his sins. On the other hand, Lizard and Spider-Man express feelings of empathy that share Ted’s woes. They have an idea of his plight, which allows them to connect to Ted.
Try Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing
Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing is a decent follow-up to the last chapter. Ted Sallis’ plight allows him to meet with people who can show him a better way forward. The art perfectly displays the joint conflict between outer and inner turmoil. Now all that’s left is to see it to the end.