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If at first you don't succeed......,
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This review is from: Essential Man-Thing Volume 2 TPB (Paperback)
The volume starts off with the last 8 issues from the first run of the title as well as Giant Size Man-Thing #3-5, all from 1974. Several of them I had read first time round and not thought about them much since then.
The opener has Man-Thing accompanied by the splendidly attired Jennifer Kale, Korrek and Dakimh the Sorcerer fighting to restore order on Korrek's home planet.
Back on Earth and more mundane matters with some great one off tales including "A Candle for Sainte-Cloud" which features a glimpse into Ted Sallis' past life. There's rock bad-boy Eugene Spangler, the Mad Viking and a horde of book burning God-fearing throwbacks and the brief return of Richard Rory. Throw in some witchcraft, doomed lovers and one of Man-Thing's previous victims looking for vengeance before the final(?) bow with The Scavenger and Thog, the Netherspawn.
The last issue #22 sees writer 5teve Gerber taking part in the story as he brings the curtain down and ties up all loose ends on the first volume.
From 1975 to 1978 there were a few minor co-star appearances alongside Spiderman against D'Spayre and Captain America and The Thing against Victorius and the Cosmic Cube before the character was revived again,
The second short lived bi-monthly run from 1979-1981 is included in full. Starting with a plan to get the super-soldier serum from his body before an experimental weapon takes him to the Himalayas and the native mysterious beasties. He aids Doctor Strange against Mordo wherein Strange attempts to use his powers to "cure" Man-Thing.
He deals primeval justice to a gang of drug dealer and some oddball fraternity creeps. There's even a few new "regulars" introduced in Sheriff John Daltry and Barbie Bannister as an old foe the pirate Captain Fate re-appears.
Although there were some good stories this series it failed to achieve critical success and the series was cancelled, the writer at that time, Chris Claremont, was woven into the tale as well as others from the Marvel bullpen and Doctor Strange as Thog re-appeared as does Doctor Strange and Death.
These were the last appearances of note until 1988 with a run in Marvel Comics Presents. At the time although I liked the artwork but never felt close to the title character himself and only bought the odd issues.
These volumes are a relatively inexpensive way of catching up with the past of one of Marvel's most intriguing characters, and are still enjoyable even though the reprints are in black & white.