Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book of the Dead #2: "Man-Thing!"

Welcome to the continuing saga of the undead. BOOK OF THE DEAD stars people who by all means should be dead, but thanks to Marvel Comics are fated to shamble through our pulpy pages endlessly.

The proceding Man-Thing tale marks the muck monster's first foray into four-color fright. After premiering in the black-and-white Marvel magazine, SAVAGE TALES #1, in May 1971 (as re-presented last issue), Manny slimed his way into the regular comics with this story in FEAR #10 (October 1972), the same month DC's Swamp Thing got his own title. Artist Gray Morrow had illustrated Man-Thing's first appearance and pencilled the second episode as well, which recaps the monster's origin. Gray is no stranger to Frankenstein's Monster, either. He painted this issue's new cover and in the past has done movie posters and book covers featuring the Doctor's creation. Gray really got into this cover... literally. He posed for the cover with his daughter playing the doomed bride of the monster.

For comic fanatics, the name Howard Chaykin is a familiar one. Howie inked this Man-Thing tale when he was just starting out professionally and went on to do projects such as STAR WARS, American Flagg, The Shadow and, recently for the Epic Heavy Hitters line, MIDNIGHT MEN, all to much acclaim.

So until BOOK OF THE DEAD comes alive again next month, remember in the un-mortal words of a famous reanimated corpse... 'We belong DEAD!'

—Mort Todd, January 1994

Script: Gerry Conway
Pencils: Gray Morrow
Inks: Howard Chaykin

  • from Fear #10 (Oct 1972) (Pictured inset).
  • in Book of the Dead (Marvel, 1993 series) #2 January 1994.
  • in Essential Man-Thing (Marvel, 2006 series) #1.

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