In the spirit of Halloween, Ben is reading one horror comic every day. Will they keep him up? Or will they put him to sleep? We’ll find out…
It’s October 14th. I’ve done a Superman story. It’s Marvel’s turn, now. So Spider-Man teams up with Man-Thing in what just may be one of my favorite Man-Thing stories that’s not by Steve Gerber . . .
SPIDER-MAN – FEAR ITSELF: Marvel Comics; Stuart Moore, writer; Joe Suitor, artist; published 2009
Man-Thing is one of my favorite characters, although it might be more accurate to call him one of my favorite story-telling engines. He’s not much of a character, even in his own stories. Instead, he’s a disruption. A lumbering force of nature with very, very little agency of his own, he enters other characters’s stories, drawn by strong emotions, and throws everything into chaos, forcing the characters to face a new reality (one that includes a monster) and confront their problems with this new element in their life.
Oh, and if you’re scared, well, “whatever knows feel burns a the Man-Thing’s touch.”
And so this story. It’s a meditation on fear, what it is and what it does and why it can be good.
It also falls into the body horror sub-genre, as Peter Parker gets infected and begins transforming into . . . a Spider-Man-Thing?
And then, it’s a poignant look at one of the worst fears of all. Losing your loved ones and being alone. It has a wonderful and touching and tragic twist ending that is able to give the mindless swamp creature a meaningful character arc.
It’s a great little horror story, where Spider-Man’s life is disrupted by the monster . . . and Man-Thing’s life is disrupted by the man.
You can read the rest of this series here: Ben’s Horror-Comic-Athon October 2018
While Ben’s not podcasting daily for the entire month, The Comic Book Time Machine will be going daily for a week at the end of October. Don’t miss our WEEK OF WEIRD, as we explore some weird comics from October 25-31!