Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Admiring Adams: "Man-Thing!" by Wein and Adams w/Romita

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Ya know, if the second ish of Savage Tales had gone as originally planned, the second Man-Thing story would have been by writer Len Wein (creator of Swamp Thing) and artist Neal Adams. S'true! Letting nothing go to waste, Mighty Marvel shoe-horned that filed-away fable into Astonishing Tales #12 (March 1972) in which the mag's star Ka-Zar would soon come golden locks to carrot nose with Manny, himself. One thing I don't dig are the touch-ups by John Romita. Dunno why they were necessary, but as great as Jazzy John is, his style and Neal's don't mesh at all. Minor distractions aside, Ol' Groove felt this seldom-seen classic is definitely worth a peek-a-boo, so here 'tis in all it's black, white, and yellow gory glory!


  1. I would say this is one of those cases when the black & white reprint in the Essentials volume actually makes the story look better - not surprising, since it was originally meant for publication in a b&w magazine.
    And I have to say, as much as I like the art by Mayerik and Ploog on Man-Thing later, it would have been cool to see Adams handling the art chores on at least a few of those stories scripted by Steve Gerber.

  2. Edo - speaking of wanting to see Neal Adams art on a Steve Gerber story, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the first solo Howard the Duck story,which was supposed to be in Giant-Size Man-Thing #3 but ended up in Giant-Size Man-Thing #4, was supposed to be drawn by Neal, but eventually got handed off to Frank Brunner. Brunner's art on that story was fantastic, but I still can't help but wonder that Neal's would have been really cool too. - Jeff Clem

  3. Looks like this was shot directly from Neal's pencils, so I can understand why Romita Sr., as art director, might have felt a few spots needed to be clarified. The colouring makes the opening panel so murky that it's hard to read. Would love to see it in black and white! The following pages are practically monochrome.

    Chris A.

    1. You're absolutely right about why Romita did touch-ups, I guess my real question is why did he do them himself, with no effort to fit in with Adam's style. It's very jarring to my eyes, and I'm sure there were lots of folks he could've grabbed who could have matched Neal's style better.

    2. Thank you,Mr Groove,for sharing.
      I agree with The Keeper of Cool
      and I for one do prefer(when
      possible) Mr Adams himself as inker.
      /Mr Anonymous

  4. Want some more Groovy Age Adams art? Check out "One Hungers" which he wrote AND drew for Marvel's TOWER OF SHADOWS #2 in 1969:


    1. Ya mean this one? ;D


  5. Is this the entire Adams job? I agree that the Romita redraws seem unnecessary, but they're not nearly as intrusive as I had always heard. Really, that final panel on page 13 is the only one that stands out as being an obvious Romita re-do. The rest of it looks like it's mostly Neal's work -- at least at this small size. I'll have to track down a copy of the original comic or the Essentials reprint and have a closer look at it. Thanks for posting!

  6. 70s Marvel was replete with these Romita "intrusions". I remember a beautiful Captain America fill-in by Alan Weiss that had incompatible Romita redraws (for no good reason I could see). This made as much sense as luring Jack Kirby to DC so they could stick Murphy Anderson heads on his Superman and Jimmy Olsen.



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