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Readers beware, you’re in for a scare.

Why do we say that? Because according to the New York TimesR.L.Stine is back behind his computer and typing a new horror story. This time, it’s for Marvel Comics and it’s for a lesser-known character called Man-Thing.

First of all, who is Man-Thing?

He’s basically a swamp monster with super-strength. Also, if he touches you when you’re afraid, it burns you. Also also, he is the guardian to The Nexus to All Realities and can transport through to any other dimensions. As such, he and Doctor Strange have worked together, as have he and Howard the Duck.

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But he’s more than a swamp monster. At one time, he was a brilliant biochemist named Dr. Theodore “Ted” Sallis. He was working on duplicating the Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America when he was attacked while driving through the Florida Everglades. As he sunk into the swamp, his serum mixed with the vegetation of the environment and turned him into Man-Thing. There was also some magic in the swamp, as it is the Nexus of All Realities, and this attached to him as well; hence why he is the guardian.

So it makes perfect sense that the creator of the Goosebumps novellas would be writing this story for Marvel. According to Stine, this is a lifelong dream of his. As he told the New York Times, “My first ambition was to be a comic book artist. I started doing these little comic books in the fourth grade: ‘Super Stooge,’ the dumbest hero on earth.” However, though he shared the stories with friends at school, he knew he had no talent for drawing and he “… had no choice but to be a writer.”

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He then went on to credit comics for having a huge influence on all the writing he’s done as an adult, saying, “I think they’ve been a major influence in everything I’ve done since.”

As for the comic itself, Stine says, “I’m going to do a lot of action and a lot of great violence and make it creepy, but I’m going to make it funny at the same time.” This will go somewhat against what we’ve known of Man-Thing up to this point as Man-Thing has rarely been funny. In fact, he’s always been mute, but Stine is changing that up as well.

“He can talk and he’s very sarcastic.”

In the first issue, Man-Thing heads to Burbank, CA, curious why he’s never been invited to be in a major motion picture.

Yup!

Sounds like an R.L. Stine story already.

Matt Key
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