Man-Thing: Volume Three Monthly Strange Tales Series. $2.99 in US, $4.20 in Canada.

--Writer: J.M. DeMatteis (Spectacular Spider-Man, Silver Surfer)

--Penciller: Liam Sharp (Venom, Incredible Hulk)

--Colorist: Christie Scheele

--Letterer: Jon Babcock

--Editor: Mark Bernardo

Who is the Man-Thing?

ONCE he was a man, a chemist named Ted Sallis, until a top-secret experiment went awry... and he changed. The serum that was to haved made him a super-soldier intermingled with mystic forces in the shadow-haunted swamp to transform him into a mindless, shambling mockery of a man. Now, forces beyond human ken have appointed him the guardian of the Nexus of All Realities, a magickal gateway centered in the swamp where he dwells. An empath, the creature responds to human emotion; negative emotions cause him pain, and fear the most pain of all. And whatever knows fear burns at his searing touch!*

What's it all about?

Man-Thing is a member of Marvel Comics' Strange Tales line, meaning it is a tale of suspense and horror. Indeed it is. From the dark, moody colors and highly detailed, nightmarish animation, to the wickedly twisted story-telling, Man-Thing's a rush.

Okay... so, what is Strange Tales?

Strange Tales is a line of books meant to be kept separate from the rest of the Marvel Universe, much like DC's Helix line, and is meant for a "mature audience," but don't expect to be carded. The line was originally meant to be non-code approved (reffering to the Comics Code Authority), but "the suits freaked" and the first issues were revised for code approval... that is, except for Satana, whose writer refused to rewrite the script (an excellent sign of integrity). Afterwards the Satana idea dissolved. But the remaining Strange Tales books are still spooky, although perhaps not quite as graphic, and are beginning to provide some very interesting stories.

What books are included in Strange Tales?

Aside from Man-Thing, there's Werewolf By Night, and, coming soon, Blade: the Vampire Hunter. In case you were wondering, Blade has been made into a feature film to be released by Newline in February. Wesely Snipes will star.

* Quoted from the comic book, so you're sure to know it's accurate.

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