Giant-Size Man-Thing: The Blood of Kings! (#3) – Steve Gerber

3 out of 5

Essentially just a way to shuffle some pieces around – to get Korrek and Jennifer Kale to Florida; and to remove Dakimh from the equation, since his OP sorcerer powers render Jennifer sort of pointless. …Meanwhile, the story itself seems to be about an attempted usurp of power in Korrek’s homeland, to whose rescue Man-Thing is sent, but that ‘essentially’ prevents this from ever feeling all that important, despite some fantastic fantasy art from Alfredo Alcala, and some interesting notes of world- and lore-building from Steve. It’s an absolutely competent issue, undoubtedly, it’s just not really a Man-Thing story, but nor is it something especially necessary in the Dakimh / Jennifer chain of events, that couldn’t have been boiled down to something less Giant-Size-d. I think the pieces, individually, are quite good: Manny has a one page reflection on his past, wandering around Dakimh’s castle, and Korrek’s recollection of his homeland being ravaged by invaders is well scripted, and gorgeously arted. But those pieces don’t quite add up to a “story,” because, again, this is just a bridge between other story elements. The fantasy bits, which do form the bulk of the issue, are the best, though.

The backups are also pretty fun (and cheesy), shoving in four short ones that all seem thematically linked around valuing the “common” man.