Home > Marvel Comics > The Thing (2006 Series) #3

The Thing (2006 Series) #3

February 1, 2006

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Playing For Keeps (Fun ‘n Games Part Three)

Can the Thing get his pals free from Arcade?

Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Andrea DiVito
Colors: Laura Villari
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Andrea DiVito
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The first arc of the new Thing series comes to a close, and I must say, it was pretty much everything I hoped for. Dan Slott has taken my favorite Marvel character and given him a title full of old-fashioned superhero slugfests, a smattering of angst, a healthy dose of lighthearted humor and a lot of fun.

Trapped on an island by Arcade, the Thing leads a group of kidnapped millionaires in an attempt to free themselves. Tony Stark (minus his Iron Man armor) is making a play for the villain’s headquarters, while the superhero called Nighthawk and the villain called Constrictor bat clean-up for ol’ Benjy. I don’t want this to become a title about guest-stars, but all of these characters (plus an appearance by Daredevil) work really well in this issue. I particularly like the interplay between Nighthawk – a reformed villain – and Constrictor – a villain who is starting to see the appeal in fighting for the other side.

Like in his acclaimed She-Hulk run, Slott doesn’t shy away from referencing past continuity in this title, like the Thing’s friendship with the Sandman before the reformed villain un-reformed and went back to villainy. But rather than making the story inaccessible, the way Slott uses the past is part of this title’s charm. It give the book more of a timeless feel while still relying on the status quo of the Marvel Universe to create his backdrop.

DiVito’s artwork is second to none here. He draws one of the best Things I’ve seen in recent memory (and he proves he can do many incarnations of the character in one sequence), and flawlessly segues between normal comic book stomping grounds like New York City to the lush tropical island where most of the issue takes place. Like the writing, both the artwork and the page layouts have a timeless quality. Were it not for the very modern coloring style of Laura Villari, this comic could have been published 20 years ago. (This is not a knock against Villari, however, far from it – she does as spectacular a job as the rest of the creative team.)

In just three issues, this has become one of my favorite Marvel titles. But I’ve come to expect that from Dan Slott. There are few people in comics today capable of giving us an old-fashioned superhero tale as well as him.

Rating: 8/10

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