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Thing #1

Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2005
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: Andrea DeVito, Laura Villari(c)
Publisher: Marvel

As fun filled as every other Dan Slott Book, the Thing is a blast of super-hero action and Marvel continuity. "It's Clobbering Time!" people.

Ben Grimm is rich "beyond the dreams of avarice." I don't know exactly how this happened, but Slott fills me in without resorting to needless exposition. The Thing sleeps with actresses under black silk sheets. He has a limousine driver. I get it. Somehow he's rich, and I probably don't need to know why.

Slott uses Ben's windfall to set into motion the mayhem and naturally involve the pin-setter for that mayhem. Many a long time Marvel reader will deduce his identity before it manifests in the final panels. The signature's unmistakable as is Slott's ability to write.

Dan Slott doesn't waste a word or a scene. Alicia Masters' cameo doesn't just provide a moment and continuity point we expect to see. She also serves as the source for another of Slott's clever insights into untouched Marvel continuity. Spider-Man's cameo reinforces Ben's new lifestyle. Nighthawk displays a nice character moment that ties into Slott's other justifiably critically acclaimed book She-Hulk. For a book with a star whose usual solution is to "clobber," The Thing surprises with a layered reading.

Slott scores also through the artwork of Andrea DeVito and Laura Villari. DeVito does not just accomplish the super-hero action but also the quiet moments of subtle expression from somebody who resembles an orange brick wall. A celebrity filled party actually is filled with recognizable celebrities. If ever there is an Alias comic book, DeVito is the natural choice for job, for her Jennifer Garner stands out.

Laura Villari's colors are Crossgen worthy. She doesn't make a single color error when depicting the metafictional history of Marvel. All the colors in each scene compliment each other and create an inviting final product. Kudos must also be given to letterer David Lanphear. This comic book would have blown without bold emphasis in the dialogue and the gosh-darn comic font for larger than life action. Now just one question arises. Did Dan Slott recently speak to his former partner Ty Templeton over lattes or are these stories set in a sandy arena a result of Lost's long reach?




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