Just yesterday, acclaimed horror writer R.L. Stine teased that his mystery series for Marvel Comics would be revealed "in a few days." In a twist fitting of a "Goosebumps" final page, the reveal actually came just a day later via the New York Times. Stine is writing a new "Man-Thing" limited series for Marvel Comics.
The horror writer, known for the young adult novel series "Goosebumps," will make his comic-writing debut with the new "Man-Thing" series. The comic, which will be heavily inspired by the "Tales From the Crypt" comics of the 1950s, will feature covers by Tyler Crook and interior art by German Peralta. True to the 1950s horror anthology style, each issue will also include a short horror story written by Stine and drawn by a guest artist, the first of which is Daniel Warren Johnson.
The new assignment fulfills a lifelong dream for Stine. “My first ambition was to be a comic book artist,” he told the New York Times. “I started doing these little comic books in the fourth grade: ‘Super Stooge,’ the dumbest hero on earth... I was terrible. I had no choice but to be a writer.”
Man-Thing debuted in 1971 and is one of Marvel's leading supernatural monster protagonists. While the character doesn't speak, he's played a large part in numerous team books and even his own series. The character's tagline fits right in with Stine's horror background: "Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch!"
Marvel apparently offered Stine a number of characters, but Man-Thing spoke to him. His frequent use of swamp monsters in "Goosebumps" was a deciding factor for him. Stine's take on the character will feature one major change, though: he will be able to talk. “He can talk and he’s very sarcastic,” said Stine, who noted that the first issue will see Man-Thing travel to Burbank to find out why he's not currently in a feature film. “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,” said Stine. “It’s what I try to do in my books.”
The 73-year-old writer is most known for his line of “Goosebumps” novels, which originally ran from 1992 to 1997, lasting 62 installments. The line has since been revived and continues today. Stine’s work has inspired a number of live-action projects as well, including a television series as well as a 2015 feature film starring Jack Black. In the film, Black played a fictionalized version of Stine; the author himself played a teacher named “Mr. Black.” Stine is also known for the teen-oriented “Fear Street” young adult series, which launched in 1989, and the more recent “Mostly Ghostly” novel series.