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Who, or what, is Man-Thing?

Who, or what, is Man-Thing?


Man-Thing (often confused for Swamp Thing) was created by writer Stan Lee, writer Roy Thomas, writer Gerry Conway, and artist Gray Morrow. Man-Thing made his first appearance in "Savage Tales" #1, published in May 1971.

Background and Origin:

Man-Thing is the alter ego of Dr. Theodore "Ted" Sallis, a biochemist who was working on a serum to replicate the "Super-Soldier Serum" that created Captain America. While conducting his experiments in the Florida Everglades, Sallis was betrayed by a colleague and attacked by agents of the subversive organization AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics). To prevent the serum from falling into the wrong hands, Sallis injected himself with the formula. Fleeing from his pursuers, he crashed his car into the swamp and was transformed into the Man-Thing due to a combination of the serum and the mystical energies of the swamp.

Abilities and Characteristics:

Man-Thing is a large, swamp-like creature with superhuman strength and durability. His body is composed of vegetable matter, making him nearly impervious to conventional physical damage. One of Man-Thing's most notable abilities is his empathic sense; he can sense emotions, particularly fear. When he encounters fear, a corrosive chemical reaction occurs, causing anything or anyone he touches to burn. This ability is famously encapsulated in the phrase: "Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch!"

Key Themes and Storylines:

  • Guardian of the Nexus of All Realities: The swamp where Man-Thing resides is the site of the Nexus of All Realities, a gateway to all dimensions and realities. Man-Thing often acts as the guardian of this nexus, preventing threats from entering or leaving different dimensions.

  • Interactions with Other Characters: Man-Thing has interacted with various Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, the Avengers, Howard the Duck, and Doctor Strange. Despite his monstrous appearance, he often finds himself entangled in the lives of those who encounter the swamp.

  • Existential and Horror Themes: Man-Thing stories often blend horror with existential themes, exploring the nature of fear, humanity, and the supernatural. The character's narratives frequently delve into psychological horror and the dark side of human nature.

Publication History:

Man-Thing has appeared in several solo series and has been a prominent character in various Marvel horror anthologies. The character's adventures were primarily chronicled in titles such as "Adventure into Fear" (which eventually became "Fear"), "Man-Thing" (volumes 1 and 2), and several miniseries and one-shots over the years.

Man-Thing remains a unique and enduring character within the Marvel Universe, known for his eerie presence and the philosophical depth of his stories.

Key Man-Thing Issues:

-Savage Tales #1, First appearance.
-Fear #10, First headlining Man-Thing title feature

-Fear #11, First appearance of Jennifer Kale, a sorceress well-versed in the magical arts. First appearance of Thog, a powerful Hell Lord, First mention of the Nexus of All Realities, an inter-dimensional gateway.

-Fear #17, First appearance of Wundarr (aka Aquarian), an alien with an origin similar to Superman.

-Fear #19, First appearance of Howard The Duck.

-Man-Thing #1, Second appearance of Howard The Duck, First Man-Thing solo title.

-Man -Thing #3, 1st appearance of the Foolkiller, a vigilante serial killer who hunts down the "fools" of depravity in society

-Man-Thing #19,1st appearance of Scavenger, a villain whose touch robs people of their lifeforce

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