Hello and welcome to another edition of Marvel Snapshot! You know, I have a soft spot in my heart for Man-Thing (let the jokes commence). Seriously though, he’s like all of those other characters we’ve seen throughout time in movies and television that can’t communicate, so he gets the crappy end of the stick all the time. Well, I’m here to say listen up, because there’s more to him than just being a big pile of green sludge! He deserves some respect, and so do Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Gray Morrow, and of course, the late, great Steve Gerber. First appearance was in Savage Tales #1 (1971).
Scientist Ted Sallis was working in the Florida Everglades, alongside a few other doctors. Their mission was to perfect the Super Soldier Serum that gave Captain America his fantastic abilities, but it was not to be. Originally, the terrorist group known as A.I.M. was in the area, and busted in on the experiments, but more recently, it was changed so that A.I.M. was actually running the experiments, unknown to Sallis. Either way, the end result was Sallis being thrust into the swamp, along with the serum, and voila, we get Man-Thing!
This beast from the east has empathic abilities, super strength, is almost impervious to any type of assault, and can deliver burns to the skin of those who show fear! These crazy powers and his location to the Nexus of All Realities gives him the sometimes unwanted pleasure of dealing with everything from witches, pirates, monsters, Satan worshiping whackos, pitchfork bearing rednecks, alligators, and everything in-between! In one of his first stories, we saw the first appearance of Jenifer Kale, a fight with, and subsequent partnership with, Ka-Zar and Zabu, and a battle with Wundarr!
The greatest thing about Man-Thing is the plethora of great creators that worked with this character. Over the years, there was a long run by Steve Gerber, stories by Chris Claremont, and Roy Thomas, just to name a few. Artistically, the book couldn’t have been in better hands than those of Mike Ploog, Big John Buscema, Jim Mooney, Val Mayerik, Ric Buckler, Alfredo Alcala, Jim Starlin, Klaus Janson, Al Milgrom, Don Perlin, Bob Wiacek, Frank Springer, and others.
As usual, check out some great covers from over the years, and definitely get a look at my recommended reading list, too! See you next time!
Essential Man-Thing vol. 1 & 2 – Tpb
Fantastic Four #187
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #32 & 61
Giant-Size Spider-Man #5
Legion of Monsters: Man-Thing (2007)