September 5, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Man-Thing

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Written by: Billy
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So, I first must ask a question. Who out there thinks Man-Thing is cooler than Swamp Thing? I know, I think Man-Thing is cooler for a few reasons, too, but the biggest reason is because he was the first of the two, NOT Swampy. In this week’s edition of Marvel Snapshot, we’ll look at the original beast from the everglades, Man-Thing, in this week’s great character spotlight.

The scientist Ted Sallis was working on a formula called “Serum SO2” for the United States government. The formula would grant the user immunity to all toxins and chemicals, but the side effect was that it would turn you into a beast! Sallis eventually shut down the project, but was later assigned to a new S.H.I.E.L.D. program called “Project Gladiator.” This project was another attempt to figure out the Super-Soldier formula that gave Captain America his powers. During this time, Sallis married Ellen Brandt. She eventually would start to regret marrying Sallis, because his work came before his marriage. She was approached by A.I.M., and became an agent for them. Sallis committed the formula to memory and had only one sample to use. Brandt then led him into a trap, but he got away long enough to inject himself with the sample, and then his car crashed into the swamp and exploded. Instead of being killed, the formula plus the magical properties of the swamp, transformed him into the monstrous Man-Thing!

Man-Thing worked solo for a while, but always ran into other superheroes like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Ka-Zar, The Hulk, and many more. He was used very rarely for quite some time, but had a resurgence with The Legion of Monsters. In said book, he teamed up with Morbius, Werewolf by Night, and Ghost Rider to battle a creature called Starseed.

Next, Man-Thing would be involved with the Fantastic Four’s Franklin Richards during the Onslaught story line. In this story, Man-Thing was eventually slain by a Celestial in order to prevent him from stopping Franklin from returning the heroes from the pocket reality to Earth. Man-Thing was reformed later because of some dimensional disturbances and the Norn Stones, but was overtaken by a postal employee. Spider-Man helped him out of that mess, with the help of the Authority, and he returned to his normal status.

Man-Thing would spend quite a while in obscurity, but has recently come out into the forefront in the Thunderbolts series. Man-Thing, along with Luke Cage, Moonstone, Crossbones, Juggernaut, and others. The series has been well received since its roster re-boot, and hopefully it will keep climbing to the top of Marvel’s charts, because I for one want to keep a great character like Man-Thing front and center!

Recommended Reading
Essential Man-Thing vol. 1 & 2 Tpb
Thunderbolts #144-present
Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing (LS-#1-4)
Marvel Fanfare (#9, 36, 37)
Monsters Unleashed (Annual #1, 3, 5, 8, 9)

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Don’t you just love how Marvel and DC have characters that are way too similar at times? lol

    Man-Thing is a pretty cool character but I just think that not a lot of writers try to get a lot of the character which is why his popularity wanes so much. Did anyone see that Man-Thing movie? it didn’t do him any favors that’s for sure lol

  2. Billy

    @Speech- Yeah, especially when the origins are that close too. I also agree that the right writer would help the character a ton. Hopefully Thunderbolts will help keep him in the spotlight for a while.

  3. Aron

    That’s not the real Man-Thing in Thunderbolts. It is just Lockjaw covered in swamp muck!

    I say this out of love for Man-Thing.

  4. Aron

    Look at that Legion of Monsters cover! That has to be a Frank Robbins cover. *puke!*

  5. I get what you’re sayin’ Aron lol

  6. Billy

    @Aron- Check out Morbius’ “Arthur Fonzorelli” hairdo!

  7. Eli

    I like that Man-Thing is in Thunderbolts, but I’d really like to see more of him. You know, if they featured him as more of just the transportation, that had to be looked after like a dog that had to be kept content.

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