Comic Book Origins: Man Thing

Script written by Craig Butler Lots of strange and bizarre creatures live in the swamp – but none hold a candle to this swamp creature with a strangely appropriate name. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origin of the Man-Thing. The swamp creature known as Man-Thing debuted in 1971, but his origin story gained in complexity over the years. The version which was put forth in 2008 brought many of the various strands together. Special thanks to our users Juan Carlos Diaz Platas for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler

Origins: Man Thing


Lots of strange and bizarre creatures live in the swamp – but none hold a candle to this swamp creature with a strangely appropriate name. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of the Man-Thing.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 2008's “Dead of Night Featuring Man-Thing” #1-4.

The swamp creature known as Man-Thing debuted in 1971, but his origin story gained in complexity over the years. The version which was put forth in 2008 brought many of the various strands together.

As the story began, biologist/chemist Ted Sallis was working in the swamps of Florida with his fiancé, Ellen Brandt, and a colleague, Eric Schist. As far as Ted knew, they were working together for the U.S. government. They were one of many groups trying to recreate the famous Super Soldier Serum that turned ordinary Steve Rodgers into extraordinary Captain America.

Unfortunately, Ted had been lied to. He was actually working for AIM, a terrorist government seeking the formula for their own nefarious purposes. Eric and Ellen both knew this and were simply playing Ted for a patsy. And Ted would have been one the wiser except for one thing. He stumbled upon some grotesquely mutated humans who turned out to be the victims of Eric's illegal experiments.

Ted confronted Eric, who gloatingly told the scientist how he had been used. In retaliation, Ted knocked Eric unconscious and escaped into the swamp with the formula. Unfortunately, Ellen was hot on his trail and shot him before he could get very far. Sinking into the swamp, Ted hastily downed as much of the serum as he could, the rest spilling on and around him. Ellen assumed he was dead. In fact, the combination of the serum and the biological life in the swamp served to change Ted into a massive monstrous creature – the Man-Thing.

Man-Thing freed the mutants Eric had created and then made quick work of Eric. He intended to kill Ellen more slowly, but stopped after releasing an acidic poison that disfigured her. Still maintaining some of his humanity, Man-Thingwas distraught with what he had done; he turned and fled before finishing the job.

Along the way, Man-Thing hooked up with some new friends. A young boy named Andy Kale befriended him, as did his sister, Jennifer. Both turned out to possess magical powers and provided valuable assistance to the lumberingMan-Thing.

Man-Thing also learned how to regenerate. He could transport his essence out of one body and grow another to support it. This ability came in handy when Ellen returned with some of her allies from AIM to hunt down the Man-Thing. Working with Jennifer, Man-Thing was able to lure Ellen into a trap by using one of his discarded bodies.

Once he had Ellen close at hand, Man-Thing realized he couldn't afford to let her go again. He simply absorbed her into his body, consuming her flesh and bones and making them into a part of himself. And so the threat against him was over temporarily.

Man-Thing's massive strength and ability to regenerate bodies make him a fearsome opponent, as does the acidic chemical poison which he can secrete. And his bizarre appearance makes him stand out from most other super powered beings, even in the Marvel Universe. His near immortality makes him seemingly impossible to kill and Man-Thing will always be a recurring character in the Marvel Universe.

Are you a fan of the eerie swamp creature called Man-Thing? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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