Someone at Marvel Comics decided to rip off DC Comics THE SWAMP-THING, but they did a damn good job of it, adding attributes to their muck monster that the folks at DC never even thought of. The similarities abound. SWAMP-THING was a tortured Alec Holland who "died" in an explosion in his lab by the wamp, only to have the Bio-Regenerative serum he was soaked with and the mysterious bog transform him into an incredibly strong, smart, but ugly and misunderstood beast forded to wander the earth to find his role in lilfe. MAN-THING featured a dude named Ted Sallis who had a somewhat similar mishap with the swamp and the Super-Soldier serum (same thing that created CAPTAIN AMERICA), but became reborn as a completely mindless creature that was drawn to places where fear existed.
As the tagline in the comic went, "WHATEVER KNOWS FEAR BURNS AT THE MAN-THING'S TOUCH". You see, if MAN-THING approached you in the swamp, and you weren't afraid in the least, he'd leave you bect if you showed just one ounce of fear, he'd grab you and you'd burst into flames and die a horrible death.
As you can see from this 70s issue of THE HULK, ol Greenskin wasn't afraid of MAN-THING, but his efforts to beat him down were hampered by the fact taht he was made of mud and hair, and apparently if you look at his face closely, old carrots.
I always wondered how I'd fare if I ran across THE MAN-THING. I mean I'd be sure to scream and get it if he crossed my path. Though I don't know why I'd be wandering around by myself in the swamp in the first place, unless I was on the hunt for some fine Cajun tail.
I used to have this record when I was a kid, and it was damn scary. A clown commits suicide, and agents from Heaven, Hell, and Limbo hear the ghost clown's tale to decide where he should go. This was a pretty morbid departure from THE POKY LITTLE PUPPY, that's for sure. The macabre writing style of the original Marvel comic is what set it apart from others of the day. STEVE GERBER, (who coincidentally created HOWARD THE DUCK) was responsible for some of the best issues.
In once particularly interesting one, MAN-THING stumbles into a hidden village with Conquistadors who are hundreds of years old, thanks to the Fountain of Youth. Some evil guy also finds it, and takes the place hostage so he, too, can drink from the fountain. After getting a drink, his body basically turns inside out looking, cause you were supposed to bathe in it, not ingest it.
You can likely pick up some beat up old issues of this great comic on eBay for a few bucks. Just make sure it's the original 70s series, and not the pathetic Chris Claremont retread from the 80s.
Dr. Phibes Shopping Zone
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