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Author Topic: Man-Thing  (Read 129 times)
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« on: November 08, 2008, 06:07:45 pm »

Marvel Zombies

A young member of the undead surfaces in the swamp to which Man-Thing's arm can be quickly seen, terminating the zombie before it resurfaces. He is next seen walking away in the distance

Powers and abilities

Man-Thing is a former scientist who was transformed into a creature composed of vegetable matter through the synergistic interaction of mystical energy and chemical mutagens. He became a nearly mindless mass of slime with no particular affinity to any living thing, but who nevertheless often becomes an accidental hero as it stumbles upon various crime and horror scenarios. The extent of Man-Thing's intelligence is unknown, although sub-sentient. At times displaying little more than animal intelligence, if that, he is still able to recall, at least for brief periods, images and words from the memories of Ted Sallis. He is shown to understand concepts such how to ring a doorbell,[84] how to put an arm in a sling, [85] and even to flip an auto-destruct switch.[86] He also seems to have an instinct for protecting human children.[87] He also comprehends that doctors help people.[88] Man-Thing's auditory receptors are in his forehead.[89]

The Man-Thing possesses a variety of superhuman powers that are derived from the interaction of the scientific formula created by Ted Sallis and the mystical energies of the Nexus of Realities.

It is able to sense human emotions, and is enraged by fear and automatically secretes a strong chemical corrosive; anyone feeling fear and clutched by the Man-Thing is prone to be burned (either chemically or mystically), hence the series' tag-line, "Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch." Though fear is understandably most people's response to the creature, typically only villains end up meeting an immolating death at its hands. Many survive being burned, notably Ellen Brandt[90], Kurt "Nightcrawler" Wagner,[91] and Mongu, whose hand he permanently attaches to his axe,[92] either due to intervention or dissipation.

Man-Thing's superhuman strength varies considerably in his comic book appearances. Initially, the Man-Thing is only slightly stronger than Captain America,[issue # needed] but in later appearances, the Man-Thing possesses sufficient superhuman strength to stand toe to toe with much stronger villains.[issue # needed]

The Man-Thing's body is practically invulnerable to harm. Because his body is not entirely solid, but composed of the muck and vegetative matter of the swamp, fists, bullets, knives, energy blasts, etc. will either pass entirely through him or will harmlessly be lodged within his body. Even if a vast portion of the Man-Thing's body were to be ripped away or incinerated, he would be able to reorganize himself by drawing the necessary material from the surrounding vegetation. Devil-Slayer once sliced him nearly in half,[93] and he has survived being incinerated by a Celestial,[94] although his healing from the latter has been the longest and most complex in his lifetime.[95]

The Man-Thing is also able to ooze his body through openings or around barriers that would seem too small for him to pass though. The smaller the opening, the longer it will take for him to reorganize his mass upon reaching the other side. This ability,[96] can be defeated mystically.[97]

Unusual psychic and mystical forces react in what passes as the "brain" cells located throughout his body. These unique forces render the Man-Thing extremely sensitive to emotions. Emotions that are mild and generally considered positive arouse curiosity and the Man-Thing will sometimes observe from a distance. However, emotions that are often viewed as negative, such as violent emotions, rage, anger, hatred and fear, cause the Man-Thing great discomfort and might provoke him to attack. Once provoked into violent actions, his body secretes highly concentrated sulfuric acid that can burn human beings to ashes within a matter of seconds. Even individuals that have high levels of superhuman durability have proven unable to withstand this potent acid (except, perhaps the Hulk).[issue # needed] While the Man-Thing is devoid of violent emotions, his body produces a type of foamy, soapy mucus that neutralizes the acid.

The Man-Thing is dependent upon the swamp he inhabits for his continued survival. He is able to leave the swamp, and has done so on many occasions, sometimes for a considerable length of time, although the Man-Thing does not, under normal circumstances, willingly travel outside the environment of his swamp.[citation needed] However, his body will slowly weaken and eventually lapse into dormancy if not returned to the swamp or exposed to clean water. His exposure to the Citrusville waste treatment plant[98] greatly enhanced his ability to leave the swamp. He generally does so of his own accord only if he senses a mystical disturbance. Man-Thing has also demonstrated himself susceptible to possession by other entities.[99]

Although the Man-Thing is non-sentient, Ted Sallis possesses a Ph.D. in biochemistry.[issue # needed] Sallis is legally dead, but his identity is known to numerous living people, including Wilma Calvin, Ellen Brandt, Stephen Strange, Owen Reece, Ben Grimm, Thog, and Jennifer Kale, and anyone they may have told. His identity as Man-Thing could not be considered secret, but his existence is generally believed to a hoax, and an obscure one, at that.[95] In-universe, knowledge of his existence is rarely tied to the experiments of Sallis, as are speculations as to any human identity he may have had. Despite having appeared in Citrusville many times, many there still believe him to be a rumor.[100]

[edit] Comic book spin-offs
Dr. Barbara Morse was introduced in the second Man-Thing story by Len Wein/Neal Adams, although because of publication delays, she was introduced in Astonishing Tales #6, with the Wein/Adams story presented as flashback. Morse became the costumed hero Mockingbird in Marvel Team-Up #96 and go on to become a prominent member of Avengers West Coast, eventually sacrificing her life to save her husband, Clint "Hawkeye" Barton, from Mephisto[101] Currently, her spirit fights alongside Daimon Hellstrom to eliminate demons from his Hell.[102]

Jennifer Kale debuted in Fear #11, which was the first story Steve Gerber wrote for Marvel after his initial tryout. She went on to appear in two team books, The Legion of Night, created and written by Gerber and partially composed of several other Gerber-created supporting cast members such as Martin Gold and Dr. Katherine Reynolds, and Bronwyn Carlton and Bryan Walsh's Witches in which she teamed with Satana and Topaz under the tutelage of Doctor Strange.

Gerber introduced Howard the Duck in a Man-Thing story in Adventure into Fear #19. Howard, who was displaced from a planet of anthropomorphics in another dimension via the swamp's Nexus of All Realities, later acquired his own series, which was written by Gerber for the first 27 issues.

The Foolkiller, a vigilante who used a ray-gun to disintegrate not only criminals but anyone he considered foolish, was introduced in issue #3 of this series, bent on slaying disc jockey Richard Rory, introduced in the previous issue. When Rory served time for trumped-up kidnapping charges, he accidentally created another Foolkiller when he revealed too much detail about the previous incarnation and the whereabouts of his gear. This Foolkiller became an occasional villain in other Marvel comics. Both Rory and this second Foolkiller, along with nurse Ruth Hart (who appeared in Man-Thing # 2-5) were supporting characters in Gerber's Omega the Unknown, while David Anthony Kraft made Rory a potential love interest for She-Hulk. A third version of the character, who was in internet communication with the second, starred in Gerber's 1990 Foolkiller miniseries. A fourth series by Greg Hurwitz appeared in 2008.

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