Once, he was a MAN, a chemist named Ted Sallis, until a top secet experiment went awry...and he CHANGED.The serum that was to have made him a SUPER-SOLDIER combined with strange forces in the shadow-haunted SWAMP to turn him into a shambling, mindless MOCKERY of his former self...part MAN, part MONSTER! Stan Lee Presents...
If you plunged your hand into the chest of The Man-Thing you'd pull out a fist full of mud. If you did the same to screenwriter Hans Rodionoff you'd probably pull out comic books. They're in his blood. He has, after all, tried to transform himself into a superhero on several occasions. The writer told Comics2Film that, as a youngster, he found a book in the library that he thought would help him transform into a werewolf. When the black arts failed him he turned to science, exposing an unsuspecting spider to TV generated radiation for a full 24 hours. Sadly, the irradiated arachnid refused to bite. While all this did little to empower the youngster as a superhero, his addiction to comics like Iron Fist, Spider-Man and Werewolf By Night did send him down the path that eventually landed him the job as the screenwriter for The Man-Thing. Rodionoff eventually studied art with the hopes of becoming a comic book artist. However, an elective course in filmmaking sparked a new interest in movies. After college Rodionoff wrote, directed and produced Sucker: The Vampire for Troma Studios. He continued to write screenplays, eventually getting good notices for his script called Lovecraft, a pseudo-biographical look at the life of legendary horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. "I wrote a script that was basically like Stir of Echoes or Naked Lunch approach to Lovecraft's life. It takes the view that Lovecraft became the last savior of our world and ultimately the guardian that kept the Elder Gods from returning." That script got the writer in the door at Artisan, who he had recently learned had pacted with Marvel to develop a slate of movies, including his childhood favorites Iron Fist and Man-Thing. Rodionoff had followed artist Mike Ploog's work on Werewolf By Night to Man-Thing, and knew the swampy creature well enough to pitch an original take to Artisan. Although most fans know that Marvel's Man-Thing is very similar to DC's Swamp Thing, Rodionoff told C2F that he aims to make the Man-Thing movie significantly different from the Swamp Thing movies. "It's going to be a lot darker and creepier," Rodionoff said. "It's less about Adrienne Barbeau and more like Heart of Darkness in the swamp." The writer is loosely basing his screenplay on a story that appeared in Adventure Into Fear #16. The basic premise involves a developer who hopes to drain and develop the swamps of the Everglades. When the constant sabotage of equipment is punctuated by the murder of one of the crew, the developer takes up arms against the native Seminoles he believes to be responsible. But the locals know that there's something else lurking in the swamp...So will the Man-Thing be scientist Ted Salis underneath all the muck? Yes and no. "It will be a mystery to the characters and the audience," Rodionoff tells us. "There will be a lot of different ideas about what the Man-Thing is. Everyone will sort of agree that there's something lurking in the swamp but they don't know exactly what it really is. Certainly, the idea of a scientist who's body chemistry has mingled with moss and spores will be one of the legends."
Rodionoff is not disclosing any details about how the Man-Thing's will look in the film except to say that he has plans for a creature that will both please and surprise fans of the comics.
Rodionoff is thrilled to go from the ultimate fanboy to someone involved in the crafting of a comic book movie. "This whole coming about of Man-Thing, leading back to my early aspirations and comic books has been a very exciting, circular route that I didn't expect my life to take."
The writer wants comic fans to know they have nothing to fear from him. "Comics are where I come from. I'm going to do Man-Thing justice. I'm not just a snazzy-boy screenwriter who jumped in and decided to start writing comic book scripts. This is really where I always hoped I would be in the first place." And besides, whatever knows fear...
Summary: We first see the Man-Thing in the swamp, fighting with the local wildlife. We then see his backstory: Ted Sallis and his lady-helper, Ellen Brandt, are in a lab in the swamps of Florida, there because Ted did not like working in the labs under the eyes of the Man. Ellen wants to leave. Ted finishes his work there, to create a super-soldier serum. He burns his notes and takes the only sample to meet with his ride out, an agent named Hamilton, who is already late to get them. Ted is ambushed at the meeting place, where his girl turns on him for the serum, with the aid of thugs who have already killed Hamilton. Ted fights and gets away. Before the chase can close on him he decides to destroy the formula - and himself, for he is the only one who knows the formula now - by injecting the serum into himself and crashing his car off a bridge into the murky swamp. But Ted does not die. The serum and the swamp water combine to change him into the misshapen Man-Thing! Newly created he walks onto the road his pursuers are coming down. They, like so many after them, crash their car into him. The Man-Thing rages on these pitiful victims, and finds out for the first time, when his traitoress recoils from him in fear, that whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch! But much of that which was Ted Sallis is now gone. Who can say what now remains of his humanity?
Terror stalks the Everglades!
Ka-Zar and Zabu arrive @ Miami International Airport and and leave there in a hail of gunfire. AIM is setting up shop in the Everglades, as shown in ST #1. Ka-Zar is friends with those who have worked with Ted Sallis and they are shot down in flight by AIM.
The middle sequence was originally for magazine publication, and was done separately.
Man-Thing's origin is recounted and the new characters intoduced. Ka-Zar, AIM and the Man-Thing all meet in the swamp and our heroes are left to fight each other in a pit trap!
To Be Continued!
Mark of the Man-Thing!
Vs. Ka-Zar pt. 2!
Summary: Ka-Zar and the Man-Thing toss each other around the pit trap from AsT #12 while AIM watches. Zabu livens up the party, but AIM runs away. They are all reunited later @ AIM's HQ, which the Man-Thing destroys.
Summary: Man-Thing catches a baby dropped off a bridge to it's death and delivers it to a local doctor. He then exacts vengeance on the man who threw away a perfectly good baby.
Night of the Nether-Spawn!
Summary: Jennifer and And Kale are introuced, plaing with a spell book. They are disappointed in their efforts and leave. Man-Thing watches as a demon-type escapes and goes after them. He fights the demon-spawn and finally defeats him on his own swampy turf.
No Choice of Colors!
Summary: A black man accused runs away from a cop under the view of the Man-Thing. While hiding, the man lays out his tale to the unspeaking Man-Thing. He is finally killed later trying to shield Man-Thing from the bad cop. He is burnt to death by the Man-Thing's power.
Where Worlds Collide!
Summary: The tome of Zhered-Na is introduced, and Jennifer and Andy Kale return. We also meet their grandfather, leader of a cult. man-Thing ends up in an alternate dimension where he is transformed into Ted Sallis once more, but he gives it up to save others. Jennifer is found to have some link to the Man-Thing.
The Demon Plague!
Summary: Swamp Madness! The country is falling under some sort of madness and Joshua's cult tries to stop it. Man-Thing and Jen are taken to another other dimension where they meet Dakimh the Enchanter. He will eventually become her magic mentor. The Man-Thing shows off in a gladiator pen and they are sent back.
From Here to Infinity!
Summary: The Madness continues! Joshua Kale's cult is no better off than last issue. The origin of the cult and Zhered-Na are touched upon. Jen and Man-Thing fight opposition from Sominus as well as nether-demons. They triumph and the link between them is severed. For now.
See part of Steve's plot for the issue Here
Apologies for the small scan size!
Part 8: Brother Voodoo!