Man-Thing’s War on Swamp Thing!

§ March 29th, 2006 § Filed under giant-size man-thing § 3 Comments

Well, sorta. At least it gives me an excuse to link to this cool Nestor Redondo image from an old Comic Buyer’s Guide cover again:

So anyway, in Man-Thing #3 (March 1973), this editorial reply appeared in response to reader inquiries as to the similarities between the two swamp creatures:

Swamp Thing, openly disparaged in the letter column of his direct competitor. Okay, so it’s probably partially true, though I think the huge sales of Swampy’s first appearance in House of Secrets #92 had more to do with the creation of the ongoing series than, as implied above, anything Marvel may have been doing.

But that implication pales in comparison to this editorial reply in Man-Thing #2 (January 1979). A letter writer asks about Manny’s origin, confusing it with Swampy’s, which results in this response:

Oh SNAP! Oh no you didn’t! You didn’t just describe Swamp Thing as also being a Hulk knock-off!

Of course, that’s not to say the S.O.O.S. (“Supporters of Ol’ Swampy”) contingent didn’t get their licks in, as in this excerpt from Man-Thing #16 (April 1975):

Of course, the Swamp Thing comic ended up co-opting, in a way, the Man-Thing character as a background member of the Parliament of Trees – the plant elemental tribe elders, after a fashion. He first pops up in Swamp Thing #47 (April ’86), the issue where Swamp Thing first encounters the Parliament…what appears to be an overgrown version of Man-Thing appears in a two-page spread:

And later in the issue, you get an extreme foreground close-up of his face:

And he pops up a few more times, in this issue and a few others. Alas, no official crossover has ever been published, though I was hoping for maybe a throwaway panel in JLA/Avengers. I mean, heck, they devoted a panel to Rick Jones versus Snapper Carr, after all.

(And just so there’s no misunderstanding…I greatly enjoyed the original Man-Thing series as well, despite my pro-Swamp Thing bias. It really is prime Steve Gerber, at his most quirky, earnest, and experimental, accompanied by some great artists – Mike Ploog, John Buscema, Val Mayerik. Good stuff!)

(Where’s my Essential Man-Thing reprint volume?)

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