“Don’t read it in bed – unless nightmares turn you on.”

§ March 21st, 2011 § Filed under giant-size man-thing § 10 Comments

So a couple of years back, I mentioned that, in the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection: Man-Thing Special, I learned that Stan Lee himself came up with the name “Man-Thing,” a bit of trivia I hadn’t known before. Well, either I’d forgotten that I had read this before, or I just skipped over the text pages in the mag containing Manny’s debut, Savage Tales #1 (May 1971), but, well:

…that Stan Lee factoid was no secret. Ah, well, can’t remember everything, I guess. I am intrigued that Lee and Rascally Roy Thomas had discussed several possible origins for the creature, which I wonder have actually been revealed anywhere in any articles or interviews. Of course, given my track record, I probably have read something about them and simply forgot. Again. Also, after reading the above text box, I need never see any variation on the phrase “turned on” ever again.

In the origin story from this issue of Savage Tales, by Thomas, Gerry Conway, and Gray Morrow, there is another very rare example of the Man-Thing vocalizing:

A while back I noted another early Man-Thing appearance where they had him grunting and gesturing, which has since been established as not being within Man-Thing’s skill set, and I said at the time this was likely a result of Man-Thing’s particular characteristics still getting nailed down. Looking at this chronological list of Man-Thing’s appearances, the stories from those Astonishing Tales appear to be the character’s first appearances after the debut, so I can’t really fault them for following the first story’s lead in giving Man-Thing a voice, of sorts.

Tomorrow: More Man-Thing? Probably!

10 Responses to ““Don’t read it in bed – unless nightmares turn you on.””

  • Manny has, over the past few decades (including a few in recent years) been shown making growls, grunts and howls.

    Few and far between, but it seems that some rudimentary vocal system is still in place, if not actually active.

    He has also, especially in recent years, been shown to have a still flickering remnant of mental activity. Thunderbolts’ Jeff Parker being chief implementer of such -even in his X-Men First Class back-up stories with art by Coleen Coover – as I noted in an old blog post:


    Although, he’s not the only one – a recent issue of Web of Spider-Man also lending some brain-power to Manny – as reviewed here:


    Still, even as far back as Steve Gerber’s manny stories, the fleeting thoughts and memories shtick was always in place; a good way of helping Manny through a story as opposed to him JUST being a walking piece of balsa-wood and moss.

    Hell… as long as they use him well, I am on board.
    More Man-Thing, please!


  • Dr. Freex says:

    The only bad thing about your Man-Thing-centric posts, Mike, is that they have caused me to realize I still haven’t watched the reportedly wretched Man-Thing movie, which has sat on the left-hand corner of my desk for something like a year now. At least.

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    Gray Morrow is an amazing artist. I discovered him recently and was sad to read he met such a tragic end.

  • CW says:

    Mike, this has been the best week ever on your blog. I’m a huge fan of MT, and have every comic in which he’s appeared.

  • Andres says:

    Mike wouldn’t let me leave the store without buying an issue of Man-Thing.

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    Hey Mike, Cracked.com linked to what is probably one of your favorite posts ever:


    The links is in the next-to-last paragraph here: http://www.cracked.com/article_19084_5-reasons-pop-culture-run-by-fan-fiction.html

  • Wayne Allen Sallee says:

    A friend and I were talking about you blog yesterday and I thought how cool it would be if Marvel came out with Man-Thing Team-Up.

  • Tim O'Neil says:

    As someone who has seen the Man-Thing movie and lived to tell the tale, let me urge you against ever viewing the film.

    It’s very green. Everything in the movie is shot through with a sickly-green filter that makes it kind of nauseating to look at after a while.

    They are hampered by the fact that they needed to change the origin. Which makes sense – his origin is basically the same as Swamp Thing’s. That is something that goes over fine in the comics, but enough people know Swampy from his many appearances on stage and screen that the differentiation was probably necessary. The new origin doesn’t really work very well, though, even though a Herculean effort is made to tie it into one of Gerber’s concepts from his run on the character. It ends up not feeling like the Man-Thing at all.

    Man-Thing comes across as being positively sinister – hardly the neutral protector of the swamp we know and love, more like an old-fashioned swamp monster out to kill people for fucking around on his turf. The Man-Thing, when not in the presence of fear or other negative emotions, is harmless and even gentle – this Man-Thing is a monster through-and-through. Hardly the same thing, no pun intended.

    I watched it so you don’t have to.

  • David Simpson says:

    I recently read a reprint of JLA 92, cover date September 1971, in which DC’s swamp monster villain Solomon Grundy is repeatedly referrred to as a man-thing. I assume that writer Mike Friedrich was making some sort of comment on Marvel’s recently debuted swamp character — certainly, the four month gap between cover dates makes that entirely possible

  • Hiya. Finally got around to reading Savage Tales #1. The best part of it was certainly Windsor-Smith’s Conan artwork.
    But let me ask you is this not a comic which is very dubious and shady in it’s depiction of women?
    1) Conan – Snow Giant’s Daughter lures Conan into trap so he can be eaten
    2) Stan Lee sf story about men being slaves of feminazis
    3) Swamp Thing is betrayed by his chick (this origin was later changed).
    As in the first story, the femme fatale is verrrry scantily clad
    4) Black Brother, a provincial senator in Africa is betrayed and sold out by his hot wife to the corrupt central government and american oil
    5) Ka-Zar, wife of guy in “swamp tank” poisons Ka-Zar and betrays husband. Is murdered in the end by “swamp men” and found face down in a stream with no clothes on

    I hereby vote this mag as the most chauvinistic comic of the last century!