Every day this week a new supernatural character from the Marvel Universe gets the spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!
One of Marvel’s most fearsome creatures trudged his way out of the swamp in the pages of SAVAGE TALES #1 thanks to Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway and artist Gray Morrow. The 1971 comic debuted the mysterious Man-Thing who soon set up shop in ADVENTURE INTO FEAR with issues #10 through 19.
A monster comic reprint book up to that point, FEAR soon gave way to the silent, skulking protector of the Nexus of All Realities. ADVENTURE INTO FEAR #16 featured a story written by Steve Gerber with artwork by Val Mayerik. Much like his work in the pages of HOWARD THE DUCK, Gerber used the medium of comics to tell stories about some of the injustices going on in the world.
In the case of “Cry of the Native,” which hit stands in 1973, the story revolves around a group of Native Americans defending their land against construction workers tasked with building there. In true Gerber fashion, the issue remains as complicated and diverse as real life with both sides expressing understandable points.
In the end though, one of the workers went too far and tried to attack head on. Jake Simpson scooped Man-Thing up in a bulldozer, buried him under the earth and drove over the spot with heavy machinery. Of course, that’s no way to stop Man-Thing. He grew himself out of the soil, confronted Jake, made him burn with fear and then left him in the path of an oncoming dozer which quickly sealed his fate.
Eventually, Man-Thing proved popular enough to earn his own series which launched in 1974. Steve Gerber wrote all 22 issues with regular artists Val Mayerik and Jim Mooney. Both artists returned when MAN-THING launched again in 1979. Michael Fleisher kicked off the new volume as writer, but Chris Claremont penned several issues as well.
After popping up here and there throughout the Marvel Universe, Man-Thing reappeared decades later as a member of the Thunderbolts team lead by Luke Cage. But, as everyone including Jake Simpson knows, the Man-Thing will always creeping around some corner, ready to set ablaze those who know fear.
FEAR FACT: Thanks to a flashback in this issue, readers understood that Ted Sallis, the man who would become Man-Thing, worked on a formula that would allow people to breath pollutants. An accident with the concoction resulted in the Man-Thing we know and love to this day!
Come back tomorrow for another Halloween Spooklight on the Legion of Monsters!