There are so many articles about which came first Man-Thing or Swamp Thing. They were virtually created and published at the same time. Yes, Man-Thing has the first publish date, but these characters were both on the drafting tables at the same time. The origin stories are almost identical. Both characters go through similar changes. The one thing that is interesting about both is they seek what it means to be human.
The Man Inside
“While no one is expected to leap tall buildings in a single bound, our aspiring heroes will be tested on their courage, integrity, self-sacrifice, compassion and resourcefulness - the stuff of all true superheroes.” - Stan Lee*
The Government and scientific corporations have struggled to recreate the serum that created Captain America. Dr. Theodore “Ted” Sallis and his crew working in the Florida Everglades are trying to discover something very close to that original Serum. This brings his work to the attention of A.I.M, Advanced Idea Mechanics. To protect his formula Ted memorizes it and destroys all paper work that helped develop this serum. He then takes the only syringe of the formula and injects himself with it. The effects overcome him, and he crashes his car into the swamp. The combination of the scientific formula and inherit magical energies of the swamp transforms Dr Theodore Sallis into a towering speechless “Man-Thing” with glowing eyes. The Man-Thing is empathic to all beings and it often makes sacrifices. With super strength it finds the courage to keep to its own integrity. The Man-Thing searches for the “man” it lost.
There are so many things we can talk about. It would all lead to the “Man” inside our hearts. If we are seeking a spiritual way of life, the concepts of integrity, self-sacrifice and compassion are paramount. To have integrity is to make sure the actions and beliefs are the same. To make sacrifices for others is equally important. In sacrifice we must be open to change and with integrity we find the ability to be steadfast. Both are found in compassion. A man that fights with compassion is coming from a state of Love and Peace. In the long run he will always be the victor. With these thoughts the “man” inside is at Peace.
First Appearance: Savage Tales, #1 (May 1971), Marvel Comics
Creators: Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Gray Morrow
* “The Blood of Kings”, Man-Thing! Volume 1, #3, February 1975, Marvel Comics