Characters Appearing: Ellen Brandt, Madame Swabada, Man-Thing
Giant-Size Man-Thing #5
Issue(s): Giant-Size Man-Thing #5
...and wind up having a vision that is in fact three random Man-Thing stories.
The first is by Gerber/Sutton. It has the Man-Thing preventing a baby from being sacrificed to a demon in an apartment complex.
The second story is by Len Wein, John Busema and Frank Springer. It has two kids in a Romeo & Juliet scenario (Wein uses the phrase "star-crossed young lovers") who try to get their parents to come together by running away to the swamp but things don't work out. The parents show up but just fight with each other, and eventually the girl drowns in quicksand and the boy shoots himself.
The third story is by Marv Wolfman, Ed Hannigan (who also draws the framing sequence), and Tom Sutton on inks. It features a man named Jackson Hunter who was once horribly burned by the Man-Thing...
...so he's hired a group of six mercenaries to go back and kill the creature. He's even developed emotion-seeking missiles.
But those wind up hitting the mercenaries instead, and the mission goes fubar, with the final surviving mercenary assassinating Hunter and then going crazy.
The framing sequence concludes with Brandt wondering if maybe there is something to the visions, but Sallis dismisses them.
Obviously after Sallis becomes the Man-Thing it's irrelevant whether or not he remembers this fortune, but you'd think Brandt would have thrown a "just like that old fortune teller said" out there somewhere in one of her post-Savage Tales #1 appearances if she really did have these visions.
The fortune teller, Madame Swabada, seems to be the same woman that appears in a Daimon Hellstrom story, so i've listed her as a Character Appearing.
Ellen Brandt had a pretty distinct look in her early appearances, and it was nothing like what we've got here.
This Giant-Size issue also has a Howard the Duck story, covered in a separate entry, and a reprint from Marvel Tales #109.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: I had two choices with this one. I could either have considered the framing sequence as flashback and placed the stories somewhere in the Man-Thing's chronology, or i could treat the framing sequence as a continuity insert and place this issue prior to Ted Sallis' transformation to the Man-Thing in Savage Tales #1. I've gone with the later approach. The framing sequences are not written like a flashback (Narration is written in present tense), and for all we know, the stories seen in the visions provided by Swabada are inaccurate or never even occurred. Based on that, the framing sequence is said to occur on May 1st, 1971, which was the month that Savage Tales #1 was published, so i've placed this a little prior to that issue's entry. It's said that Sallis and Brandt leave the circus fairgrounds directly for the Everglades.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: Essential Man-Thing vol. 2
I wonder if this story was what convinced later writers that Sallis and Brandt were married- they kind of seem like man and wife in this story.
Posted by: Michael | April 23, 2013 8:08 PM
In the background of the first panel there's a sign saying "Tragg". There was a comic called "Tragg and the Sky Gods" published by Gold Key at the same time as this title, but I don't know if it's a direct reference.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 26, 2013 2:52 PM
Mark, the names "Tragg," "Garvey's Carnival," and "Darrel the Clown" on the splash page all come from the suicidal clown story in MAN-THING #5-6. Tragg was the strong man.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | September 24, 2014 2:11 PM
I'm torn on the concept of emotion-seeking missiles. Part of me thinks it's pretty silly, another part thinks it's pretty neat and should be explored and expanded upon, perhaps as a way to augment the powers of a natural empath (Obvious example Empath of the Hellions).
Posted by: Brian Coffey | September 26, 2017 8:08 PM
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