Issue(s): Man-Thing #3, Man-Thing #4
Professor Slaughter is still hanging around with Schist as well.
Meanwhile a couple of the bikers that were hanging out with Rory and Ruth after the issue with their leader Snake was settled get attacked by a crazy guy in a Zorro style costume. It's the first appearance of
He kills them because they won't tell him where Rory is. Then he stops by Schists' camp and tells Schist he has 24 hours to repent. Not sure why Schist gets more of a chance than the bikers, who appeared to be more or less innocent. This all results in a big chase through the swamp, and includes a scene with the Man-Thing fighting a swarm of alligators.
Then the Foolkiller seemingly kills the Man-Thing.
The Foolkiller was an orphan and a cripple who was faith-healed at a revival meeting. He became the right-hand man of the reverend who ran the revivals, but killed him when he discovered that the reverend was a hypocrite. Now he rides around in a computerized truck and kills people that he deems fools. He also keeps the dead priest in a jar in the truck.
The Man-Thing regenerates, of course, and after another scuffle the Foolkiller is killed.
A question on the letters page for issue #3 asks who came first, the Man-Thing or DC's Swamp Thing. The response:
Man-Thing did indeed come first. Manny's initial appearance - the origin story by Thomas, Conway, and Morrow, recently reprinted in Monsters Unleashed #3 - was in Savage Tales #1, dated May 1971.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
According to an interview in Back Issue, Gerry Conway and Len Wein were roommates when one of them came up with the idea for his own swamp monster, and the other may have grabbed it for himself. The interview didn't specify which man had the idea first, though.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 10, 2011 3:54 AM
Almost as odd, Len Wein wound up writing the 2nd Man-Thing story, apparently before going back to DC to write the Swamp Thing series. Both Man-Thing & Swamp Thing were essentially knock- offs of the Golden Age muck creature called the Heap, who was in turn inspired by Theodore Sturgeon's 1940 story "It!" Despite the many similarities between Man-Thing and Swamp Thing, at least the writers & artists on the two strips managed to make the characters and their stories (at least past the origins) distinct from one another.
Posted by: Fred W. Hill | February 19, 2012 1:09 AM
What I'm more surprised by is the fact that no writers have since attempted to address the visual similarities between Man-Thing and Krakoa:)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | February 19, 2012 5:29 AM
Like some other Gerber concepts around this time, the Foolkiller seems to have a bit more political content than he first appears. Yes, there's the religious fundamentalist angle, but the story of his biological parents is rather odd: his father is a soldier killed at war, and his mother a Red Cross nurse killed in another war.
And he's specifically angry about the counterculture, including war protestors. So there's some sort of link being drawn between this and the religious revivals of the period, making the Foolkiller a kind of embittered reactionary type.
Gerber is rather interesting, in that he tends to skewer extremists on the left and the right. But he also tends to differentiate *types* of extremists: the Foolkiller is a reactionary, but he still opposes F.A. Schist, for example. And later, as fnord notes when the time comes, we'll see Gerber skewer the decadence of parts of the hippie movement as well.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 17, 2015 5:13 PM
I found an apposite quote from the O. Henry story"The Foolkiller," which (along with a novel by Helen Eustis of the same title) seems to have inspired Gerber's character. Jesse Holmes is a sort of urban legend, a killer of "fools," and was an actual Southern bit of folklore or humor.
"Jesse Holmes," said I, facing him with apparent bravery, "I know you. I have heard of you all my life. I know now what a scourge you have been to your country. Instead of killing fools you have been murdering the youth and genius that are necessary to make a people live and grow great. You are a fool yourself, Holmes; you began killing off the brightest and best of our countrymen three generations ago, when the old and obsolete standards of society and honor and orthodoxy were narrow and bigoted."
This certainly seems to fit with Gerber's commentary; the Eustis novel, for what it's worth, has its fool-kliller as an axe murderer who slays a fanatical revivalist preacher, which is also reflected here.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | January 21, 2018 5:30 PM
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