Thursday, 29 September 2011

Swamp Thing vs Man-Thing: Poll Results.

Swamp Thing vs the Man-Thing
As the swamps of Sheffield bask in the hottest late September since records began, it's that time of day when I have to stop wrestling with that alligator, stop tying that anaconda in knots and concentrate instead on the matter at hand -- because the swamptastic results of our mudtacular poll are in.

And you The Public have decided that DC's Swamp Thing is better than Marvel's not at all similar Man-Thing - with Swampy winning by fourteen votes to nine. As you wouldn't expect for such an un-nimble character, Man-Thing got off to a racing start but, slowly, Swamp Thing caught up with him and overtook him.

Having only read one issue of Swamp Thing but numerous issues of Mike Ploog's Man-Thing, I can't deny that when it comes to scientists turned into mud monsters after jumping into a swamp when their work on a secret formula was sabotaged, I have a bias in favour of Ted Sallis' carrot nosed alter-ego and am therefore disappointed not to see him triumph.

Incredible Hulk #121, the Glob
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On the other hand, given the reverence people tend to have for Bernie Wrightson's Swamp Thing, I did fear Manny wouldn't get a single vote apart from my own. And so, seeing Swampy at least put up a good fight, gives me great cheer.

Of course, all true lovers of things that go glump in the night know the pair of them'd be flattened by the Glob from the old Hulk comics.

But clearly that's a poll for another day.


Paul D. Brazill said...

I voted for Manny! Steve Gerber, after all.
By the way, wasn't Man Thing before Swamp Thing, although both were after The Heap?

Steve W. said...

I'm stating this from memory - so if anyone wants to correct me, they're free to do so - but I think Man-Thing made his début in May 1971 and Swamp Thing made his début two months later.

The Heap was revived by Skywald in something like January 1971, although there'd been an earlier version way back in something like the 1940s.

The Glob, of course, pre-dated both Man-Thing and Swamp Thing by something like two years.

Steve W. said...

I used far too many somethings in that reply. :(

Anonymous said...

You are right. Man-Thing first appeared in Savage Tales #1 (May 1971) and Swamp Thing debuted in House of Secrets # 92 (July 1971). Marvel may have considered a lawsuit, but never went through with it. Both characters were suspiciously similar to the Heap, who premiered in 1942. And the X-Men started a few months after the Doom Patrol, and the Red Tornado and the Vision appeared at almost the same time. The comics publishing business is full of stranger-than-fiction coincidences.

Fred W. Hill said...

Amusingly, the writers for the first Man-Thing & Swamp Thing stories, Gerry Conway & Len Wein, respectively, were roommates at the time, and even odder, Len Wein wound up writing the 2nd Man-Thing story, apparently before returning to DC and the first Swamp Thing series. In the '70s, I only read the Man-Thing series, only latching onto Wein & Wrightson's work through reprints and backissue shops in the '80s. Both series were great.


What I hated about Man-Thing,was Ted Sallis wasn't even a character.He's introduced and thrown away.Swamp-Thing was or least,thought he was Alec Holland.Man-Thing,was more or less a pile of garbage reacting to fear and things.I remember,poor Ted should once or twice in that Team Up Thing and maybe other pllaces,but you got to wonder,this car crashed into the swamp.Bingo,he's gone and then pops again.The rest of the time.he's walking pile of crap.
Swamp Thing,even a plant man like the Thing movie,was a character.Maybe that's why,plus the art and writting people responded more to him,than the other guy.

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