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Man-Thing

Real Name: Dr. Theodore "Ted" Sallis
Occupation: Former scientist; currently guardian of the nexus of realities
Identity: The Man-Thing's existence is publicly known, but widely disbelieved; very few people know that the Man-Thing was Ted Sallis
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States; presumed dead
Former Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Omaha, Nebraska
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Ellen (wife)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: The swamp that surrounds the nexus of realities, near Citrusvilla, Florida
First Appearance: SAVAGE TALES (1st series) #1

History: Ted Sallis first came to prominence in government circles as the chief chemist working on "Project Sulfur," a U.S. Army research program aimed at developing a means to survive bio-chemical warfare. Sallis developed "Serum SO-2,' which would have succeeded in immunizing human beings to all toxic biochemicals, but the mutagenic effects of the serum would have transformed people into monsters. The serum was never put into production.

After Project Sulfur was shut down, Sallis was reassigned to "Project Gladiator," a research program under the auspices of S.H.I.E.L.D., which was aimed at recreating the lost "super-soldier" serum that had spawned Captain America during World War II. Working separately from his colleagues, who included Drs. Wilma Calvin and Barbara Morse (later to be known as Mockingbird), Sallis evidently attempted to use a modified version of his SO-2 formula as the basis for a new super-soldier serum. He was close to success when he was betrayed into the hands of the subversive Advanced Idea Mechanics by his wife, Ellen.

Perhaps already suspecting betrayal, Sallis had earlier destroyed his notes. To guarantee that the secret would not fall into AIM's hands, Sallis injected himself with the only existing sample of his modified Super Soldier serum, and fled into the nearby swamp. Sallis should have died, but over the course of several hours, mystical forces combined with chemical science to transform him into the monstrous, misshapen creature who would be dubbed the Man-Thing. The substance of Sallis's body was eaten away and replaced by vegetable matter. Though he mimics the form of humanity to a large extent, he can no longer be considered human. Though he retains Ted Sallis's soul, and rudimentary vestiges of Sallis's intellect, he cannot be said to be intelligent in any meaningful sense.

Since the time of his creation, the Man-Thing has served as the guardian of the "nexus of realities," an interdimensional focal point which has manifested itself in the middle of the Man-Thing's swamp. Though the Man-Thing's adventures have occasionally drawn him away from the swamp, he has always returned, and it is said that he is destined to remain the guardian of the nexus on this plane of existence for as long as the nexus continues to manifest itself in this reality.

Height: 7 ft.
Weight: Approximately 500 lbs.
Eyes: Red
Hair: None, though hair-like strands of vegetable matter can be seen growing over most of his body.
Unusual Features: The Man-Thing is a living, semi-sentient creature patterned after the form of a human being, and mimicking many of the functions of the human body, but composed of vegetable, not animal matter. He has two large, red, lidless eyes, but no mouth or nose. He has no ears, but has some sort of rudimentary hearing apparatus located in what passes for his "forehead." His body is composed of pockets of algae, moss, and fibrous weeds held together by a network of animated tough and starchy roots which follow the basic structural pattern of human bone and muscle. Extremities of this root hang from the front of his head to form the characteristic features of his "face." His hands and feet are claw-like. He walks slowly and awkwardly. The bacterial colonies which are imbedded within his body, and which provide him with his nutrient-processing system, give off a strong, rotting smell.

Strength Level: The Man-Thing is superhumanly strong, capable of lifting (pressing) at least 1000 lbs.

Known Superhuman Powers: The Man-Thing is almost invulnerable to harm. Because his body is not entirely solid, but made of porous muck, fists or bullets will either pass entirely through him or lodge harmlessly in his body. Even were a significant portion of his mass to be stripped away or pulverized, his body would reorganize itself and, draw new material as needed form the substance of the surrounding swamp.

Due to the nature of the Man-Thing's body, he is capable of oozing through or around openings or barriers that would otherwise seem too small for him to pass. He has gone through wire mesh and past steel bars. The smaller the actual physical opening, however, the longer it takes him to re-organize his mass on the opposite side.

The Man-Thing is sensitive to emotion. Psychic forces react in some unknown manner with the "brain" cells that are located throughout the Man-Thing's body. Mild emotions arouse "curiosity," and lead the Man-Thing to "observe" events from a distance. Violent emotions, such as fear, anger, and hatred, cause him extreme discomfort, and may provoke him to attack. When the Man-Thing is provoked to violence, he excretes fuming sulfuric acid, while in the absence of violent emotion he produces a soapy mucus that will neutralize the acid.

Weaknesses: During the first few months of his existence, the Man-Thing depended totally on the swamp environment to sustain himself, drawing nutrients directly from immersion in the swamp water. Later, after undergoing a tremendous chemical shock in the Citrusville sewage treatment plant, his body adapted into more of a self-contained biological system. Although he still weakens, and would eventually lapse into dormancy if removed from his swamp for an extended period of time, he now weakens only slowly, and will recover quickly if exposed to moisture.

The Man-Thing also seems to "remember" emotional patterns, which leads him to "recognize" people he's met before. But there is evidently a limit to the number of emotional patterns he remembers, and he will periodically lapse into a state of total immobility until his "brain cells" purge themselves of their excess of remembered data.

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