Man-Thing Vol 3 - The Strange Tales Saga

Man-Thing Vol. 3 #01 ()
volume_3_01.jpg - 22.3 KBWriter: Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Sharp, Liam

Shame Manny leaves the swamp behind and embarks on a quest to save all realities and attempts to rediscover his own buried humanity!

THE HOOK: It's a fear-fraught (and non-code approved) journey into the dark corners of the Marvel Universe as the macabre muck-monster leaves the swamp behind and embarks on a quest to save all realities and attempts to rediscover his own buried humanity!
THE STORY: It all begins with a dream. A dream of myriad realities intersecting and being destroyed, worlds upon worlds fading from existence as the Nexus of All Realities-fractured by Onslaught and the cosmic storm of HEROES RETURN-is torn asunder. Only the Man-Thing, the shambling, mindless guardian of the Nexus possess the power to prevent multiversal disaster. But a human guide is required for the creature to be successful in reintegrating the Nexus. Enter Ellen Brandt, wife of Ted Sallis, the woman whose betrayal created the Man-Thing. The woman whose beautiful face was forever scarred by the monster in the first ever Man-Thing story. She's never been face-to-face with the creature who once was her husband-until now. Now unseen cosmic forces-along with sorcerer Doctor Strange-have brought these two together. Will the Man-Thing reduce Ellen to a pile of ashes, or will they both attempt to save the multiverse? Will the sins of the past bring about revenge-or redemption?
THE CHARACTERS: Government chemist Ted Sallis was working on recreating the Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America when his wife betrayed him to the subversive organisation known as A.I.M. To protect the formula from A.I.M.'s clutches, Sallis injected himself with the untested serum and crashed his car into the swamp. There, the chemicals mingled with the mystical forces of the Nexus and transformed him into the mud-encrusted Man-Thing! As an empath, the monster responds in a severe way to emotions. Negative emotions-such as fear, hate, anger or envy-cause him excruciating pain. Gifted with the ability to destroy the source of this pain, all of comicdom learned that whoever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch! Additionally, the mystical forces which transformed Sallis have also appointed him the Guardian of the Nexus of All Realities, the dimensional crossroads which-until very recently-was centred in the Florida Everglades.
THE CREATORS: Currently writing SILVER SURFER and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, J.M. DeMatteis is known for his penetrating, emotional stories, and has helped pioneer the "mature" style of comics with such works as MOONSHADOW, Seekers Into The Mystery, Brooklyn Dreams and BLOOD: A TALE. Liam Sharp developed his distinct look on titles such as DEATH'S HEAD, VENOM and THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Together, DeMatteis and Sharp will be spinning a sophisticated saga of psychological horror fully planted within the Marvel Universe.
THE FORMAT: This monthly, 32-page, direct only, non-code approved book is suggested for mature readers, kiddies!
THE LEAD-IN: The events of GENERATION X #25, the four-part DAYDREAMERS limited series and MARVEL TEAM-UP #4 plunge straight into MAN-THING.
THE SUPPORT: Coverage in Marvel's 40-page titles, House and Industry ads and a promotional poster.

This was a very interesting comic but Man-Thing dissappeared in the convoluted plot concerning the supporting characters. When it was combined with Werewolf in Strange Tales it still wasn't lighting my fire, then after a few issues it got canned. J.M.DeMatheis spoke to about the behind the scenes details that impacted on the storytelling:

In order to understand how screwed up the end of the series was, you have to realize that we weren't cancelled just once, we were canceled several times! First we were told that the Strange Tales line was pretty much over and that our monthly book was being killed (this was after only four or five issues had been out, so you can see how much faith they had in us! Marvel was really in turmoil in those days and people were hitting the panic button very quickly). But, at the same time, we were also told that Man-Thing were being folded, along with Werewolf By Night , into a new oversized split-book called... Strange Tales . So we were canceled and uncanceled at the same time.
Liam and I kept working, but we got word early on-I think before the first issue had even come out-that Strange Tales was being canceled after, I think, the fourth issue, so could we please wrap up our story? We sighed, banged our heads against the wall and set to work wrapping up. Only then we were told that the book was being canceled after the second issue. Well, we'd pretty much finished the third issue...I'd plotted, the fourth... but the series was left hanging. Bob Harras had Liam finish up the art on the third story... thinking that we could bring it out in some form down the line. I don't think he ever drew the fourth... but I've got the plot in my files, so I know I wrote it!
As for what we did, and were going to do, in the following issues: We had many wonderful ideas, many wonderful ways to use the characters and create new incarnations for the Man-Thing himself. We intended to take our time, but we squeezed some of those ideas into our final, never-seen issues. Ted (free of the Man-Thing forever) and Ellen were sent off into the Nexus itself to be its guardians. And we had plans for the albino Man-Thing that began to evolve in our final issues, which would have ended with a brand-new Man-Thing, nothing like the old one, in the swamp. And then there was a whole universe of new characters-Termineus, Sorrow, The Fallen Stars-that we wanted to develop.
There's a fairly pathetic endnote to this story. Ralph Macchio, a wonderful editor, called me up one day, not long after our cancellation, and asked if I'd like to bring the Ted Sallis Man-Thing back in a Spider-Man annual . Ralph's thinking was, Someone's gonna do it... and probably soon... so it might as well be you. Ralph's heart was in the right place... but I really should have said no. At the time I still believed our last stories would come out-and, I hoped, relatively soon-so I thought, okay, let's give it a try.
I ended up writing a story that picked up where our last, unprinted issues left off: first big mistake, right? I mean, we're footnoting stories that no one has ever read! And then, of course, by bringing back the Sallis Man-Thing, I undid the whole point of our final stories. Dumb, dumb, dumb. But, as Ralph noted, it was going to happen anyway, so I might as well be the guy who did it. Very Big Mistake. On top of that, Liam was only available to draw half the story and the other artist's style, although quite strong in its own right, was diametrically opposed to Liam's, so the art was incredibly inconsistent, to say the least.
The whole thing was a disaster. An incoherent mishmosh...and I have no one to blame but myself. Let's all just pretend it never happened, okay?

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #108, 06.21.2007

Man-Thing Vol. 3 #02 ()
volume_3_02.jpg - 19.2 KB(w) Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Sharp, Liam, Variant full color painted cover by Mike Ploog

The Jouney Revisiting Manny's origin as Ellen Brandt must confront her role in Man-Things' creation.
Man-Thing's chaotic reunion with Ellen Brandt has been interrupted-by the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange! The Master of the Mystic Arts brings knowledge that may determine the fate of the bog beast, his estranged wife and perhaps the whole of reality itself! But before the news is revealed, Ellen must go on a harrowing journey of regret and redemption through the swamp that is the Man-Thing's soul, where she-and you-will learn never-before-revealed secrets of the monster's origin! Plus: meet a certain child whose fate will become entwined with Man-Thing's destiny-and the enigmatic figure who stalks him! (note: As with all Strange Tales, it is suggested for mature readers.)

Man-Thing Vol. 3 #03 ()
volume_3_03.jpg Writer: Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Sharp, Liam

Christmas in Bedlam Man-Thing and Ellen embark on the first leg of their quest to save reality, seeking out the former Defender Devil-Slayer.
It's a dark and foreboding Christmas Eve as the Man-Thing and Ellen embark on the first leg of their quest to save reality! Their first stop: Rosewell Sanitarium, where they will visit a very special patient - Eric Simon Payne, the former Defender known as Devil-Slayer! Why is he there, and how is his inter-dimensional shadow cloak playing havok with the fabric of reality? Plus: who is the enigmatic woman known only as Sorrow, and what is her connection to Ellen's sordid past? (Note: as with all Strange Tales, MAN-THING is suggested for mature readers.)
Guest Character: Devil-Slayer, Sorrow

Man-Thing Vol. 3 #04 ()
volume_3_04.jpgWriter: Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Sharp, Liam

Silent Night Man-Thing and Ellen try to reach through Devil-Slayer's insanity.
The former Defender known as Devil-Slayer has gone insane-and his extra-dimensional shadow-cloak is sucking pieces of our reality into its demonic confines! Can the macabre Man-Thing and his reluctant companion Ellen find a way to reach the man behind the madness and stem the tide of bizarre creatures that threaten to overrun the Earth? Also revealed this issue: Ellen's connections to the Roswell Sanitarium and the enigmatic woman called Sorrow! Plus: the mysterious agenda of the man called Mr. Terminus!
Guest Character: Howard the Duck

Man-Thing Vol. 3 #05 ()
volume_3_05.jpg - 22.3 KB(w) Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Sharp, Liam

The Empty House To save the future Man-Thing and Ellen find that they have to return to their past.
A turning point issue for Marvel's most bizarre series! In the aftermath of last issue's cosmic conflagration, the Man-Thing and Ellen find that the latest step in their quest has led them to a town that holds an important piece of their past from the days of their marriage! A major secret is revealed that will impact on the future, and we learn an aspect of the Man-Thing's abilities that has never before been revealed! Plus:the return of the Man-Thing's old nemeses, the fanatical Cult of Entropy.
Guest Character: Howard the Duck

Man-Thing Vol. 3 #06 ()
volume_3_06.jpg (w) Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Sharp, Liam

The Duck and the Muck Man-Thing and Ellen uncovered a shattering secret from their past-and now face the nihilistic Cult of Entropy, who plan to kill Howard the Duck.
In a tiny town in the heartland of America, the Man-Thing and Ellen uncovered a shattering secret from their past-and now they're face-to-face with a group of the swamp creature's oldest foes, the nihilistic Cult of Entropy! They're determined to hasten the destruction of the Nexus of All Realities by killing-Howard the Duck?! What in the name of Duckworld is going on here?!
"Writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Liam Sharp have both taken extraordinary strides in updating the character for today...combining all of these factors with stunning visual art and outstanding writing, MAN-THING offers something above and beyond your average comic." (Riot)
Guest Character: Howard the Duck

Man-Thing Vol. 3 #07 ()
volume_3_07.jpg Writer: Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Sharp, Liam

In the Waters of Eternity
The Man-Thing has pursued Ellen Brandt to the sunken city of Atlantis - their mission: to reintegrate another fragment of the shattered Nexus of All Realities. Their problem: the fragment is imbedded in an artifact being guarded by the Sub-Mariner, who's not willing to release it, even to save the multiverse! Meanwhile, the demonic Mr. Termineus leads young Job ever closer to his irrevocable destiny!
Guest Character: Namour
Guest-starring Namor, the Sub-Mariner!

Man-Thing Vol. 3 #08 ()
volume_3_08.jpg - 21.6 KB(w) Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Sharp, Liam

In the Waters of Eternity Man-Thing's encounter with Namor the Sub-Mariner takes an unexpected turn when an ancient Atlantean god transforms the mindless muck-monster back into his human form
of scientist Ted Sallis! But Ted's reunion with his ex-wife Ellen may prove to be short-lived, because without the Man-Thing, there's no hope to repair the fragmented Nexus of All Realities and the doomsday clock for all the Multiverse is ticking towards zero!
(Marvel Memo: While the MAN-THING monthly is changing its format after this issue, the storyline will continue in full 22-page installments in the new Strange Tales monthly anthology!)
Guest Character: Namour

Strange Tales #1 ()
Strange Tales #1 CoverWriter: Man-Thing: Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Man-Thing: Sharp, Liam - Cover By Neal Adams

Destroyer Of WorldsThe muck monster collides with The Silver Surfer!THE FORMAT: Each issue of Strange Tales will be a massive 64 pages, featuring two 22-page stories and one 10-page bonus tale..
THE HOOK: Step into the shadowed corners of The house Of Ideas and enter Marvel's monthly 64-page horror anthology!
THE STORY: Continuing the adventure from Man-Thing #8: As reality continues to fray at the edges, The Man-Thing and Ellen find themselves warped to an alien planet where the latest fragment of the Nexus is to be found. Unfortunately, the fragment's powers is the only thing supporting life on this world and it's under the protection of The Silver Surfer! As the swamp creature's dim consciousness becomes increasingly ruthless under the influence of the ancient entity within his staff, it looks like Ellen herself must decide whether to help the Surfer save the planet or help her ex-husband and sacrifice a world to save the multiverse!

Strange Tales #2 ()
Strange Tales #2Writer: Man-Thing: Dematheis, J.M.
(a) Man-Thing: Sharp, Liam - cover By Tbd

The End Of All Things! (The Book Of Job Part 1)The end of reality begins here in the first chapter of the saga that alters the muck monster's status quo forever! (Final Issue)
Strange Tales #2 Verson 2 All of the fragments of the shattered Nexus of All Realities have been gathered and the players have assembled in the Florida swamps for the final act! Now, the demonic Mr. Termineus steps forward with his new disciple Job (the biological son of Ted and Ellen Sallis) and reveals his master plan!

Strange Tales #3 ()
Cover By Neal Adams
Paul Jenkins & j.m. dematteis / leonardo manco & liam sharp

Publication of Strange Tales ceased at issue 2 but a solicitation was released promising a revelation.
64-pages of horror from the Haunted House of Ideas! In MAN-THING: What is the ancient secret of the Lineage, and how did it affect the Man-Thing's origin in ways we never knew? And who among the gathered players must die so that all of Reality may live?

Strange Tales #4 ()
Cover By Leonardo Manco/ J.M. DEmatteis & Liam Sharp
Publication of Strange Tales ceased at issue 2 but a solicitation was released for a final frightening issue. What can you say about a Man-Thing story that begins with the destruction of all reality?! Needless to say, this is where it's all been heading since Man-Thing #1! All your questions are answered, and the final - and we mean final - fate of Ted and Ellin Sallis! When all is said and done, there will be a very different Man-Thing stalking the Marvel Universe!
The work for these issues seems to have been re-edited to form Peter Parker Spiderman giant-size Annual 1999

Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual ()
peter_parker_spider-man_annual_1999.jpg - 30.6 KB(w) J.M. DeMatteis, (a) Liam Sharp, Joe Bennet, (c) J.G. Jones
Song of the Man-Thing The end of Strange Tales Saga. Ellen and Ted Sallis merge with the Nexus and the soul of the first man. Man-thing is now silvery-white and speaks. Spider-Man must help the Man-Thing to save the Nexus Of All Realities, and defeat the true Scrier.
THE STORY: When we last left the shambling muck monster, all existence was on the verge of being wiped out! So what happened?! How can a little ol' web-spinner possibly save the Nexus of All Realities, the very fulcrum of existence? And what if the enigmatic and all-powerful Scrier decides to stop him? It's Spidey in the most outrageous adventure yet - with only all of reality at stake! Let's hope he's up to snuff or we're in serious trouble!
THE CREATORS: J.M. DeMatteis and Liam Sharp (Spawn: The Dark Ages), the talented team from MAN-THING, unite once again, this time ably assissted by Joe Bennet (NOVA). And new sensation J.G. Jones (BLACK WIDOW) provides the cover!
THE FORMAT: 48-page Annual.
I was gravely disappointed with this comic, it looked like it mixed some leftover artwork from the Strange Tales series with some quite drab Spiderman filler. The new Man-Thing is a complete change of direction: he is now the soul of the first sentient being that arrived on earth that has joined with the souls' of Ted and Ellen Sallis. This Man-Thing is a silvery-white colour and talks while wandering around looking wise and mystical. It's a mess.