Ted Sallis, was attempting to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum that created Captain America. However, he was betrayed by his lover, Ellen Brandt, and Sallis had to flee from A.I.M. agents, who saw their potential of such a formula for their own evil ends. He injects himself with the serum, but after crashing in a swamp and apparently drowning is transformed into a swamp creature through a combination of his formula and, as later explained, magical forces extant in the area. Sallis' mind was apparently lost, although on rare occasions he could briefly return to consciousness within his monstrous form, and even to his human form such as when he fought Ben Grimm, who took the appropriation of his own nickname a little too personally.
Powers & Abilities
Man-Thing is practically invincible. He can be destroyed, but as long as there is vegetation he grows back his body, think Healing Factor. He has super-strength. It is unknown how strong he actually is because he is always shown displaying different levels of strength. Man-Thing also has the ability to teleport (in a sense) to different regions of the world through Nexus-points. He is very durable because his body is made of vegetation, so most things just go right through him.
He can breathe under water. He can ooze past objects, for example, lock him behind bars and he doesn't need strength to break free. He can simply just walk through the bars. The last of his powers consist of detecting emotions. Happiness, courage, love, etc. Make him feel calm and reserved, positive feelings. Negative feelings, like hatred, anger, and fear. Make him go ballistic, it hurts him. So he secretes this ooze that can burn almost anything, including Luke Cage's skin.
He also secretes a liquid that acts as an anti-venom to this burning ooze. Man-Thing is also capable of controlling The Nexus of All Realities and using its unlimited cosmic power against his adversaries, making him even more dangerous while he is frenzied.
In Fear Itself, Man-Thing is seen at a higher level of ability. As fear spreads against the planet, Man-Things power begins to increase, first releasing him from his bond to the Nexus Of All Realities and allowing him to teleport wherever he wishes at will, and later his power grows so great that he is able to manipulate reality on a very detailed scale, including selectively on individuals themselves turning them into alternate reality counterparts of themselves.
Man-Thing is one of the few beings shown to be naturally immune to the Marvel Zombies plague.
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