Man-Thing Reading Order: Project Sulfer (1971-1989)

Working under Project SulfurDr Ted Sallis creates a new Super-Soldier Serum. When AIM agents and his own wife try to steal the SO-2 Serum from him in the Everglades, he escapes and injects it before falling into the swamp. Transformed in a muck-monster dubbed the Man-Thing, the mindless creature that was once Ted Sallis becomes the guardian of the Nexus of All Realities – the gateway to the multiverse – fending off any who attempt to use it for ill by turning their fear against the. For whatever knows fear burns at the touch of the Man-Thing…


Must Reads : Story arcs marked with a ✔ are must-read Man-Thing stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.

When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four. 

Want to keep it simple? A version of this reading order without story descriptions, page-by-page breakdowns or less non-essential guest appearances – just the primary Man-Thing stories:

  • Savage Tales #1[3/5]
  • Astonishing Tales #12-13
  • Adventure into Fear #10-19
  • Man-Thing #1-8
  • Giant-Size Man-Thing #1
  • Daredevil #113-114
  • Giant-Size Man-Thing #2
  • Man-Thing #9-14
  • Giant-Size Man-Thing #3
  • Man-Thing #16
  • Giant-Size Man-Thing #4
  • Man-Thing #17-22
  • Incredible Hulk #197-198
  • Howard the Duck #22-23
  • Marvel Team-Up #68
  • Marvel Two-in-One #43
  • Man-Thing #1-4
  • Doctor Strange #41
  • Marvel Comics Presents #1[2/4]-12[2/4]

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Must ReadsTitle, Synopsis and First AppearancesCrossover / Event
Giant-Size Man-Thing #5[1/3] (1975)
Ted Sallis and Ellen Brandt see fortune teller Madam Swabada at the Cirtusville Fairground;
Swabada predicts Ted will encounter the demon Erthold, two doomed runaways and the vengeful Jackson Hunter, all while he’s in the monstrous form of a Man-Thing; Ted is enraged by her far-fetched stories.
Savage Tales #1[3/5] (1971)
Scientist Ted Sallis is betrayed by his wife, Ellen Brandt, for the super-soldier serum he’s been working on (later revealed to be Project Gladiator/Project Sulpher/Weapon IV – part of the Weapon Plus Program); Ted avoids capture by Ellen and the agents of the organisation she works for by injecting himself with it, only to be transformed into a monstrous Man-Thing; the Man-Thing kills his would-be assassins and leaves Ellen scared by his burning touch.

1st appearances: Man-Thing/Ted Sallis, Ellen Brandt, the SO-2 Serum
Marvel Comics Presents #165[1/4]-167[1/4] (1994)
A man known only as the Writer casts an illusion conving the Man-Thing that he and Ted Sallis had become to separate beings, though the illusion breaks when the Writer dies.
Astonishing Tales #12-13 (1972)
Ka-Zar & Zab encounter the Man-Thing in the Everglades; it’s revealed that Bobbi Morse was working with Ted Sallis on Project Gladiator and that Ellen Brandt was working for AIM when she turned against Ted. 

1st appearance: Dr Wilma Calvin
Monsters Unleashed #5[1/6] (1974)
Ellen Brandt returns to the Everglades to face the Man-Thing without fear, revealing her face has fully healed.
Adventure into Fear #10[1/3]-12, 13[1/2] (1972-1973)
The Man-Thing confronts a man who tries to murder his own infant son; young witch Jennifer Kale accidentally opens a portal in the Everglades that unleashes the Nether-Spawn on Earth; Man-Thing brings justice to a racist Sheriff.

1st appearances: Andrew Kale, Jennifer Kale, Joshua Kale, Thog the Netherspawn, the Tome of Zhered-Na, the Nexus of All Realities, Sominus the Land of Eternal Shadow
Adventure into Fear #14[1/2]-17 (1972-1973)
A demon offers the Man-Thing the chance to become human again; Man-Thing battles Mongu the GladiatorDakimh the Enchanter reveals the Man-Thing’s purpose as the protector of the Nexus of All Realities; Man-Thing and the Kales defend Earth from a demonic invasion; Man-Thing defends the swamp from industrialist FA Schist; the alien Wundarr clashes with the Man-Thing when he crash-lands
on Earth.

1st appearances: Dakimh the Enchanter, Franklin Armstrong Schist, Wundarr
Avengers #118 (1973)
Man-Thing cameo; the Man-Thing is among those who join the fight when Dormammu unleashes his demon horde on Earth
AVENGERS/
DEFENDERS WAR
Marvel Two-in-One #1 (1974)
The Thing and the Man-Thing are both transformed to the human forms by an artificial construct that believes itself to be the son of the Molecule Man; Ted Sallis and Ben Grimm allow themselves to be transformed back to their monstrous forms in order to defeat this new ‘Molecule Man’
Adventure into Fear #18 (1973)
The survivors of a bus crash make their way through the Man-Thing’s swamp as the monster comes to their aid.
Adventure into Fear #19 (1973)Man-Thing #1 (1974)
Thog convinces the Congress of Realities to merge all realities when the Nexus of All Realities is damaged; Man-Thing, KorrekHoward the Duck, Jennifer Kale form the unlikely band of heroes who oppose them.

1st appearances: Howard the Duck, Korrek the Barbarian
BATTLE FOR
THE PALACE OF THE GODS
Man-Thing #2-8 (1974)
Unlucky DJ Richard Rory befriends the Man-Thing and helps Ruth Hart escape membership in the Skull-Crushers biker gang; FA Schist hires scientist Professor Slaughter to find a way to kill the Man-Thing; the Foolkiller tries to kill Richard Rory and the Man-Thing; the spirit of a clown who committed suicide forces those responsible for his death to watch one lst show with the Man-Thing’s help; FA Schist’s feud with the Man-Thing comes to a deadly conclusion.

1st appearances: Foolkiller/Ross Everbest, Ruth Hart, Professor Slaughter/Hargood Wickham, Richard Rory, the Fathers
Giant-Size Man-Thing #1[1/4] (1974)
Cult leader Yagzan takes control of the Glob to use as a weapon against the Man-Thing, destroying much of the self-sufficient city experiment Omegaville.

1st appearance: Yagzan, Cult of Entropy
Master of Kung Fu #19 (1974)
Shang-Chi washes up in the Everglades where he faces the Man-Thing and assumes him to be a threat.
Daredevil #113-114 (1974)
Daredevil investigates the disappearance of Ted Sallis in the Everglades, meeting Richard Rory; Death-Stalker and Gladiator search for information on Operation: Sulphur and attempt to kill Daredevil to get it, but the Man-Thing comes to his aid.

1st appearance: Exterminator/Phillip Sterling as Death-Stalker
Giant-Size Man-Thing #2[1/4] (1974)
The Schist family capture Man-Thing, blaming him for the disappearance of FA Schist.
Man-Thing #9-14 (1974-1975)
Man-Thing helps free a woman from demonic possession, opposes the Demons of Liberation gang, fends off evil spirits in pursuit of a writer and meets the cursed pirate Captain Fate.

1st appearances: Captain Jebediah Fate, Khordes, Maura Spinner
Giant-Size Man-Thing #3[1/5] (1975)
Man-Thing joins forces with Jennifer Kale, Korrek the Barbarian and Dakimh the Enchanter to defend Korrek’s realm from invasion by Mortak & Klonus.
Man-Thing #15 (1975)
Man-Thing behind-the-scenes only; Ted Sallis‘ ex-girlfriend and her new love interest see visions of the Man-Thing.
Web of Spider-Man #6[1/3] (2010)
The Lizard (Curt Conners) seeks out the Man-Thing.
THE GAUNTLET 
Giant-Size Spider-Man #5[1/2] (1975)
Spider-Man is caught in-between the Man-Thing and the Lizard when he heads to Florida in search of Curt Conners.
THE DELUSION CONSPIRACY.
Giant-Size Man-Thing #5[1/3] (pp.3-13) (1975)
The demon Erthold is summoned by an occult group; Man-Thing rescues the baby they attempt to sacrifice, preventing Erthold’s arrival.
Man-Thing #16 (1975)
Giant-Size Man-Thing #4[1/4] (1975)
Man-Thing #17-18 (1975)
A man dubbing himself the Mad Viking threatens the life of his own granddaughter in his fight against ‘wussy men’; Alice Rimes tries to call attention to bullying when her school gym teacher’s actions lead to the death of a student; the Man-Thing is drawn to the negative emotions from these events, causing Citrusville to go into lockdown and the creature is hunted; the Mad Viking is seen as a hero for opposing the Man-Thing; Richard Rory, Carol Selby and Man-Thing leave town.

1st appearance: Carol Selby
SCHOOL’S OUT! 
Man-Thing #19-22 (1975)
Man-Thing and his friends arrive in Atlanta, where he saves a woman who’s trying to leave her aggressive husband; he’s opposed by the Scavenger who’s in league with Thog the Nether-Spawn; a Nightmare Box causes Man-Thing to believe he’s fighting costumed heroes and unleashes Thog’s demons in Atlanta; Man-Thing defeats Thog with help from writer Steve Gerber.

1st appearance: Scavenger/Robert Nicolle
Giant-Size Man-Thing #5[1/3] (pp.14-34) (1975)
Man-Thing tries to help two doomed runaways; Jackson Hunter seeks out the Man-Thing for revenge.
Iron Man Annual #3(pp.1-8) (1976)
Tony Stark is watched by the Man-Thing as he agrees to fund the rebuilding of Omegaville.
Amazing Spider-Man: Back in Quack #1[2/2] (2010)
A man crashes his car on purpose when his wife tells him she’s going to leave him; Man-Thing is drawn to his guilt.
Must ReadsTitle, Synopsis and First AppearancesCrossover / Event
Marvel Premiere #28 (1976)
Man-Thing, Ghost RiderMorbius & Werewolf by Night join forces to face the Starseed – an ancient human empowered by alien forces.

1st appearance: Legion of Monsters
Incredible Hulk #197-198 (1976)
A clash between the Hulk, the Man-Thing and the Glob threatens to destroy what’s left of Omegaville when the Collector manipulates both creatures into fighting the Green Goliath; Hulk and Man-Thing team-up to bring about the Collectors ultimate defeat.
Iron Man Annual #3(pp.9-36) (1976)
Tony Stark funds the rebuilding of Omegaville; the child who recently gained the Molecule Man‘s wand gives the Molecule Man the chance to reform his physical body, possess a Molecule Person and a turn a snake into a humanoid Molecule Man until he’s defeated by Iron Man and his consciousness fails to find a mind to control in the Man-Thing
Shadows & Light #2[2/4] (pp.1-4) (1998)
The Man-Thing witnesses a woman being pursued through the swamp.
Rampaging Hulk #7[2/2] (1978)
Man-Thing helps a woman regain control of her fragmented psyche.
Howard the Duck #22-23 (1978)
Howard the Duck, Jennifer Kale, Korrek, the Man-Thing & the spirit of Dakimh the Enchanter team-up once again, this time to save
the multiverse from Bzzk’Joh and the Imperium Emporium.
Howard the Duck #24 (1978)
Man-Thing cameo; Man-Thing returns to the Everglades.
Marvel Team-Up #68 (1978)
Spider-Man takes it upon himself to save the Man-Thing when he ends up as an exhibit in Amos Jardine‘s circus; together they discover
the demon D’Spayre‘s plan to corrupt Jennifer Kale & the spirit of Dakimh.

1st appearances: D’Spayre, Amos Jardine
Marvel Two-in-One #43 (1978)
Victorius, the newly-resurrected Yagzan – now called Jude the Entropic Man – and the Cult of Entropy attempt to start a new world order,
but are opposed by Captain America, the Thing and the Man-Thing.
Micronauts #7 (1979)
The Micronauts narrowly avoid being killed by the curious Man-Thing when the diminutive warriors find themselves in the Everglades.
Shadows & Light #2[2/4] (pp.5-6) (1998)
Man-Thing‘s appearance terrifies a young couple lost in the Everglades.
Man-Thing #1(1979)
Dr Karl Oheimer is kidnapped by agents who want to use his cerebral generation therapy to restore Ted Sallis’ mind in the Man-Thing’s body
and learn the secret of his super-soldier serum; Sallis’ mind is only briefly restored when a firefight interrupts the process.
Man-Thing #2-4 (1980)
Doctor Strange #41 (1980)
Man-Thing is teleported to the Himalayas by scientists testing a teleportation ray; Man-Thing saves Elaine Simpson from the salacious Roger Grafton, stumbles across a society of Yetis and is used by Baron Mordo as a pawn to kill Doctor Strange and open the Chaos Gates; Ted Sallis’ consciousness gains control of the Man-Thing’s body.

1rst appearance: Sheriff John Daltry
DEATH-KNELL 
Tomb of Terror #1[1/4] (2010)
Ted Sallis’ consciousness remains in check long enough for him to save a man from racist hunters in the Everglades; Sallis’ consciousness fades once more.
Man-Thing #5 (1980)
Man-Thing rescues Barbie Bannister when her family’s boat is boarded by pirates.
Howard the Duck Magazine #6[1/2] (1980)
Man-Thing cameo; Howard the Duck and Beverly Switzler return from Earth-791021 via the Nexus of All Realities in land in front of the Man-Thing.
Howard the Duck Magazine #7 (1980)
Man-Thing, Howard the Duck and Beverly Switzler  venture into Swamp City where they face Kong Lomorate.
Savage She-Hulk #8 (1980)
Professor Slaughter reveals the fate of FA Schist to Richard Rory; Rory turns to the Man-Thing to help him track down the missing She-Hulk whos being held prisoner by the Fathers.
Man-Thing #6-10 (1980-1981)
Man-Thing is drawn to the rage of the Georgia College Fraternity; he clashes with Captain Fate, losing John Daltry to the Serpent’s Crown; Man-Thing rescues an orphaned baby; Death‘s agent John Kowalski meets the Man-Thing and offers Barbie Bannister the means to save John Daltry.
Uncanny X-Men #144 (1981)
D’Spayre manipulates Jock Forrester into taking his own life; Cyclops helps Lee Forrester investigate her father’s death; the Man-Thing is drawn into the fight with D’Spayre but is burned by his own fear of the demon.
Man-Thing #11 (1981)
Doctor Strange is murdered by John DaltryJohn Kowalski transforms Barbie Bannister into an agent of Death; Daltry is revealed to have become a pawn of ThogMan-Thing is briefly turned back into Ted Sallis, with writer Chris Claremont becoming a Man-Thing and defeating Thog; Sallis is transformed back into Man-Thing by the restored Doctor Strange who also returns Claremont to human form.
Marvel Two-in-One #77 (1981)
The Thing tests out a new super-jet for Nick Fury, but an engine fails and it crashes into the Everglades; feat induced by the Thing’s vivid dream of his experiences in World War II attract the attention of the Man-Thing.
Defenders #97-98 (1981)
The Six-Fingered Hand possess the Man-Thing who transform him into their own monstrous weapon; Man-Thing is freed by Doctor Strange who knows to tap into the consciousness of Ted Sallis.

1st appearance: Luann Bloom/Time-Buoy Number 6-C
Thor #316-317 (1982)
Man-Thing observes Iron Man & Thor as they clash with the Bi-Beast and Man-Beast; Man-Thing drags the Man-Beast’s body into the swamp, then points Thor in his direction so he can take the Man-Beast to his destiny.
Marvel Team-Up #122 (1982)
Magic user Ian Fate brings the Man-Thing to the Daily Bugle offices; Spider-Man gets the Man-Thing out of the building and he’s teleported back to the swamp by Fate.
Marvel Fanfare #9[1/2] (1983)
The Bronx Bombers are signed by Nicholas Eblis, not realising he’s an agent of Satan; the band become Brimstone and begin sacrificing groupies until they run into the Man-Thing.
Marvel Fanfare #36[2/2] (1988)
The Man-Thing rescues a young girl from a group of kidnappers.
Must ReadsTitle, Synopsis and First AppearancesCrossover / Event
Marvel Comics Presents #1[2/4]-12[2/4] (1988-1989)
Cult leader Demon (Marea) helps secret US military faction Project: Glamor track down the Ted Sallis’ formula to create agents capable of killing a notable foreign leader; some members of Project: Glamor are subjected to a serum that gives them monstrous forms; Demon sides with the Man-Thing against the soldiers.
Web of Spider-Man Annual #4[1/3] (1988)
The High Evolutionar‘s Eliminators track down the Nexus of All Realities and rip a hole in reality, destroying the Man-Thing; when the Nexus is repaired, Man-Thing is restored and attacks the Eliminators.

1st appearance: Poison/Cecilia Cardinal
THE
EVOLUTIONARY WAR 
Marvel Comics Presents #29[4/4] (1989)
Quasar‘s search for the impending and unknown threat to the universe leads him to the Everglades where he and Jennifer Kale assist a ‘pregnant’ Man-Thing; the creature gives ‘birth to Quagmire who has made the jump from Earth-712 after escaping the Squadron Supreme.
Shadows & Light #2[2/4] (pp.7-12) (1998)
Man-Thing rescues the daughter of a woman he saved years earlier.

The Man-Thing‘s reading order continues:

  • 1991-Present: Infernal

Notable versions of the Man-Thing from around the multiverse:


EARTH-8130

What If? #26 (1981)

With help, Ted Sallis regains control of the Man-Thing‘s mind and samples from his body help create new super-soldiers; Sallis’ restored mind comes with emotion and the Man-Thing falls prey to his own burning touch.

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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