An Interesting story behind the Man-Thing and Swamp Thing Rip-Off

Posted by MTHarman (725 posts) - - Show Bio

 

 

 

Dedicating myself with one of the most beloved Marvel monsters of all time, Man-thing, I decided to share the interesting story as to how the "Man-Thing and Swamp Thing Rip-Off" myth came to be and the possible true story behind the similar creations of the two famous Swamp monsters. 
Which Monster is a Rip-Off?

Biggest question for comic fans spotting the striking similarity between both monsters and the fact they both were introduced on the same year, the question of which monster is a rip-off begins rise. With Man-Thing being introduced in May 1971, Swamp Thing would make his introduction a month after in July 1971. What made more of an interesting discovery was how both monsters shared the exact same origins. So with both monsters being closely introduced into comics, one would predict an instant lawsuit between DC and Marvel for copyright infringement. Even with the fact that both artists for both monsters were rooming together when creating both of these characters, Marvel decided not to pursue legal action against DC.

Technically Swamp Thing would be a Rip-Off from Man-Thing despite how writer Len Wein claimed that he was unaware of the resemblance between both monsters. But what made this whole situation much more interesting and why Marvel decided not to pursue legal action was by the fact that both swamp monsters would closely resemble another monster that made his appearance in 1942.

 

 

Roy Thomas, Co-Creator of the Man-Thing was known to be a huge fan of the original Heap monster and desperately tried to have the monster revived. Of course Thomas never wanted to treat Man-Thing as a revived version of the Heap, even though the Marvel writer did favor his new swamp monster creation. Plus the idea for Man-Thing did originate along with Editor and Chief, Stan Lee, which of course both men neglected to care for the striking resemblance that Man-Thing had with the Heap.

With Gerry Conway co-writing Man-Thing’s first black and white story, Wein would write Man-Thing’s second issue where the monster would ally with Ka-Zar against AIM. It was during this time Wein was roommates with Conway and that Wein was also working on his own title for DC known as Swamp Thing. By the time Marvel realized that both Man-Thing and Swamp Thing held similar origins, Marvel at first planned to take legal action and decided to drop it, possibly because of how Man-Thing closely resembled the Heap and that that Man-Thing was also probably a copyright.

Of course most fans grow curious as to which monster is a rip-off, but the possible truth is that both of them would be a rip-off.

Thank you for Reading and checkout more of Man-Thing within my Vlog. 
  
  
#1 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting stuff. I always wondered about that similarity and never bothered to do the research.

#2 Posted by Billy Batson (58152 posts) - - Show Bio

and there's the Doom Patrol and the x-men discussion etc.
BB

#3 Posted by MTHarman (725 posts) - - Show Bio
@Billy Batson said:

and there's the Doom Patrol and the x-men discussion etc.
BB


I've read about that, never thought of how the X-men closely resembled the Doom Patrol seeing how Marvel (Stan Lee) claimed that the X-men were inspired from racial events during the 50's and 60's.
#4 Posted by Billy Batson (58152 posts) - - Show Bio

@MTHarman said:

@Billy Batson said:

and there's the Doom Patrol and the x-men discussion etc.
BB

I've read about that, never thought of how the X-men closely resembled the Doom Patrol seeing how Marvel (Stan Lee) claimed that the X-men were inspired from racial events during the 50's and 60's.

Sure they were.
BB

#5 Posted by CATPANEXE (9368 posts) - - Show Bio

It was a nicer era when they didn't worry as much about these things as they do today, and especially not in the legal arena and more saw these things as complimentary. I hope we come around to a time like that, nowadays copyright issues sound like not much more than bickering brats struggling over a candy bar to me.

#6 Posted by MTHarman (725 posts) - - Show Bio
@CATPANEXE said:
It was a nicer era when they didn't worry as much about these things as they do today, and especially not in the legal arena and more saw these things as complimentary. I hope we come around to a time like that, nowadays copyright issues sound like not much more than bickering brats struggling over a candy bar to me.

I would agree to the nicer era, but probably the most dumbest lawsuit of all time was before1952 over how Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel (SHAZAM) was facing a lawsuit for copyright infringement of DC's Superman.
#7 Posted by MTHarman (725 posts) - - Show Bio
@fodigg said:

Interesting stuff. I always wondered about that similarity and never bothered to do the research.


Thanks
#8 Posted by Lexino (45 posts) - - Show Bio

Apparently Marvel and DC got the swamp monster idea from a sighting of an allegedly swamp monster in Louisana, which was very widely publicised in that period of time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_Island_Swamp_monster

I read that from a page talking about swamp monsters and where the idea originates from, from an issue of The Darkness, which features a swamp monster.

However the earilest idea of a monster in a lake or swamp is Creature from the Black Lagoon.

#9 Posted by DoomDoomDoom (4249 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome blog, I had never heard of The Heap but Man-thing does look an awful lot like him in the face.

#10 Posted by B'Town (2336 posts) - - Show Bio

Whoa. Oh yes, there are myths about the Everglades for the people who live in S. Florida. (Not to mention it being a dumping ground for any killer who wants to get rid of a body). But the monster stories are what make people think twice about ever even driving the Tamiami Trail alone or at night. Very scary, I drove it twice alone, and though beautiful, it was certainly haunting. Spooky. =}

Thanks for the Man-Thing story.

#11 Posted by doublezeroduck (98 posts) - - Show Bio

Good read. Thanks. Love Man-Thing

#12 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

They are indeed both Knockoffs of Public Domain Hillman Character "The Heap"

#13 Posted by Larkin1388 (1760 posts) - - Show Bio

Man-Thing FTW

#14 Posted by Meteorite (3351 posts) - - Show Bio

I head somewhere that the two guys who created Man-Thing and Swamp-Thing respectively roomed together in college, or something like that. (Wikipedia?)

#15 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

SWAMPTHING > manthing

its not even an arguement. and also more people know swampthing over manthing or the heap.

so reasearch-smeesearch, if swampthing isnt a ripoff of the heap. swampthing is what the heap and manthing shouldve been. GO SWAMPTHING!

#16 Posted by cattlebattle (12986 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting read

#17 Posted by NyxEquitis (401 posts) - - Show Bio

Very Enlightening.

#18 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio

@zackattack529 said:

SWAMPTHING > manthing

its not even an arguement. and also more people know swampthing over manthing or the heap.

so reasearch-smeesearch, if swampthing isnt a ripoff of the heap. swampthing is what the heap and manthing shouldve been. GO SWAMPTHING!

So you're saying that Swamp-Thing is automatically better than Man-Thing because more people know about him?!?!? That's like saying Twilight is better than Breaking Bad because more people "know about it"... Man-Thing and even The Heap are perfectly great characters as well, there's no reason to judge them just because of a few similarities (remember, Swamp-Thing and Man-Thing are BOTH rip-offs, and Man-Thing made his first appearance before Swamp-Thing did). Also, just because Swamp-Thing's comics have some artsy-fartsy writer at the helm (like Alan Moore) DOESN'T mean that it's automatically better than its "imitators", Man-Thing's got some great stories as well AND a devoted legion of fans... -__-

#19 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

@mr.obvious:

as soon as you mentioned twlight i stoped reading what you said..and you wrote a paragraph lol

look I personally like swamp thing better and the fact that more people know about swamp thing is because it IS better than man thing haha

so IDC :) swampthing > manthing

#20 Edited by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio

@zackattack529 said:

@mr.obvious:

as soon as you mentioned twlight i stoped reading what you said..and you wrote a paragraph lol

look I personally like swamp thing better and the fact that more people know about swamp thing is because it IS better than man thing haha

so IDC :) swampthing > manthing

SURE you stopped reading... -___-

You can keep your opinion and favor Swamp-Thing and all that sh!t, but we're just gonna have to agree to disagree: Man-Thing > Swamp-Thing, that's MY opinion so deal with it.

#21 Posted by Damian_Arrows (53 posts) - - Show Bio

swamp monsters rule. man thing ongoing, marvel. NOW!

#22 Posted by Bogey (948 posts) - - Show Bio

I never heard of Man Thing until I read Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. On the other end, Swamp Thing is a legend.

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