"Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch!"
This signature phrase seared to the heart of writer Steve Gerber's celebrated mid-'70s run. Many Marvel luminaries had a hand in the character's piecemeal 1971 creation, but Gerber distilled the latest iteration in the bog monster tradition (Soloman Grundy, The Heap) with pathos, terror, and acidic humor. (In typical perversion along the way, he debuted Howard The Duck!) While Gerber's writing was celebrated, the series never reached the stylistic heights or critical acclaim of its rival, the Wein/Wrightson "Swamp Thing" (1972), and the character trundled on past cancellation through years of guest appearances.
The X-Men (2000) and Spider-Man (2002) films were so successful because of respectful creators trusting the material and the audience. But the Man-Thing film, hampered by bad distribution deals without creative oversight, resulted in this low-budget cheapie that everyone disowned, flitting across TV and straight to video. Perhaps the new maxim should be, "Whoever doesn't know the material burns the audience."