As we continue to celebrate Marvel’s 75th anniversary all year long on Marvel.com, we move into the 1970’s, and an “Age of Expansion,” where every avenue from mystical cities rooted in the martial arts and the farthest reaches of the cosmos became fertile breeding ground for heroes.
This week, we count down our top 10 Marvel heroes to debut during the 1970’s. Have your own thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75!
Read part one!
First Appearance: SAVAGE TALES (1971) #1
Why He’s #8: “Honed over a series of group conversations between Roy Thomas, Stan Lee, Gerry Conway and Len Wein and through brief appearances in early 70’s anthologies like SAVAGE TALES and ASTONISHING TALES, Man-Thing led a charge of Marvel monsters. As part of the Everglades-based Project: Gladiator, Dr. Ted Sallis worked to reverse engineer the Super-Soldier Serum that empowered Captain America. The brilliant biochemist suffered mortal injury after his lover betrayed him to the terrorist group A.I.M.. In a last ditch effort to survive and secure the safety of his formula, he injected himself with the experimental cocktail before tumbling into the bog. The resulting trauma rendered Sallis a mindless heap, a mossy mass of misery groping through the dark. Sallis lost himself all but completely within the tangles of his new form, the botanical behemoth Man-Thing. Suffused with the mystical energies of the swamp, the empathic Man-Thing sought out the fearful, scalding his enemies with an acidic touch. “Whatever knows fear burns at the touch of the Man-Thing,” legend says. Eventually, Man-Thing transcended his original roots, graduating from the rank of mere monster to become something of a reluctant anti-hero.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Comics Spotlight: ADVENTURES INTO FEAR #16
First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129
Why He’s #7: “An ex-U.S. marine and a brutal vigilante, the Punisher took New York City by storm as he blazed a bloody path through criminals and onto Spider-Man’s radar. The wall-crawler viewed the skull-emblazoned gunman as worse than the mobsters and gangsters he killed, but eventually realized the Punisher possessed a strange code of honor and wrestled continuously with his own inner demons as he conducted a relentless ‘war on crime.’ Later, as details of Frank Castle’s sorrowful past and the murder of his entire family came to light, others also began to understand—while not wholly agree with—the Punisher’s motives and extreme zero-tolerance policy toward those who preyed on society.” – Jim Beard
Digital Comics Spotlight: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #135
Come back tomorrow to see two more entries on the list, share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75