Comics are not shy of monsters which are really men under the scales, shells and swamp matter. Matter of fact, that’s kind of the whole “heroic monster” gimmick, from The Hulk to The Thing, Swamp Thing and Man-Thing, the Heap, Man-Wolf, Morbius, et cetera and so on. It takes an Atlas-Seaboard, though, to hit the nail so precisely on the head with a man-monster actually called “Man-Monster.”
Debuting in Tales of Evil, Man-Monster shared company with another recurring Atlas-Seaboard man-monster, the Bog-Beast – unsurprisingly a loam-laden anthropoid who lumbered around and started fires, so in no small part inspired by Marvel’s Man-Thing – and a lot of werewolves. The Atlas-Seaboard comics had a pretty even investment in vampires and werewolves, with the majority of the latter sharing space in these pages.
|Misandry is real.|
Showing off, the still-hungover Paul encounters a mass of a strange “bacterial force” unleashed from the bottom of the ocean by the drill’s persistent plunging. The force “activates” the “algae on the ocean’s surface” causing it to explosively bloom – into a tidal wave! I’m not sure that’s how it works, but whatever the case, Paul is swamped underneath a boiling tumult of microscopic lifeforms gathered up from the bottom of the ocean. Some combination of the “activated” algae, bacteria and possibly Paul’s besotted liver cause a weird change when the man is dragged back to the surface: He becomes a Detroit Coney.
Bright red, covered in scales and sporting a pretty punk rock fin, the former professional dog-paddler becomes a mindless, powerful brute, although luckily he’s given to fainting spells. Boiling water activated his change, and another dose of hot water from a hotel shower returns him to normal. This is also about the time we discover that one of the reporters from Women’s Lib Magazine was clearly written and drawn as a black woman but colored Caucasian. Well, one step forward, I guess …
|Oh, so they're in Jersey.|
Paul rejects Hell-Blazer’s tempting yet poorly-timed offer and instead becomes a big weird monster and accidentally sets fire to the hotel (which also happens to be owned by his father, coincidence of coincidences). Saving one of the insensate Women’s Lib reporters from the flames, we leave Man-Monster as he’s confronted by a furiously angry father and a passel of trigger-happy boys in blue, loose plot threads dangling against the backdrop of a burning building …
|A still from Man-Monster's MRA YouTube channel.|