Man-Thing and Swamp Thing are a very interesting case in comic history. The two characters debuted around the exact same time – within a month of each other – and the creators of the characters were actually quite friendly with each other. Their origin stories are terribly similar, almost verbatim, and no one really knows if the creators ripped each other off or if it was all just a huge coincidence.
However, the trajectory of the characters differed greatly over the years- one got a run by Alan Moore, a run that made a star of Moore and is on best-of lists to this day, and was responsible for comics’ British Invasion and the introduction of mature horror that would result in the creation of DC’s Vertigo imprint. The other is Man-Thing. So, while Swamp Thing is definitely the winner of which character is more important, this list is going to look at why Man-Thing would defeat Swamp Thing in a fight… and also why he wouldn’t.
10 Man-Thing: Hard To Hurt
Man-Thing’s body is quite hard to hurt. First off, because it is a mass of moist swamp matter, it’s pretty much impervious to fire. Secondly, it’s not exactly solid; punches and other physical blows have been known to pass right through it.
This takes away several avenues of attack and makes Man-Thing a very difficult enemy to fight.
9 Swamp Thing: He Still Has His Brains
Man-Thing doesn’t really think anymore. It’s a creature of instinct, driven by a sensory organ that senses emotion. All of its higher brain functions, things like logic, reason, and strategizing, are gone.
Swamp Thing still has all of Alec Holland’s intellect and is more of a man than the creature with man in its name. Swamp Thing is able to think his way through problems in a way that Man-Thing isn’t.
8 Man-Thing: Relentless
Once provoked, Man-Thing is relentless. It will stop at nothing to find the being that provoked it, seeking it out like a bloodhound. It is a frightening, implacable creature locked on to the emotions of the being it’s after.
This relentlessness is what got Man-Thing its reputation as a monster, even it’s usually a pretty docile creature. It only reacts to strong negative emotion, but once one gets a reaction from it, they should beware.
7 Swamp Thing: Regeneration
Being made of plant matter in a world full of things that can create fire seems like a pretty bad idea. Now, imagine that on top of that, this being was also composed of plant matter in a world full of beings who fire energy blasts that can also destroy plant matter. Seems like a pretty bad world to be in, eh?
Luckily for Swamp Thing, he can regenerate his form from any plant matter around. He can detach his consciousness from his body and create another one from any plants in the area. He’s pretty much indestructible.
6 Man-Thing: Variable Strength
Man-Thing is super strong. It has been said that the most it can lift is a ton, but then again it has also gone up against the Hulk and was able to put up a good fight. If he was only strong enough to lift a ton, he wouldn’t be able to even phase the Hulk.
Ergo, this means that his strength is variable, and this makes him even more of a dangerous foe.
5 Swamp Thing: Doesn’t Need To Stay In The Swamp
Man-Thing and Swamp Thing have a lot in common- both are super strong, both have bodies that are extremely hard to damage, and both can regenerate their bodies if they are destroyed or damaged significantly. However, Man-Thing’s powers degrades the longer he’s away from a swamp until he eventually goes dormant.
Swamp Thing doesn’t have this weakness. He can pretty much survive anywhere plants can grow and has even shown that he can survive in the vacuum of space and on planets with entirely different ecosystems that have completely different plants.
4 Man-Thing: Whoever Knows Fear Burns At The Touch Of The Man-Thing
Man-Thing’s greatest ability in its fights is the ability to secrete an acid when it senses fear, or just about any other strong negative emotion. This acid burns through the being it touches until they stop emoting. Man-Thing then secretes a milky base substance that neutralizes the acid.
This makes Man-Thing highly dangerous to just about any being with feelings.
3 Swamp Thing: Avatar Of The Green
Swamp Thing is the avatar of the Green, and that’s what makes everything he does possible. The Green is an elemental force that links all plant life and is controlled by the Parliament of Trees. Swamp Thing is the newest in a long line of beings acting as the embodiment of the Green.
This gives him complete control over any plants he’s around, as they are all connected to the Green. When he needs to travel, he just plugs his consciousness into the Green and generates a new body once he gets to his destination. Swamp Thing is basically an unstoppable plant elemental.
2 Man-Thing: Guardian Of The Nexus Of All Realities
Man-Thing would encounter the Nexus Of All Realities on its journeys and eventually become its protector. Man-Thing would gain the ability to teleport itself and others anywhere after becoming the Guardian, giving it an extra way to deal with its foes.
If Man-Thing is in a lot of danger in a fight, it can just open a portal and teleport away or open a portal in front of the being attacking it and send it to an entirely different dimension if it needed to.
1 Swamp Thing: He’s Just Way More Powerful
Man-Thing has a lot of abilities, but when it comes right down to it, it doesn’t actually stand much of a chance against Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing is still basically a man – he can think his way through his problems and figure out how to use his powers in the best way.
Beyond that, he can regenerate from being burned by Man-Thing’s acidic touch. With his power over the Green, he probably has complete control over Man-Thing’s body. Man-Thing could possibly open a portal and send Swamp Thing away, but Swamp Thing’s proven that even being transported light-years away can’t stop him from getting back to Earth. Man-Thing is just completely outclassed by Swamp Thing.
Could Man-Thing defeat Swamp Thing, or would the avatar of the Green defeat the guardian of the Nexus of all Realities?