What Are Man-Thing's Powers In Werewolf By Night?
Marvel Studios/Disney+

Contains spoilers for “Werewolf by Night”

The latest and most clearly horror-themed Marvel Cinematic Universe work yet has landed on Disney+ in all its pulpy monochrome glory. Marvel Studios special presentation “Werewolf by Night” introduces the MCU fans to Jack Russell (Gael García Bernal), who navigates a difficult life as a monster hunter who turns into a gigantic werewolf every full moon. However, this is no origin story. By the time we meet him, Jack has already been at it for a while, devised several methods to minimize the lycanthropy-themed carnage in his existence … and, perhaps most interestingly, gained a great buddy in a fellow Marvel character.

The much-hyped monster Jack and other hunters have to face in their quest for the Bloodstone turns out to be the very reason the protagonist is on his mission in the first place. His priority is to rescue the very thing he’s supposed to hunt – Man-Thing (Carey Jones), a hulking beast whom Jack knows well enough to call “Ted.”

The ending of “Werewolf by Night” implies that Jack and Ted are an outcast duo of sorts, and that this is far from their first adventure in the dark corners of the MCU. By the time they start on their next great mission — making sushi for dinner — fans have a pretty good idea of Jack’s power set, and how destructive his powerful and agile wolf form can be. However, Man-Thing just might be the more dangerous of the two, since Verussa (Harriet Sansom Harris) specifically picks him as the kind of mighty monster that can provide a Bloodstone-worthy challenge to her squad of monster hunters. Despite this, Man-Thing’s powers and abilities are left somewhat nebulous, save for the fact that he seems to be able to disintegrate people with his touch. How, exactly, does he manage this, and what are his other powers? Let’s take a closer look at Man-Thing’s power set in “Werewolf by Night.”

Man-Thing has a vast array of powers to choose from

What Are Man-Thing's Powers In Werewolf By Night?
Marvel Studios/Disney+

In the comics — and, judging by his first name, in the MCU as well – Man-Thing’s human identity is Dr. Theodore Sallis, a scientist who messed around with a super-soldier serum that’s decidedly not the one Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) received. A combination of this serum and extremely powerful magic turns Ted into the swampy, red-eyed creature we see in “Werewolf by Night” — but its plot barely begins to claw at his full scale of abilities.

In the comics, Man-Thing’s touch can burn people just like in “Werewolf by Night,” but there’s a twist. Instead of being a sentient and somewhat whimsical figure his MCU version seems to be, the comic book Man-Thing is both more and less than a human. Along with his various magical properties, he’s essentially a physical manifestation of nature, and the swamp terrain in particular. As such, he’s an utterly inhuman, instinctive figure, who however seems to take offense against all things evil. His burning, corrosive touch is also fatal to those who feel fear.

Apart from his lethal touch, Man-Thing possesses various superhuman physical attributes, including super-strength and the capacity to heal from virtually any damage by “rebuilding” himself from vegetable matter. This ability has also sometimes enabled him to alter his size, and control plant life in the surrounding area. Oh, and because of his mystical nature, he also has a number of magical abilities.

It’s clear that the MCU version of the character is at least somewhat different from his comics counterpart, as showcased by his obvious sentience, a notable preference for his human name, and ability to form friendships, and even his apparent affinity for sushi. However, should the movies and Disney+ shows wish to explore the character further, they certainly have a treasure trove of powers to draw inspiration from. For now, however, his full MCU power set remains among the untold truths of “Werewolf by Night.”

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