Real Name: Darrel Daniel

Identity/Class: Human spirit

Occupation: Former clown, eccentric millionaire

Affiliations: Ruth Hart, Man-Thing, Ayla Prentiss, Richard Rory;
    formerly Garvey, Betty Jo, Dr. Laslo Schact, Tragg

Enemies: Critics, Garvey, Tragg

Known Relatives: Milo Daniel (father), Zoe Daniel (mother)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: presumably Heaven;
    formerly Citrusville, Florida;
    formerly mobile

First Appearance: Man-Thing I#5 (May, 1974)

Powers: As a ghost Darrel was insubstantial, unable to be affected by physical force. He could alter the environment and people around him, changing their images, thoughts and actions into a recreation of past events and people in his life.

History: (Man-Thing I#6 (fb)) - Darrel Daniel was the son of a wealthy financier named Milo. Darrel loved humor and laughter, but his father discouraged this behavior. Neighborhood children also resented Darrel because he was rich. These circumstances caused inner rage and despair to well up in young Daniel.

(Man-Thing I#6 (fb)) - At age sixteen Darrel's father passed away. During the funeral Darrel started laughing at the sight of his father's body. He was amused that the morticians put a smile on Milo's face, very uncharacteristic of the late multi-millionaire. This disgusted his mother and prompted Darrel to seek psychiatric help from Dr. Laslo Schact.

(Man-Thing I#6 (fb) - BTS)) - Darrel gave millions of dollars away in the hopes of making people happy.

(Man-Thing I#6 (fb)) - After witnessing a traumatic event on television at the age of 19, Darrel decided the world needed laughter. He approached Garvey's carnival and asked to be a clown. Garvey gave him the job in hopes of leeching off Darrel's money, and allowed his highwire artist Ayla to teach him the craft. Darrel was a successful clown for approximately years, and his feelings for Ayla grew.

(Giant-Size Man-Thing#5 (fb) - BTS) - Ted Sallis and Ellen Brandt visited Garvey's Carnival.

(Man-Thing I#6 (fb)) - One day, at the age of thirty, he overheard Garvey and Ayla talking about his money and his heart sank. He believed Ayla was using him, and he could no longer put on humorous shows. He changed his act to reflect his inner darkness, using serpents and skulls in performances. His act frightened people, and Darrel ran away from the carnival.

(Man-Thing I#5) - Darrel drove to Man-Thing's swamp, sat down and shot himself in the head.

(Man-Thing I#5 - BTS) - Darrel's spirit left his body, and the Critics informed him his soul must be judged according to an artistic retelling of his life's story.

(Man-Thing I#5) - Man-Thing found Darrel's body, and prepared to dig a grave for it. Ayla Prentiss went looking for Darrel in the company of Richard Rory and Ruth Hart. Darrel's ghost led them to Man-Thing and his corpse. Darrel's ghost also lured Garvey and Tragg to the swamp. When the group was assembled Darrel's ghost appeared again telling them they would help his soul find peace by reenacting his life story for the Critics.




(Man-Thing I#6) - Darrel transformed part of Man-Thing's swamp into his theater, and transformed the assembled cast into people from his past. Man-Thing represented his inner demons and Richard Rory played Darrel himself. The rest of the cast changed from one performance to the next. They reenacted Darrel's life from his childhood to his suicide. The Critics judged his life a failure and prepared to obliterate him. Rory and Man-Thing leapt to Darrel's defense, but physical force did no good. Ayla then proclaimed her love for Darrel, begging the Critics to take her soul in Darrel's place. This touched the Critics enough to allow Darrel's soul entrance to Heaven.

Comments: Created by Frank Chiaramonte, Mike Ploog and Steve Gerber.

    It is possible the Critics increased Darrel's ghostly power so he could put on his play for them.

    The time period of Darrel's childhood (the first act of his play) is listed as 1944, but this reference is topical, meaning only that Darrel was 30 years old at the time of the story.
    In the original story, the traumatic event witnessed when Darrel was 19  years old was Kennedy's assassination.

The pictures in the sub-profiles are actually the transformed cast members reenacting Darrel's story.


CLARIFICATIONS: No known connection to:

Milo Daniel

Darrel's father. Milo was a wealthy financier who ignored Daniel in favor of his work. He passed away when Daniel turned sixteen, leaving his son millions in inheritance money.

--Man-Thing I#6(fb)







Zoe Daniel

Darrel's mother. She rarely spoke, and when she did it was to chide Darrel for his foolishness.

--Man-Thing I#6(fb)








Betty Jo

Darrel's childhood sweetheart, and one of the few people that tried to encourage the brighter aspects of his personality. She lost contact with Darrel sometime after Milo Daniel's funeral.

--Man-Thing I#6(fb)





Dr. Laslo Schact

Darrel's psychiatrist. Schact determined that Darrel was a tortured soul, and said this made him normal, not insane.

--Man-Thing I#6(fb)





Man-Thing I#5, p19, pan1;
Man-Thing I#6, p13, pan3;
(Milo Daniel) Man-Thing I#6, p5, pan3;
(Zoe Daniel) Man-Thing I#6, p4, pan3;
(Betty Jo) Man-Thing I#6, p10, pan1;
(Dr. Laslo Schact) Man-Thing I#6, p11, pan2

First Posted: 04/14/2004
Last updated: 10/13/2004

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters