ELLEN BRANDT

Real Name: Ellen Brandt

Identity/Class: Human, magic user

Occupation: Former Guardian of the Nexus of Realities

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Jack and Gwyneth Burke, Cleito, Devil-Slayer, Dr. Strange, Sheriff Donald Fillmore, Howard the Duck, K'ad-Mon of the Fallen Stars, Dr. Leonard ??, Madame Swabada, Man-Thing, Barbara Morse (later Mockingbird), Silver Surfer, Sorrow, Spider-Man;
    formerly AIM

EnemiesCult of Entropy, Evenor, Owen Jackson, Mahapralaya, Mr. Termineus, Namor, Outrider, Scrier, Silver Surfer, Henry Welles
    formerly the Man-Thing

Known Relatives: Ted Sallis (Man-Thing, husband), Job Burke (son), unnamed father

Aliases: Ellen Brandt-Sallis, Mother of the Dreamer, Ellen Sallis;
    formerly the Man-Thing

Base of Operations: Unrevealed (extradimensional);
    formerly mobile throughout the universe;
    formerly Citrusville, Florida;
    formerly Rosewell Sanitarium, Charles, Massachusetts;
    formerly Empire State University, Manhattan, New York (see comments)

First Appearance: Savage Tales I#1 (May, 1971)

 

 

 

 

Powers/Abilities: Ellen gained unspecified powers by merging with the Man-Thing, K'ad-Mon, and the Nexus of Realities. Her current level of ability is uncertain.

Distinguishing Features: The left side of Ellen's face is severely scarred from burn wounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

History:
(Man-Thing III#2 (fb)) - Ellen was a naive and impassioned girl of nineteen, eager to experience life in all of its fullness. Attracted to Professor Ted Sallis, she began a relationship while visiting his office. They spent many afternoons making love inside his locked office, until they began to slip away from the university to share time together. Sallis reminded her of her father, whose emotional coldness had always frustrated her; with Ted she unconsciously saw the change to make things right and heal old wounds.

(Man-Thing III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Ellen and Ted eloped, were married, and had a honeymoon.

(Savage Tales I#1 (fb) - BTS) - As Ted entered in Project Gladiator, he and Ellen moved into a small laboratory within the Florida Glades.

(Giant-Size Man-Thing#5 (fb)) - Ellen and Ted went to the Citrusville Florida fairgrounds, where fortune teller Madame Swabada prophesied Ted's future, seeing a catastrophic change in store for him. Swabada showed them specific visions of the Man-Thing (which would come true), after which she left with Ted, who refused to believe any of it.

(Man-Thing III#2 (fb)) - As part of Project Gladiator, Ted spent all of his time trying to develop a new super-soldier serum. Dejected and frustrated, Ellen eventually grew as cold as her husband, and she sought the means to hurt him; she found it in the hands of AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics), who sought the serum for their own ends. AIM paid her well, but she didn't care about the money--she only wanted to hurt Ted (and by doing so lash out at her father, as well).

(Savage Tales I#1 (fb)) - Once Ted Sallis completed his super-soldier serum, Ellen had one last affair with him before leading him into an AIM trap. He broke free and escaped, injecting himself with the formula and being mutated by it and the swamp's magical energies, transforming into the Man-Thing. Ellen accompanied the AIM agents in pursuing Ted, only to crash headlong into the Man-Thing. After the Man-Thing had slain the agents of AIM, Ellen stared at him, horrified as he reached down and severely burned the left side of her face.

(Man-Thing III#5 (fb) - BTS) - Ellen was pregnant at the time of this betrayal.

(Astonishing Tales#12 (fb) - BTS) - Barbara Morse and the other researchers for Project Gladiator found Ellen wandering through the Everglades.

(Monsters Unleashed#5 (fb) - BTS) - Ellen was treated by the staff of Project Gladiator and then released into the care of a doctor known only as Leonard.

(Monsters Unleashed#5 (fb) - BTS) - Leonard performed surgery on Ellen, restoring her to her original beauty.

(Monsters Unleashed#5) - Tormented by nightmares of the Man-Thing while still recovering from her surgery, Ellen convinced Leonard to take her back into the swamp to confront the Man-Thing. Encountering the devastated AIM base, they were surprised by the Man-Thing who, sensing only Ellen's negative emotions, swatted Leonard unconscious. However, Ellen managed to conquer her own dark emotions, and the Man-Thing's touch left her unharmed. She left the swamp with Leonard, intending to start her life anew.

(Man-Thing III#2 (fb) - BTS) - Ellen's surgery apparently did not last, and she reverted to her severely scarred appearance.

(Man-Thing III#5 (fb) - BTS) <see comments> - Unable to face motherhood, Ellen gave her baby boy up for adoption. The child was adopted by Jack and Gwyneth Burke, who named him Job.

(Man-Thing III#2 (fb)) - Ellen punished herself for her sins, descending into the mire of her own degradation. Every time she looked in the mirror, the scars reminded her of the transgressions. She surrendered to alcohol, drugs, to loveless carnal indulgence; she surrendered every shred of her humanity, hoping that God--whose very existence she doubted--would notice her debasement and would judge her fairly punished.

(Man-Thing III#3 (fb) - BTS / #4 (fb)) - Descending into madness, Ellen ended up in Rosewell Sanitarium in Charles, Massachusetts. Eventually she regained her sanity with the aid of the enigmatic Fallen Star known as Sorrow.

(Man-Thing III#1) - Ellen had a nightmare about her face being burnt by the Man-Thing. Later, in a bar in the old Gerber Mansion, she showed her full face to stop Henry Welles from groping her. However, she became enraged when he stared at her face and she slashed him with a kitchen knife. Welles then attacked her, but the Man-Thing smashed into the bar and stopped him. The Man-Thing stared at Ellen, trying to recall who she was. She recognized him as Ted, at which point Sheriff Donald Fillmore arrived and started firing on the Man-Thing. Ellen jumped in front of the Man-Thing, and would have been killed by the bullets had not Dr. Strange arrived and transformed the bullets into butterflies.

(Man-Thing III#2) - Dr. Strange guided Ellen on a tour through her past, convincing her that she was needed to help the Man-Thing save all of reality, which was threatened by the shattering of the Nexus of Reality (when the heroes and Franklin's Counter-Earth crossed the dimensional barrier into Earth-616). She accepted the role, accepting her old name of Ellen Sallis.

(Man-Thing III#3) - On Christmas Eve, Ellen futilely tried to push the Man-Thing into...doing something...anything. Wandering off, she was confronted by Mr. Termineus, who gave her a staff of power, as well as a large Christmas meal, which she shared with the Man-Thing (well...he did sit down at the table with her, but that's about it). As Ellen finished her pudding, she heard the call of the staff, which transported her and the Man-Thing to the crater which had formerly been the home of Rosewell Sanitarium, which had been transported extradimensionally.

(Man-Thing III#4) - The staff of power's energies called to the Man-Thing, briefly transferring its sentient spirit (possibly K'ad-Mon) into him. Ellen and the Man-Thing traveled to Rosewell, the memories of which terrified Ellen until she was reunited with Sorrow. However, one of the inmates, Eric Simon Payne (Devil-Slayer) then lashed out at the Man-Thing, ripping him to shreds, and causing a powerful energy backlash.

(Man-Thing III#5) - Rosewell returned to Earth, and Payne and the Man-Thing were re-formed, in the process removing the Nexus fragment from within Payne. Termineus then appeared and tried to claim the Nexus fragment, only to have Sorrow snatch the fragment, transform it into a necklace, and place it around Ellen's neck. Termineus then taunted Ellen with an illusion of a happy, normal life with Ted and Job, only to steal Job away, and leave her to curse at the Man-Thing's side. Seconds later they were confronted by Mahapralaya and the Cult of Entropy, who held Howard the Duck captive.

(Man-Thing III#6) - Ellen took the staff and fled deep into the swamp, encountering Evenor. Meanwhile, the Man-Thing defeated the cult and removed the Nexus fragment from within Howard the Duck.

(Man-Thing III#7) - Evenor transformed Ellen into a mer-woman and brought her to the ancient Atlantean City of the Golden Gate. Merging again with the sentience of the staff (possibly K'ad-Mon), the Man-Thing joined Namor the Sub-Mariner in meeting them there. There they learned that the next Nexus fragment was contained within the Shroud of Cleito, former wife of Neptune. However, as the Shroud was sacred to Atlantis, both Namor and Evenor forbade desecrating the the Shroud; when the Nexus-power enhanced/possessed Man-Thing tried to challenge Evenor, the ancient god transformed him back into the powerless Ted Sallis.

(Man-Thing III#8) - Briefly reunited with Ellen, Ted heeded the call of the staff, using its song to transport them into the distant past, where they obtained the Nexus fragment (which spanned the entire length of time) from Cleito prior to her death. Despite their recent success, Ellen watched with horror  as they headed to a distant planet in the modern era, as Ted transformed back into the Man-Thing, and then was possessed by K'ad-Mon, who commanded her silence.

(Strange Tales IV#1) - On the distant planet, they found that the Nexus fragment had brought life to the previously desolate world. The Silver Surfer tried to stop them from taking the Nexus and condemning the planet's race to death. As the Surfer fought the K'ad-Mon possessed Man-Thing, Ellen tore the Nexus fragment from its moorings, destroying the race of beings in order to save all of Reality.

(Strange Tales IV#2) - Ellen and the K'ad-Mon possessed Man-Thing returned to the swamp, where they found Jack and Gwyneth Burke and Sheriff Donald Fillmore, who had just been confronted by Mr. Termineus, who had trained Job Burke as his apprentice. As K'ad-Mon confronted Termineus, Job briefly blinked Ellen out of existence, then appeared to accept her as his long-lost mother, only to steal the Nexus fragment containing necklace from her when she embraced him. However, Job refused to give the necklace to Termineus until he explained Job's role in all of this. After Termineus did so, he revealed his mission to have Job destroy all creation, at which point Sorrow and Devil-Slayer arrived, having gathered the other Fallen Stars (beings spawned in the distant past by an ancient creator being, beings which included Sorrow, K'ad-Mon, and Termineus) and promising to stop Termineus (who was certain they would fail).

 

 

 


   

 

 

(Strange Tales IV#3) - Ellen watched as K'ad-Mon remade Ted Sallis, separating him from the Man-Thing. Listening to Termineus and K'ad-Mon speak, she learned that her love for Ted was preordained by the creator being, to strengthen Ted's spirit with love, and to guide him along the path that would force him to return to his abandoned role as the Nexus Guardian. Ellen watched as K'ad-Mon prepared to claim the necklace containing the  Nexus fragments from Job, but was horrified when Termineus' agent Owen Jackson slew Job and gave the necklace to Termineus, who used it to extinguish all reality.

(Strange Tales IV#4) - After all planes of reality were consumed, there was only a Sea of Nothingness, containing only five figures: Ted Sallis, Ellen Brandt, the deceased Job Burke, the exhausted Termineus, and Sorrow. Ted's nature as the Man of Lineage (combined with his love for Ellen) allowed him to briefly maintain the dream of existence. Ellen argued against Termineus, hoping to strengthen Ted's resolve to restore existence, but as his strength faded, she was the first to vanish.
    However, Ted then realized that if life were but a dream, then so is death, and he restored Job to life. Job combined his will and power with Ted Sallis, becoming the Love that formed the Whim that formed Creation, and they restored all reality to existence. Ted Sallis became the Nexus, while he then returned Job to his parents, who left, to forget all that had happened...for now.

(Strange Tales IV#4 / Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 1999 (fb) - BTS) - Ellen then had K'ad-Mon (who maintained control of the Man-Thing's form) send her to join with Ted, and the two of them existed within/composing the Nexus of Realities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 1999) - Ted left the Nexus to help K'ad-Mon against the Scrier, who sought to usurp the power of the Nexus for himself. Scrier had obliterated the Man-Thing's form and usurped the power of the staff of the creator, but K'ad-Mon's spirit survived within the swamp and convinced Sallis to become the Man-Thing anew in order to oppose Scrier. Meanwhile, Scrier, having manipulated events so that Ellen would be left alone in the Nexus, sent his agent Outrider to attack her and steal the Nexus for Scrier. Combined within the form of the Man-Thing, K'ad-Mon and Sallis recruited Spider-Man to defend Ellen and the Nexus.
    Meanwhile, the Man-Thing, backed by the power of the Fallen Stars, confronted Scrier. With their powers so evenly matched that any confrontation threatened to destroy the world that he sought to save, K'ad-Mon agreed to Screir's challenge that they would allow their champions to decide the fate of the Nexus: If Spider-Man won, the power of the staff would be returned to K'ad-Mon, and Scrier would make no further strikes against the Nexus; if the Outrider won, Scrier would gain the Nexus and use it to re-write reality as he saw fit. Spider-Man was occupied by transportation into an alternate reality, allowing the Outrider to overpower Ellen and enter the Nexus. Escaping back to the Nexus at the last second, Spider-Man leapt into its core and struggled against the Outrider directly. In the course of the struggle, Ellen began to fade out of existence, but she then listened to a voice, more familiar than her own, and she fell down to Earth, taking the Nexus with her, and merging it and herself with Ted Sallis within the Man-Thing's form.
    Scrier was furious at this seeming betrayal, but Sallis explained that while K'ad-Mon had given his word, while he (Sallis) had not. Claiming that perhaps his goal had actually been to cause them to merge with the Nexus and the Man-Thing, Scrier vanished. The Man-Thing, holding the re-powered staff of the creator, looked in on Peter Parker before vanishing in a mystic vortex.

(Incredible Hulk III#6 (fb)) - The composite Ellen/Ted/Nexus/Man-Thing (possibly containing K'ad-Mon as well) departed Earth for a reality beyond, perhaps transforming into the Nexus itself. The energies of the swamp re-created the Man-Thing in its original form.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, and Gray Morrow.

    Strange Tales IV ended with #2, just prior to the confrontation between K'ad-Mon and the Fallen Stars against Termineus. That plot was never quite resolved, as events just jumped to Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 1998. After this, it was decided to reboot the Man-Thing back into his classic form, but at least it was explained how this had happened.
Mr. DeMatteis was kind enough to share with me the paid for, but unpublished, scripts to Strange Tales IV#3-4, information from which I've added to this profile (in italics). They are referenced in Peter Parker :Spider-Man, and fit perfectly into continuity. At some point, I'll post the scripts and plots to the net for everyone's enjoyment.
   
The exact fate of the combined Ellen/Ted/Nexus/Man-Thing is unclear, but I think it was transformed into a new Nexus.

    The Creator referred to in the Man-Thing/Strange Tales stories was supposed to be the Abrahamic God (or, more correctly, some non-denominational creator being)..

    Based on extrapolation that Sallis was a professor at Empire State University when he met Sainte-Cloud, I have placed his meeting with Ellen there as well.

    It's not exactly clear how soon after her injury that Ellen had the surgery. The doctors wouldn't have been to happy to put her under general anesthesia knowing she was pregnant, but they either might not have known, or perhaps Ellen managed to convince Leonard. It's not a big point, but I'd still like to know.
    I really doubt that DeMatteis had any idea that Ellen's face had been restored when he wrote her into the Man-Thing III series, or else he would have explained why she was scarred again. It also didn't come up when talking about her having the baby.

    I haven't yet worked out how Evenor, Cleito, and the City of the Golden Gate fit in with Marvel's history of Atlantis and the Great-Cataclysm. I'm working on it.

    I think that K'ad-Mon was actually meant to be the sentience within the staff through the whole Man-Thing III series, not just #8 on...

    This chick's got Legion of the Night written all over her.

The worst thing about the Man-Thing III series? The first issue promised an upcoming Strange Tales: Satana series by Warren Ellis...which never happened! Boo! All the crap that makes it out on the market and this is the one that doesn't make it? Boo!

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:


images:
Savage Tales I#1, p30, panel 3 + 5 (pre-scar)
Man-Thing III#1, p10 (scarred face)
        p20, p7 (whole body, hair down)
    #7, p17, panel 1 (Mer-woman)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 1998, p9, panel 1
    last page, panel 3
   


Astonishing Tales#12 (June, 1972) - Len Wein & Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema & Neal Adams (pencils), Dan Adkins (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Monsters Unleashed#5 (April, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), Vicente Alcazar (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Giant-Size Man-Thing#5 (August, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Ed Hannigan (pencils), Dan Adkins (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Man-Thing III#1-8 (December, 1997 - July, 1998) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Liam Roger Sharp (pencils/inks), Mark Bernardo (editor)
Strange Tales IV#1-2 (September-October 1998) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Liam Roger Sharp (pencils/inks), Pete Franco (editor)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 1999 (1999) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Al Rio & Liam Sharp (pencils), Dan Schaeter (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Incredible Hulk III#6 (September, 1999) - John Byrne (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bob Harras (editor)


Last updated: 11/05/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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