JOB BURKE

Real Name: Job Burke

Identity/Class: Human (possible variant); reality-altering powers

Occupation: Student;
    former preserver of all reality

Group Membership: Men of Lineage

Affiliations: Ellen Brandt, Cleito, Creator, Devil-Slayer, Owen Jackson, K'ad-Mon of the Fallen Stars, Man-Thing, Sorrow;
    formerly Mr. Termineus

Enemies: Mr. Termineus

Known Relatives: Ellen Brandt (mother), Ted Sallis (Man-Thing, father), Jack and Gwyneth Burke (adoptive parents);
    Creator, Cleito, K'ad-Mon (distant ancestors)

Aliases: The Dreamer, Keeper of the Dream, Man of Lineage

Base of Operations: Brooklyn, New York;
    formerly Citrusville, Florida

First Appearance: Man-Thing III#1 (December, 1997)

Powers/Abilities: Job potentially has the ability to manipulate the very fabric of reality, and once assisted in restoring all existence after it had been destroyed. However, his powers are deep in his subconscious, and for all practical purposes he is a normal young boy.

History:
(Strange Tales IV#2 (fb) - BTS / 4 (fb) - BTS) <According to Termineus> - An ancient Creator being spawned the universe and the Fallen Stars from its dreams; among the Fallen Stars was Cleito, whom he created on Earth in the distant past. Cleito spawned K'ad-Mon, and their birthplace became the Nexus of Reality. K'ad-Mon was the first Man of Lineage, realizing that all reality was but a dream at the whim of the Creator. Down through the ages, a descendent in each generation was trained as the Man of Lineage, keeping the dream, but over time the Men of Lineage began to fall deeper into believing the illusion of reality, until eventually one man turned away from it completely: Ted Sallis.

(Savage Tales I#1 (fb) - BTS / Man-Thing III#5 (fb) - BTS) - Ellen Brandt, wife of Ted, was pregnant with Job when she betrayed Ted to A.I.M., resulting in his transformation into the Man-Thing.

(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) - BTS) - Mr. Termineus visited Job in his nightmares.

(Man-Thing III#4 (fb) - BTS) - Sorrow visited Job, providing comfort throughout his life.

(Man-Thing III#1) - Job slept in the back of the car while his parents drove through the Florida Everglades, crashing into the Man-Thing in the process. Fearing what he'd seen, Jack quickly drove his family away from the Man-Thing's reforming body.

(Man-Thing III#2) - Job slept as Mr. Termineus arrived, taunted his parents, and then kissed Job on the forehead, asking his forgiveness for what he would have to do.

(Man-Thing III#4) - Termineus again tormented the Burkes, while Sorrow appeared at Job's bedside on Christmas Eve, granting him the gift of hopes, dreams, devotion, joy, mercy, and love.

(Man-Thing III#5) - Job slept on the couch while his parents watched TV, until Termineus arrived, stopped time, and abducted Job. Termineus then briefly used Job to torment Ellen Brandt, giving her the illusion of a normal life alongside Ted and Job, after which he took Job from her as well.

(Man-Thing III#6) - Termineus took Job up into the clouds and then back down to Earth, starting his training to become his successor by offering him his favorite kind of ice cream: Vanilla Swiss Almond.

(Man-Thing III#7) - Job and Termineus discussed Job's dreams and past visions of Termineus, and Termineus told him that all life was a dream. Job asked to go home and Termineus told him he could not turn his back on his destiny. Jack Burke awakened suddenly, feeling Job's distress, and was able to link their problems back to their encounter with the Man-Thing; they got in their car headed back down to Florida.

 

 

(Strange Tales IV#1) - Job, transformed into Termineus' sidekick, sat beside Termineus aboard his boat as they confronted Jack and Gwyneth, who had been brought into the swamp by Sheriff Fillmore.

 

 

 

 

(Strange Tales IV#2) - Ellen and the K'ad-Mon-possessed Man-Thing arrived in the swamp, and Ellen revealed herself to be Job's true mother. Job told her she was just a dream and began to cause her to fade from existence, but K'ad-Mon commanded him to stop. Later, Job called out to and embraced Ellen, only to steal the necklace containing four of the five fragments of the shattered Nexus of Realities. However, Job refused to give the necklace to Termineus until he would explain who and what he was. Termineus told them all of the Men of Lineage, after which Sorrow, Devil-Slayer, and the Fallen Stars, promising to stop Termineus' plot.

(Strange Tales IV#3) - Job stood by as Termineus and the other Fallen Stars argued about the fate of reality, Termineus empowered Owen Jackson with the final Nexus fragment. As K'ad-Mon convinced Job to give him the necklace, Jackson rose up, cut the necklace free, and murdered Job. Termineus obtained the Nexus and used it to bring about the end of 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. Termineus attempted to convince that since all life was but a dream of the Creator, that there was no point in struggling to maintain its falsehood. Sallis countered that Termineus remained in existence because he could not relinquish his own love of the Creator, its dreams, and of Sorrow. Still, Termineus refused to add his will to that of Sallis, who, disheartened by Termineus' arguments, began to lose his grip on the dream. Ellen faded from existence, followed by Sorrow, followed by Termineus, whose smile persisted for a few seconds, like the Cheshire Cat, before fading away.
    However, as Ted Sallis lay there, cradling his dead son Job, he 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, the Burkes, who left, the memories of these events already fading from their minds....for now.

    The boy, we'll learn, will come into his destiny--his NEW destiny, for Sallis's sacrifice has changed everything--later...for now, the Fallen Stars have decided, let him be a boy. Let him embrace his humanity and live his life to the fulles.

 

Comments: Created by J. M. DeMatteis and Liam Sharp.

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

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:


Gwyneth and Jack Burke

    Job's adoptive parents, they loved him as if he were their own. According to Termineus, Jack failed gym class and never won a fight in his life, while Gwyneth was raped at age sixteen by young gang. Shortly after running into the Man-Thing in their car they began to be visited and tormented by Termineus, until they awoke one day to find Job having vanished. They contacted the New York Police Department to no avail, but continued to be plagued by visions of Termineus. Linking their problems back to the Man-Thing, they returned to Citrusville, Florida, where Sheriff Fillmore took them into the Man-Thing's swamp. They were mortified when Termineus appeared, with Job transformed into a young version of him, a terror magnified infinitely when Owen Jackson appeared and slew Job. After that, they were destroyed along with all reality, but were reborn when Job and Ted Sallis re-created reality. Their memories of recent events faded, the happy family returned to Brooklyn and a hopefully more normal life

 --Man-Thing III#1 (2(fbs) - BTS, 2, 4-6, Strange Tales IV#1,2, 3,4

 

 

 


images:
Man-Thing III#1, p6, panel 4 (Jack Burke)
    #4, p9, panel 9 (Gwyneth)
        p10, panel 9 (Job)
Strange Tales IV#1, 23, panel 6 (Termineus-ized Job, face)
Strange Tales IV#2, 23, panel 6 (Termineus-ized Job, body)


Man-Thing III#1-8 (December, 1997 - July, 1998) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Liam Roger Sharp (artist), Mark Bernardo (editor)
Strange Tales IV#1-2 (September-October 1998) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Liam Roger Sharp (artist), Pete Franco (editor)
 


Last updated: 11/09/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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