(What if the Man-Thing regained Ted Sallis' brain)
Type: Alternate Earth
Environment: Similar to Earth-616
Usual means of access: Presumably vibrational attunement
Dominant Life Form: Humanity
Significant Inhabitants: Agent Bendix, Man-Thing (Ted Sallis), Man-Thing (alligator), Dr. Karl Oheimer, Willis
Significant Locations: Bendix's DC lab, Bendix's Citrusville lab, Man-Thing's swamp (Citrusville, Florida), Nexus of Realities, Oheimer's Miami lab
First Appearance: What If I#26/2 (April, 1981)
(What If I#26/2 (fb) - BTS) - Duped by agents of a foreign government, Dr. Karl Oheimer worked to restore and re-centralize the brain (and mind) of Ted Sallis within the Man-Thing, with the goal of gaining the secrets of the Super-Soldier serum that only Sallis knew; the initial progress was promising.
(What If I#26/2) - When US soldiers, determined to stop the experiments, burst in, their commander recognized Oheimer and ordered his men to hold their fire.
After Oheimer discussed his goals and the Man-Thing demonstrated some early mental function by not attacking the soliders despite their fear, FBI agent Bendix offered to fund Oheimer's ongoing research.
(What If I#26/2 (fb) - BTS) - Unable to progress any further in the swamp, Oheimer moved the Man-Thing and his research to a lab outside Miami, the environment of which they made as close to the swamp as possible.
(What If I#26/2 (fb) - BTS) - <A few weeks after Oheimer started working for Bendix> - With Sallis' mind at an adolescent level, he took out his resentment about being in the lab on some caged leopards (or other great cats).
(What If I#26/2) - Oheimer convinced Man-Thing to leave the cats alone and reminded him he couldn't go back to the swamp if he wanted his whole mind back.
Meanwhile, a soldier stole a sample of the Man-Thing's muck and reported to Bendix, who planned to come over to get the sample on the pre-text of checkingon Oheimer.
Bendix subsequently considered that the Man-Thing must have the Super-Soldier serum its own material...
...and that now that they had a sample, their scientists could unravel his secrets and create an army of Man-Things; and they wouldn't need Sallis or Oheimer anymore.
Meanwhile, Oheimer continued the injections to coalesce Ted Sallis' brain cells, followed by training to stimulate Sallis' mind.
(What If I#26/2 (fb) - BTS) - Oheimer planned with Man-Thing, establishing escape routes in case of fire.
(What If I#26/2) - After months of therapy, Oheimer congratulated the Man-Thing, telling him he had regained his full intellect. He said they would next have to find a way to communicate, after which they could work together to turn him back into a man again.
However, lacking of of Sallis' humanity, the Man-Thing instead decided that he had plans of his own, and they involved nothing so mundane.
At a top-secret laboratory near the nation's capitol, Bendix was pleased when his scientists isolated the Super-Soldier serum from the Man-Thing's substance.
However, the serum proved inert, and a scientist speculated that there was something in the water that triggered it.
Bendix instructed them to set up a lab down by the Man-Thing's swamp.
(What If I#26/2 (fb) - BTS) - Bendix had Oheimer's lab stripped of equipment and then instructed a task force to take care of the Man-Thing.
Due at least to the planned escape routes, Man-Thing escaped the lab.
(What If I#26/2) <a few hours later> - Bendix met with Oheimer, telling him they couldn't allow him to waste the taxpayer's money any longer. When Oheimer's discussed their progress, Bendix argued that they had no signs that the Man-Thing was anything more than a trained pet, after which he told Oheimer of what they had done to his lab and were doing to the Man-Thing. Fearing for Sallis' safety, Oheimer fled to check on him.
Oheimer arrived to find his lab in flames, with naught remaining within but lashes. After Oheimer collapsed to his knees, calling them murderers, Bendix instructed Oheimer to be sent to a hotel to relax; he then gave Oheimer a one-way ticket back to Wisconsin, instructing him to take it, go home, and forget about all this. Meanwhile, his men sent all of Oheimer's equipment to their new Everglades lab.
(What If I#26/2 (fb) - BTS) - Man-Thing sneaked aboard one of the trucks hauling the lab's equipment and hid underneath a tarp.
(What If I#26/2) - En route to the Everglades lab in the last jeep in the convoy, Man-Thing emerged from under a tarp and attacked the driver, Willis, and the man riding shotgun, burning the terrified men's faces and causing the jeep to crash into a truck. Figuring the men had fallen asleep at the wheel and considering that there was nothing too important that they were carrying, Bendix instructed everyone else to continue on.
(What If I#26/2 (fb) - BTS) - Capturing alligators and perhaps other swamp creatures, the Everglades' lab found them all to be affected by a energy (Nexus energy) from the swamp water.
(What If I#26/2) - When Bendix checked in the next morning, the scientists informed him of the energy they had detected; although they could isolate it, they could not identify it. Nonetheless, they assured him that at the rate they were working, he would have the first Super-Soldier by that afternoon.
Meanwhile, having found he could manipulate the local swamp flora and fauna, the Man-Thing gathered an army -- even causing trees to uproot and walk on their roots -- and led them to attack the Everglades lab.
As the scientists prepared to inject their first test subject (assuring him it would make him just like Captain America), the Man-Thing and his swamp army tore through the wall and attacked. In desperation, a scientist hurled a syringe (full of a large dose of the Super-Soldier serum they had isolated from a sample of the Man-Thing); it missed the Man-Thing and instead struck a restrained alligator. After Man-Thing fried that scientist, Bendix fled into the swamp, Man-Thing forced a number of vines to strangle him. Man-Thing then plotted to find the Nexus, as he theorized that his mind would allow him to control the Nexus, harness its energies, and control all reality.
That evening, as the serum had begun to work its way through the Nexus-energy-infused alligator, the creature began to change, and it tore free of its bonds. Sensing strong emotions from deep in the swamps, it followed these to confront Sallis. Failing to control the creature by manipulating Nexus energy, Sallis concluded the Nexus had caused the creature to be formed, and that the Nexus was trying to protect itself by destroying him. Though fighting to protect his own power, Sallis failed to realize that he was afraid, while his virtually mindless opponent had no such emotions; and as "whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch," Sallis burst into flames and perished.
Slogging away, the new Man-Thing did not contemplate the dead thing that was Sallis. The swamp was at peace again, and it had a new guardian.
Under the direction of CIA agent Bendix, US government scientists attempted to replicate the Super-Soldier serum variant from a sample they had obtained of the Man-Thing's substance. Though they isolated the serum, they found it was inert, and that there appeared
Comments: Created by Steven D. Grant, Herb Trimpe, and Bob Wiacek.
This reality diverged from Reality-616 during the events of Man-Thing I#1.
I don't have Bendix listed in my index of Man-Thing I#1...maybe I just missed him, or maybe he only shows up in this alternate reality story.
I'll get around to profiling Karl Oheimer of Reality-616 at some point...
Profile by Snood.
No known connection to:
An agent of the FBI, he was involved with the initial effort to terminate Oheimer's work on the Man-Thing (Sallis), but once he saw how Man-Thing was indeed demonstrating intelligence, he offered to fund Oheimer's research.
His true goal was apparently to recover the Super-Soldier serum from the Man-Thing or Sallis one way or the other, and once one of his agents obtained a sample of Man-Thing, he decided he wouldn't need Oheimer or Sallis anymore.
By the time his DC scientists realized that Sallis' Super-Soldier serum was inert away from the swamp, he was ready to finish the project.
Moving his DC group down to the swamp, he terminated Oheimer's involvement, torched his lab (incorrectly believing they had destroyed the Man-Thing in the process), and gave Oheimer a one-way ticket back to Wisconsin.
While the new lab showed promise, Bendix was killed after the Man-Thing attacked the lab.
He was an experienced government agent and leader and likely had some experience with firearms.
He enjoyed coffee and cigarettes
--What If I#26/2
As they served Willis, they were presumably either US Army or some other government paramilitary outfit.
Willis and his passenger had the unfortunate opportunity to be the last truck transporting Oheimer's equipment from his Miami laboratory (they may also have been part of the task force that destroyed that lab) to Bendix's new Citrusville laboratory.
The intelligent Sallis-minded Man-Thing hid out underneath the tarp in the back of their transport and then leapt out and attacked them.
Terrified, the men burnt at his touch...
--What If I#26/2
images: (without ads)
images: (without ads)
What If I#26/2, pg. 3, panel 2 (Oheimer stands in front of Man-Thing);
pg. 4, panel 3 (Oheimer's Miami swamp-like laboratory);
panel 6 (Bendix's agent obtains sample of Man-Thing);
pg. 5, panel 1 (Bendix face);
panel 5 (Man-Thing typing on computer);
panel 7 (Man-Thing plots sinister);
pg. 6, panel 1 (Bendix and scientist isolating Super-Soldier serum in DC lab);
pg. 7, panel 1 (Oheimer's Miami lab burning);
pg. 8, panel 2 (Willis and passenger);
pg. 9, panel 8 (Man-Thing's swamp army);
pg. 10, panel 8 (Bendix death);
pg. 12, panel 3-4 (Man-Things battle)
What If I#26/2 (April, 1981) - Steven D. Grant (penciler), Herb Trimpe (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Mark Gruenwald (assistant editor), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 04/15/16
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