Why Man-Thing Is Called Ted (Who Is He Really?)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Werewolf by Night!Man-Thing makes his MCU debut in Werewolf by Night, but the swamp creature prefers the name “Ted,” and for a good reason. The Marvel character serves as the feared monster at the center of a quest at Bloodstone Manor in the Disney+ Halloween special. Though this is the first time he directly appears, Man-Thing was already teased in the MCU through previous shows and movies.

When various monster hunters converge at the Bloodstone family home to compete for the appropriately-named Bloodstone relic, the group is quickly tasked with tracking down the Man-Thing on the manor’s grounds. In order to acquire the powerful relic, the group, including Jack Russell (Gael García Bernal), must retrieve it from Man-Thing’s back. However, when Jack comes in contact with the supposed monster, he calls the large green creature “Ted,” which makes perfect sense. In Marvel Comics, the humanoid monster’s alter ego is a biochemist known as Dr. Theodore Sallis, who notably went by “Ted,” just like in Werewolf by Night. Ted only shares a few scenes with Werewolf by Night, aka Jack Russell, but the MCU version is seemingly keeping the creature’s comics history intact.


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Who Is Man-Thing? History & Werewolf By Night Connection Explained

“The Man-Thing” first appeared in 1971, specifically, Marvel Comics’ Savage Tales #1. Before becoming the creature, the character was working as a biochemist known as Dr. Ted Sallis when he was recruited for a special project to replicate the Super-Soldier serum that created Captain America. The project, known as Project Gladiator, took place in the Florida Everglades and caught the attention of a terrorist organization called Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM), who sought to hunt down the new serum. During an attack from AIM, Ted injected himself with the serum to keep their hands off the sample before crashing his car into the swamps. Unbeknownst to Ted, the swamp contained a link to the Nexus of All Realities, causing the sample to transform Ted into an enormous red-eyed creature consisting of the surrounding plant matter.

While Man-Thing had superhuman strength and durability due to his size and link to the Nexus’ magical properties, he wasn’t known for his intellect, considering he lost Ted’s consciousness for much of the character’s arc. He also lost the ability to speak, which is also the case in Werewolf by Night. However, one of the most interesting aspects surrounding Man-Thing was his Marvel team-ups. Through his connection to the Nexus of All Realities, which was how he ended up as a Guardian of the portal, he found an ally in Howard the Duck. Man-Thing was also a member of the Thunderbolts, Daydreamers, Midnight Sons, and the Legion of Monsters. The last two also included Werewolf by Night, whereas vampire hunter Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly), another key character in the Disney+ special, was a member of the Midnight Sons.

Man-Thing’s Ted Name Explains Why He’s Close With Jack Russell

Even with Jack’s connection to Man-Thing established in Marvel Comics, Werewolf by Night takes their alliance a step further. When Jack first sees Man-Thing, he clearly views him as a friend, not a monster to fear. Jack’s immediate goal is to set Ted free from the Bloodstone Manor, something he eventually accomplishes. During the mission, Jack briefly informs Elsa that Man-Thing likes to be called Ted, proving that he views the humanoid as his peer. In fact, he secretly shares something in common with Man-Thing. Like Ted, Jack is also technically a monster through his scary Werewolf by Night alter ego, so he fully understands what it’s like to instantly be perceived as a raging monster.

With Man-Thing going by Ted despite his monstrous appearance and Jack hiding his werewolf identity, there’s a strong link between the two characters beyond the fact they are seemingly longtime friends, and this could be a major setup for the MCU’s future. As a result of Jack and Elsa setting Man-Thing free, Ted repays the favor by returning to the Manor to save Elsa, who, in turn, essentially saves Jack from himself. Ted and Jack then reunite to seemingly prepare for another adventure together after the events of Werewolf by Night. The MCU may have introduced two new monsters, but neither wants to be fully perceived as one.

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