Manphibian is an extraterrestrial space faring scientist who first landed on Earth 1,000 years ago. He came from a pacifistic society with his female mate. Another male from his species murdered his mate upon arrival, with an extraterrestrial crossbow weapon in violation of their ancient ways. According to Manphibian, the murderer was the first to raise a hand or weapon in an untold number of eons. The blatant murder of his mate and blatant violation of their races ancient morals makes it known to Manphibian that the murderous alien is not a man but a monster. He justifies violence against him because while violence against fellow man is wrong the other creature is not a man but a monster and must be stopped.
Manphibian made his first appearance in Legion of Monsters #1 by Marv Wolfman, Tony Isabella, Dave Cockrum, and Sam Grainger. It was an anthology of characters inspired by the classic Universal Monsters, many of whom were in the public domain, except the Gill Man, as the Creature of the Black Lagoon was an original feature. Manphibian was created as a substitute. Cockrum was a big fan of Creature of the Black Lagoon and is also responsible for Devil-Fish, a DC Comics homage to the Gill Man.
In his original appearance he mentions that violence has been forbidden for eons and that he rather study and document the humans desperate search for "black gold" (crude oil). This suggests that Manphibian is a scientist and that his wife or even his entire species are scientific space-farers.
He also mentions that the Elders say that "to seek vengeance would to become as mad as he" which means violence begets more violence and to think it would stop more violence is insane (insanity is endless repetition with the expectation of different results). He also apparently calls his God the "Prime Mover".
Major Story Arcs
Manphibian mentions that his enemy has escaped across hundreds of worlds for 10 centuries since their first encounter. Through unknown circumstances Manphibian became trapped underground for an unknown period of time. His justice was delayed until the moment he was released via a newly commissioned oil well. Upon reaching the surface drenched in oil he is attacked by the oil well workers but shrugs off their bullets and takes pity on them, for he is dead set on exacting vengeance on the other amphibious alien who murdered his mate/wife.
He finds the alien in a swamp/lagoon attacking a chauffeur and trying to abduct a woman. Manphibian sets upon the murderer of his wife in mad frenzy but his more insane enemy gets the better of him and takes the captured woman underwater in an attempt to escape Manphibian. Manphibian's heroic values shines through as he is dead set on not letting him kill again. He fights him for a while before realizing that the kidnapped victim is drowning and leaves the fight and returns to the surface where he recognizes the oil well. He is beset by a fighter copter which fires incendiary missiles at him. Only his space-hardened skin protects him and his fragile cargo from the blast. Recognizing that they want to harm him and not the woman he escapes. Unfortunately, the woman is sent into a coma and may have suffered irreparable brain damage. The woman turns out to be the wife of the oil well magnate who was flying the copter which jeopardized his wife's life and he swears vengeance on Manphibian thinking that he is the cause of his wife's current condition.
Manphibian was a main member of a new Legion of Monsters that came into being after monsters were being targeted by assassins. Along with Morbius, Jack Russell and a few others, they defended their monster brethren, finding shelter in the abandoned Morlock Tunnels, which they re-designed into Monster Metropolis. Unfortunately, Manny was one of the assassins’ earliest hostages. He was kidnapped along with his many children, who were tortured for the location of the rest of the monsters.
When Punisher was killed, the Legion retrieved the pieces of his body and reassembled it as a Frankenstein-like creature. They had hoped he would join as their strategist, thanks to his military experience. He was reluctant at first but eventually agreed to mount a rescue mission to save Manny from the assassins’ stronghold.
Once freed, Manny allowed the thirst for vengeance to take him over, lashing out at the leader of the assassins. The leader thought he had bested Manny when he shot him in the back of the head, however, his alien physiology places his brain in his neck. While distracted by Castle, Manny ripped him from his special monster hunting armor but showed him mercy to prove he wasn’t a monster.
Manny and Frank built trust in their fight against the assassins, so when Frank started exhibiting more aggressive behavior thanks to the bloodstone that was also morphing him back into his human form, Manny tried a peaceful approach. Unfortunately, it was ruined when Elsa Bloodstone came in guns blazing.
Legion of Monsters
With the monster assassins gone, Monster Metropolis thrived. Manny stuck with the Legion of Monsters as a de facto police force for their underground city.
They ran into their biggest case when Elsa Bloodstone showed up with a dead monster. She had been chasing him into a Monster Metropolis portal after he had killed a few people. An autopsy revealed his brain had been tampered with, making him more volatile. The recent jump in erratic behavior among their fellow citizens implied whatever it was was contagious.
It was revealed that the demonic virus dates back to an ancient vampire witch that had previously manipulated Morbius into using his medical training to get the virus back under control. Morbius proved to be a carrier causing this new outbreak. More and more of the monsters became infected, including Manny. He attacked Elsa, but she knocked him out with horse tranquilizers.
By releasing their one and only prisoner, The Dimensional Man, for feeding on citizens, he was able to feed on just the virus, curing the infected monsters.
Manny would be a loyal member of the Legion of Monsters, helping Red Hulk with his haunting and helping Morbius rescue the residents of Brownsville.
Avengers of the Supernatural
Manphibian is one of six supernatural beings that was kidnapped by Mojo and forced to be on his Avengers of the Supernatural. They were sent to confront the new Avengers Unity Squad and drag them into Mojo’s new teen horror programming. The Avengers were cast as the popular jocks, the mutants were cast as the emo-goth kids, and most of the supernaturals were cast as the geeks, while Ghost Rider stood out as the loner.
Unfortunately, with Johnny Blaze in Mojo’s trance and not able to temper the demon within him, he lashed out. This awoke all the heroes from their trances and forced them to team up to stop the full power of the demon.
Manphibian ended up being recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. for a new supernatural task force called S.T.A.K.E under Dum Dum Dugan. Manny was one of his more cooperative agents. During an investigation into a missing subway car, Manny found a girl, named Glyph, that could summon ancient Egyptian spirits. Because she can’t control her power, he is forced to bring her in for monitoring. Her powers seem related to the Sphinx, who was currently in New York City trying to raise an undead army. Dugan called the whole team to active duty to take him on when he was cornered in a museum.
Later, his teammate, Vampire by Night, went missing. They believed Dracula was responsible, so they headed for Transylvania. They crossed paths with Old Man Logan, who was looking for his missing friend, Jubilee, who was also once a vampire. They were able to free both of their friends when they called in backup from the kaiju, Orrgo.
After the fall of SHIELD, Deadpool raided their safe houses and black sites, developing quite an armory of fantastical weapons. One such weapon was a pair of telepathic sharks. Deadpool hired Manny to study and help train the sharks.
- Height: 7'2"
- Weight: 425.5 lbs
- Eye Color: Red
- Hair Color: None
- Place of Birth: Unnamed alien planet
- Occupation: Adventurer
- Distinguishing features: He has a very distinct alien physiology that resembles Earthling aquatic animals. He has a hide of tough green scales, gills, claws and fangs, and webbed digits on both his hands and feet. He has two medium sized fins on either side of his head and one large fin going down his spine. His brain also sits in his neck rather than his skull.
Superhuman: Manphibian is very strong, on the same level as The Thing. His claws are strong enough to break through stone.
Amphibious Physiology: His lungs are capable of alternating between breathing atmosphere and underwater. He can swim up to 62 mph with submerged jet capsules in his calves that can increase his speed.
Energy Synthesis: He has a special energy vein that keeps his body in peak vigor, as well as an energy vesicle that allows Manny to store energy to hibernate for up to 1,000 years.
Age of Apocalypse
When Wolverine's Uncanny X-Force travelled to the Age of Apocalypse, they faced off against the evil Black Legion, of which Manphibian was a member.