Ellen Brandt grew up in a loveless household with a father who was so emotionless and cold that the two never developed any sort of family bond. Such emotional detachment bred an instinctive distrust in Ellen - one that would govern her the rest of her life. When she was old enough, she enrolled in a University where she met her future professor, Ted Sallis. The two fell in love with one another and at age nineteen, she ran off and eloped with Ted. After their honeymoon, they visited the fortune teller Madame Swabada, who foretold of a great calamity that would soon affect both their lives. Sallis went on to become a scientist and was assigned to "Project Gladiator," a S.H.I.E.L.D. research program based in the Florida Everglades aimed at re-creating the lost "Super-Soldier Serum" that had originally created Captain America, the World War II legend.
Though Ellen and Ted were initially very much in love with one another, Ted soon became consumed by his work and grew into a cold and detached human being. As he spent more and more time devoted to research, Ellen's feelings towards him began to change. She began to see him as the same sort of emotionless man that her father was.
At some point, Ellen became an agent of A.I.M.. As Ted's work drew closer to success, Ellen revealed her true colors. One night in his cabin, she held Sallis at gunpoint, demanding him to surrender his research. Sallis tried to flee, but Ellen shot him several times in the back. Sallis fell into the swamp and desperation forced him to imbibe the formula he had been working on. The untested serum had a radical effect on Ted's physiology, turning him into the swampland monster known as the Man-Thing. The Man-Thing returned to the cabin and found Ellen Brandt. Brandt's fear of the creature prompted an emotional and chemical reaction in the Man-Thing's body and he viciously mutilated her face with his corrosive acid touch. Ellen survived the encounter however and went on to live the life of a recluse.
At this time, she discovered that she was pregnant with Sallis' child. Ellen's soul was as scarred as her face, and she could not bring herself to raise a child. She placed the infant up for adoption where it was later raised by the Burke family. Ellen's life continued in a downward spiral of abuse, violence, and sexual degradation. She was later admitted to the Rosewell Sanitarium in Charles, Massachusetts. It is unknown how long Ellen remained as a patient at Rosewell, but what is known, is that during this time she met a mysterious mute woman named Sorrow, who helped to give her hope and strength.
Years later, Ellen found herself once again in the town of Citrusville, Florida. She encountered the Man-Thing and believed that some aspect of Ted Sallis' humanity might still exist in the creature. When local sheriff's opened fire on the Man-Thing, Ellen stood in front of him, ready to sacrifice her own life to save the monster. She likely would have died in a hail of bullets if not for the timely intervention of sorcerer supreme Doctor Strange.
Strange explained to Ellen that the Nexus of All Realities, which Man-Thing was chosen to protect, had been shattered and that she had to help guide Man-Thing towards putting it back together less all of reality should unravel. Her journey brought her back to the Rosewell Sanitarium where she reunited with Sorrow and helped to exorcise the personal demons of former Devil Slayer Eric Simon Payne.
The entity Mr. Termineus then manipulated Ellen's son Job Burke into using his power to stick Ellen and Man-Thing in a fantasy world where Man-Thing switched back and forth between its usual self and Ted Sallis. After being freed from this experience Ellen was met with Howard the Duck who was almost sacrificed by a cult who wanted to destroy the shard of the Nexus within him.
Ellen was temporarily merged with a Nereid to allow her to travel to a lost section of Atlantis and then to its ancient past with Namor where they retrieved another fragment of the Nexus from an ancient Atlantean deity named Cleito. During this time Ellen was temporarily reunited with the real Ted when he Man-Thing was reverted.
This didn't last long though as Ellen and Ted were transported to an alien planet where Ted once again became Man-Thing and was possessed by the consciousness of Adam K'ad-Mon. On this alien planet Ellen met with the Silver Surfer and was forced to remove the last piece of the Nexus from the planet, killing all life upon it. Ellen and Man-Thing returned to Earth and confronted Termineus, allowing Ellen to meet her son for the first time.
Ellen had become one with Ted, the Nexus of All Realities, and Man-Thing. The combination was confronted by the Scrier and protected by Spider-Man. This version of the Man-Thing, including Ellen, then vanished and the next Man-Thing to be seen was a creation of the swamp and protector of the Nexus that did not include Ellen.
Powers and Abilities
Ellen wielded a staff possessed of the consciousness of Adam K'ad-Mon for a time which channeled various mystical powers through her. She was later merged with the Nexus of All Realities and Man-Thing where she had access to many mystical and plant based abilities through a shared consciousness/committee with Ted/Man-Thing.
- When Ellen was first introduced in the third story in Savage Tales #1, the organization that she worked for was never clearly established. Nor was it revealed that Sallis' lab was located in Citrusville, Florida (at the time of publication it was only known to be located in the Everglades). Astonishing Tales #12 revealed that Brandt was employed as an agent of Advanced Idea Mechanics.
- 20 appearance(s) of Ellen Brandt (Earth-616)
- 4 minor appearance(s) of Ellen Brandt (Earth-616)
- 3 mentions of Ellen Brandt (Earth-616)
- 9 image(s) of Ellen Brandt (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Ellen Brandt (Earth-616)