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Quote1.png You wanted to burn the world like it burned you. But your fires are embers. Your army is melting. And you, failed, ignored, irrelevant... ... You're afraid. And whatever knows fear... ... Burns at the Man-Thing's touch. Quote2.png
-- Ted Sallis


Appearing in "Devils and Dark Rooms"

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Synopsis for "Devils and Dark Rooms"

Chapter Seven: Devils and Dark Rooms

Harrower looks into a portal where her great aunt Augusta and Lily went and finds out that they had fell through the Nexus of All Realities. She attempts to go through the portal but quickly finds out that she is being blocked. Angered, Harriet swears that she will find a way through, deal with the Hordeculture, and then spreading her human genocide across the Multiverse.

Meanwhile, the growth in New York City has stopped spawning drones due to Man-Thing having absorbed them, but its toxic pollen remains. Elsewhere the growths in the other cities continues to remain a threat except in Krakoa—the growth there had been rendered inert by the sentient island. The Quiet Council convene on whether they should help the human nations or not—members like Mister Sinister are in favor of allowing the cleansing to continue and leaving the world bare for mutants. Ororo rebuke Sinister, calling him a fool for not considering how Earth's ecosystem is fragile and comparing his rationale to exterminating bees and allowing flowers to go extinct.

Man-Thing's summoning had brought Magik to him. Magik enters Man-Thing's mind and meets Ted. She explains to Ted that she is intimately aware of how he was able to make a "shortcut" on SO-2 is because he had made an unholy deal with the demon Belasco, the former ruler of Limbo and Magik's predecessor. Ted had went to his old lab and summoned Belasco, who promised a solution for Ted's work but at a great cost. The scientist was confident that he could outwit Belasco and took the deal. A magic spell was used to perfect SO-2 in which Ted kept this secret. Unfortunately Ted did not foreseen that his wife selling him out to AIM, causing him to injected the serum in himself to hide the evidence of his ruse and mixed inter-dimensional magic with his blood. His desperate escape from AIM and resulting car crash unleashed Man-Thing's birth and as well creating the Nexus of All Realities in the same moment.

Ted admittingly knows that Man-Thing purposely locked him away for his deal with Belasco. He had long accepted his punishment for cursing himself, spending years to watch and guard the Nexus of All Realities through the Man-Thing's eyes. But then to Ted's surprise, Magik offers him a way to end his curse. She can void the deal and let him pass on to the afterlife. However, if she do the Man-Thing would be truly mindless and allowing his fires to run wild across the world.

Chapter Eight: Adapt or Die

Ted is left in a frustrated conundrum from Magik's words: wanting to be free from his curse at the cost of abandoning Earth to Man-Thing's mindless rage. He previously wanted to kill Belasco, but instead Magik is offering his freedom. After a moment of thinking, Ted finally cannot accept being free in exchange for the price of the world. Magik is left satisfied with Ted's answers and she then summons the Dark Riders to help Man-Thing in taking his powers and home back from Harrower.

Man-Thing and the Dark Riders confronts Harriet, who is in the middle of futilely trying to break through the Nexus of All Realities. A battle ensues as Man-Thing fights Harrower while the Dark Riders deal with the drones. Harriet overconfidently tries to repeat her attempt to slay the Man-Thing, but only to wind up entering into his mindscape where she is confronted by not only Ted but a manifestation of her deceased father much to her shock.

Chapter Nine: New Growth

Storm helps Thor in disposing the growths' toxic pollen, channeling all of it into a portal to the sun formed by Thor.

Ted explains to Harriet that they are in the Man-Thing's Dreadscape, a whole world inside the Man-Thing where anyone's worst fears lurk. And it is also where Ted has in full control and he knows what Harriet fears the most. Thirty years ago Harriet was a very antisocial and angry girl who was expelled from seven schools for her outburst and told her father of wanted to be away from people. Her father wanted his daughter to be happy and they moved to the woods. Unfortunately a wildfire burned down their house and killed the senior Bromes. Harriet blamed her father's death on everyone else but not herself. The Hordeculture took her in and nurtured her grudge, and she took it too far. Ted/Man-Thing punishes Harriet by reliving the fire as she dragged by her undead father into their burning house.

In the real world, Harriet burst out of the Man-Thing and is on fire, consumed by her worst fear. She panics and begs the Dark Riders to save her and put out the fires before she suddenly falls into the Nexus. With Harrower gone and Man-Thing regained control of his powers, the growths are recessing. As for Harriet, she wakes up in another reality and standing over her are Augusta and Lily. The ladies were fortunate enough to navigate the Multiverse thanks to Lily's expertise and they have already found a way back home. But once they do Augusta is going to have "a long hard talk" with her grand-niece.

Seven days later in Citrusville, a very angry Belasco is summoned unannounced by the sorceress Jennifer Kale. Before Belasco could deliver his wrath on Kale, his legs are then bind in vines. Kale tells Belasco that she is owing a favor for Man-Thing before the demon lord is dragged into the Dreadscape and at the mercy of Ted Sallis and the Man-Thing, who are finally to give the devil his due.

Solicit Synopsis

MAN-THING’S CURSE HAS BEEN REVEALED...BUT IT’S UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT!

Years ago, DOCTOR TED SALLIS was ready to give up anything to crack the SO-2 serum and deliver success to his growing family. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world...he did. Today, as cities spanning from the U.S. to Krakoa are besieged by fear-driven blazes, the MAN-THING must reckon with his past deeds if he hopes to emerge renewed and rescue a world on fire. But fighting from his lowest means that Man-Thing can rise to his highest, especially with the unexpected help of the X-MEN’S resident sorceress MAGIK and her debuting team of monstrous mutants known as THE DARK RIDERS!

Part 3 of 3!

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