And then, while I was rummaging through Airboy covers (based on the strength of his bulldozing a mammoth, I finally solved it*: Neither of them were first!!! In December 1942, Hillman Periodicals introduced the Heap! Now tell me he doesn't look familiar!
I mean, come on. That little root for a nose makes him a direct precursor to the Man-Thing, and I think that Eclipse Comics wasn't in the wrong in pointing it out in their revamped Airboy series as much as they possibly could. You'd swear this was the worst comics crossover of all time:
In your face, Marvel!I guess you could say Swamp Thing is the more original character because he is more generic. Oh, the irony! So you can keep fighting boys...The Buyer's Guide #439 (April 16, 1982) - art by Nestor Redondo
We all know who's really at the top of the Heap.*I am not the first to solve the mystery**, as any small amount of Googling will prove, but I'm definitely the first person to point it out to myself... umm... yeah.**In fact, Todd MacFarlane currently holds the license for the Heap, but he totally chickened out on making the Heap anything like Man-Thing.