Tobias "Toby" Manning is the Terra-Man, a cowboy outlaw brought to the future. With advanced weaponry, he became an enemy of Superman.
Manning was born in the American West in 1878, the son of outlaw Jess Manning, who intended to raise Toby as a desperado like himself. When Toby was ten, and had just carried out his first solo hold up while his father recuperated from a bullet wound, an alien called the Collector arrived and attempted to steal the loot, a box of gold coins. Jess Manning fired on the creature, which retaliated by blasting him with a solar ray. Learning of the fatally wounded Manning's plans for his son via a telepathic link, the Collector decided to raise the boy himself in the way his father would have wanted. He wiped Toby's memory of his father's death, then took him into space, surgically altering him to be able to survive in almost any environment and teaching him to handle a variety of futuristic weapons, which Toby adapted into the forms of the 19th Century Earth weapons he was used to. The Collector also gave Toby an Arguvian winged horse named Nova, which became his steed. Toby, now calling himself Terra-Man after his planet of origin, traveled with the Collector for years, stealing for him as he had for his real father, but eventually his memories returned and he murdered the Collector to avenge his father. Terra-Man returned to Earth, only to discover that traveling at faster than light speeds had retarded his aging and that over a century had passed on the planet of his birth while he himself was still a comparatively young man. Still patterning himself on an Old West outlaw, he continued his criminal career on Earth, announcing his arrival by attacking Superman on his birthday. Terra-Man was defeated and jailed, but thanks to Nova, he was able to break himself out in a matter of days to seek a rematch with the Man of Steel. Terra-Man affected Superman with an artificial aging ray but was overcome when his air-filtering implant clogged up on an unusual form of air pollution.
Terra-Man had a number of run-ins with Superman from then onwards. When he learned that local kid Billy Anders had a psychic link with Superman through the medium of a pet lynx, which Superman was at the time dependent on to overcome an obstacle to accessing his full powers, Terra-Man abducted both the boy and cat and severed the psychic conduit between the two using a force-field. Terra-Man then attacked Superman and trapped him inside a hollow stone which served as a national park monument. Superman escaped and traced Billy to Terra-Man's starship, where he cannibalized the electronic equipment to put himself and Billy back to normal, before defeating Terra-Man in a rematch on a moving train. Terra-Man was shunted into an interdimensional portal and seemed to be lost forever. Terra-Man somehow escaped other-dimensional banishment and manipulated a cult of literal lunatics into stealing moon rocks with special properties from S.T.A.R. Labs. Terra-Man's goal was to liquify the moon rocks in a disintegration chamber to release energy that could be charged up in the alien metal of his pistol, in order so that he could kill Superman with it. However, Superman got to the bottom of Terra-Man's scheme and thwarted him again. Terra-Man next kidnapped Clark Kent and several of his Galaxy Communications co-workers -- Lois Lane, Steve Lombard, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Morgan Edge, and Lola Barnett -- bringing them to a facsimile of an 1870s Western town and even brainwashing them into acting out stereotyped roles in the town social dynamic. Terra-Man planned to force Superman's appearance by holding his friends hostage in this manner and killing them one by one each time Superman failed one of his selected challenges. As Terra-Man did not know that Clark was actually Superman, it fell to Clark to break his programming and simultaneously perform the roles of both rescuer and hostage without tipping Terra-Man off, in order to deceive the space-outlaw while protecting his friends from coming to harm.
When Mister Xavier was in the late stages of his plan to destroy the Earth, he used his powers to convene 9 of Superman's greatest adversaries and send them off in teams to various locations across the globe. Terra-Man was teamed with the second Toyman and the Prankster and sent to the Pyramid of Giza to occupy Superman, though he and his cohorts were all beaten handily by the son of Krypton. At some point after this, Terra-Man came to learn that the brother of his adoptive father, the Collector, was searching for him to exact a ruthless vengeance. Relishing in the opportunity to manipulate one enemy into killing another, Terra-Man decided to holographically project his resemblance around Superman. However, to make Superman less liable to be believed at the time of the coup de grace, Terra-Man started with an elaborate scheme involving the mass-hijacking of broadband wavelengths with his alien technology and the wiring of the Metropolis city foundations with a network of explosives. Terra-Man would take over the WGBS broadcast at 9 PM EST on several consecutive nights to televise a series of staged fights with Superman, whose compliance Terra-Man guaranteed by using the threat of detonating the explosives and destroying Metropolis. On one of these encounters, Terra-Man rendered Superman unconscious for several days with a volley of specially treated projectiles, claiming to the whole world that he had killed the Man of Tomorrow. Terra-Man then holographically disguised himself as a bowery bum, while Superman regained consciousness wearing the form of Terra-Man at the time that Terra-Man's alien persuer arrived in a UFO and trapped Metropolis under a force-dome. Fortunately, Superman managed to convince his Justice League comrades Flash and Green Lantern of his identity, and by combining their powers, they were capable of creating the illusion that actor/professional Superman impersonator Greg Reed was the real Superman, intimidating the alien into surrendering and tricking Terra-Man into dropping his illusory facade and getting captured. In an unrecorded later confrontation, Terra-Man was taken in by Superman and incarcerated in the Mount Olympus Correctional Facility. Presumably breaking out at a later date, Terra-Man joined forces with the Penguin to manipulate a mentally ill television actor with delusions of being Butch Cassidy into setting Superman and Batman up for a trap. When Lex Luthor brainwashed himself into falling in love and reforming to set up a plot to destroy Superman, Terra-Man came to Earth with two alien space-bandits in tow to pillage the Earth's cities and give Luthor a piece of his mind. Disgusted at Luthor for ruining the "integrity" of their shared criminal profession, Terra-Man and his cohorts engaged Superman and Luthor in a stand-off by the Fortress of Solitude, but he was undone by the cooperation of the two unlikely allies.
During yet another faceoff with Superman in Metropolis, Terra-Man was driven on the run and activated a teleportational device to escape, but this device had the unintended effect of transporting Terra-Man to the parallel universe of Earth-377, where magic ruled nature in place of scientific law. Terra-Man quickly ran afoul of his own Earth-377 counterpart, and after explaining the nature of his situation, convinced his doppelgänger to teach him how to manipulate magic for his own ends. Terra-Man then returned to Earth-One reality and drew Superman into another confrontation by shunting the Man of Tomorrow to Earth-377 against his will. Although easy pickings for the two Terra-Men at first, Superman rapidly learned how to bend the magical rules of Earth-377 to his own benefit and handed both Terra-Men over to the authorities within their respective realities.
Terra-Man also fought on one occasion with the Blue Devil.
Powers and Abilities
- Altered Physiology: Toby's physiology has been altered past that of a normal human being. This doesn't afford him superhuman abilities but further enhances his original body's functions. His body was also enhanced by chemicals and alien hardware.
Terra-Man uses various alien gadgets with western motifs, as energy leaching tumbleweed, energy lasso and a chewing tobaco which can age Superman.
- Nova: Arguvian Space Steed.
- Six Shooters: Six Shooters modified to fire tracer bullets and other specialized applications; some of these bullets were made of Kryptonite on at least one occasion.
- This version of Terra-Man, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
- 21 Appearances of Tobias Manning (Earth-One)
- 4 Images featuring Tobias Manning (Earth-One)
- 6 Quotations by or about Tobias Manning (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Tobias Manning (Earth-One)
|Superman Villain(s) |
This character is or was primarily an enemy of Superman in any of his various incarnations, or members of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Villains category."