DC Comics announced that they would be relaunching their entire line of comics during the month of September 2011. This would be done through the release of 52 brand new #1 titles. Swamp Thing was chosen to be one of the new titles. The first issue came out September 7, 2011 and is written by Scott Snyder with art by Yanick Paquette.
Swamp Thing first appeared in 1971 in House of Secrets #92. In the early 1900's, scientist Alex Olson is working on a bio-restorative formula when his lab is destroyed by explosives placed by his friend and co-worker, Damian Ridge, who is interested in Olson's wife, Linda. Olsen is caught in the explosion and set aflame. He runs into the water of the swamps where he is transformed into the Swamp Thing by the forces of the swamp and the bio-restorative formula. Believing Alex dead, Linda marries Damian. When Linda begins to suspect that Damian is responsible for Alex's death, he plots to kill her. While he is in the act, Swamp Thing arrives and stops him, but is unable to vocalize to Linda that he is Alex, and sadly returns to the swamp.
Swamp Thing's origin was slightly altered when he got his own title in 1972. In the 1970's, Scientist Alec Holland (working on a secret restorative formula in the Louisiana swamps that can "make forests out of deserts") is killed by a bomb planted by agents of the mysterious Nathan Ellery, who wants the formula. Splashed with burning chemicals in the massive fire, Holland runs from the lab and falls into the waters of a muck-filled swamp. Some time later, a creature resembling a humanoid plant appears. This creature, called Swamp Thing, was originally conceived as Alec Holland mutated into a vegetable-like being, a "muck-encrusted mockery of a man".
The Swamp Thing character was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson in the House of Secrets horror anthology for DC Comics back in the 70's. Therefore, "Swamp Thing" first appeared in House of Secrets #92 (July 1971) but that character is not the same as the one who became an established character in comics. The original Swamp Thing was Alex Olsen, but when Swamp Thing was deemed a hit the character was updated by his creators and became Alec Holland who first appeared in Swamp Thing #1 (November 1972).
Starring in his first ongoing series, which lasted for four years and twenty-four issues, a lot of Swamp Thing's cast of characters were introduced including mainstays like Abigail Arcane, Anton Arcane and Matthew Cable. However, it was until the second series (originally entitled "The Saga of the Swamp Thing") that Swamp Thing found the writer that would shape him in a run that is still one of the most acclaimed in comic history. With Swamp Thing #20, Alan Moore came onto the series and broke Swamp Thing down entirely and began to build him back from the ground up and make him a much more formidable being...transforming him from an almost-mute wandering lost soul to a plant elemental with the power to regenerate and travel the cosmos.
Alan Moore stayed on the book until #64, and was followed by several other writers such as Rick Veitch, Doug Wheeler, Nancy A. Collins (during whose run the title became part of the Vertigo imprint with #129) and Mark Millar but none gained the success of Moore and the title ended at #171 in 1996. It wasn't until 2004 that Alec Holland returned as the star of his own series (the third Swamp Thing volume, written by Brian K. Vaughan, featured his daughter instead) which was kicked off by a six-issue arc from Andy Diggle until Joshua Dysart would become the main writer up until the book's cancellation at #29. It was rumored in 2010 that China Mieville had proposed a fifth Swamp Thing volume but was denied because DC was no longer printing new comics featuring their properties through Vertigo. Alec returned to the DCU in Brightest Day #23.
Holland is eventually hunted down by the villainous Sunderland Corporation, who seek to find the secrets to his research, and kill him in a hail of bullets. During the autopsy it is discovered that Swamp Thing's body was only superficially human; its organs little more than crude, nonfunctional, vegetable-based imitations of their human counterparts, meaning that there was no way Swamp Thing could have been human. This meant the Swamp Thing was not Alec Holland, but only thought that it was: Holland had indeed died in the fire, and the swamp vegetation had absorbed his mind, knowledge, memories, and skills and created a new sentient being that believed itself to be Alec Holland. Alec Holland would never be cured because there was nothing to cure.
It is later revealed that there have been dozens, perhaps even hundreds of Swamp Things throughout the time of man and that all versions of Swamp Thing were created for the purpose of being the "defenders" of the Parliament of Trees, an elemental community also known as " The Green" that represents all plant life on Earth which includes the original Swamp Thing, Alex Olsen.
Six weeks after the events of Brightest Day, Alec Holland has been living as a normal construction worker. He's abandoned his plant growing formula, and his superhero duties. Superman came to visit and inform Alec of the strange animal death occurrences around the world, and ask him if he knows anything about it. He tells Superman no, and informs him that he has awakened with strange, new memories of being the Swamp Thing, he also tells of how he doesn't want to return to being the creature anytime soon. Alec Holland became Swamp Thing and helped Animal Man in the battle with Anton Arcane with his army called the ROT and won the war and Alec Holland and Abrigal Arcane and Alec Holland where killed by Anton Arcane. Swamp Thing had the memories of Alec Holland and protect the trees and master of the Green and plants and help fix the World that needs it help where needed. Swamp Thing is protector of the Green and his friend Buddy Baker-Animal Man is protector of the RED and they remain good friends after the events the happened in Rot World and also in the aftermath of the tragedy's.
Major Story Arcs DC/Vertigo
Swamp Thing Has A Daughter
The Swamp Thing has a romantic relationship with Abigail Arcane, the niece of his nemesis Anton Arcane. He took possession of his friend John Constantine's body to have a child with Abigail, their child Tefe'.
DC Comics announced in 2010 that Swamp Thing would be returning to the regular DC universe rather than continue under the Vertigo imprint which was solidified when the character appeared in Brightest Day. Alec Holland was revealed to be the Champion of the Life that was meant to stop the Dark Avatar. The husk of The Swamp Thing, (which looks very Alan Mooreish) no longer has a guide and believes itself to Nekron, the Lord of the Unliving.
Martian Manhunter becomes an earth elemental, Firestorm becomes a fire elemental, Aquaman becomes a water elemental, and The Hawks are air elementals to give guidance to the dark avatar. The White Lantern tree is to become the foundation for the new Parlaiment of Trees. Eventually the four elements restored Alec Holland as the true Swamp Thing and in doing so cleansed the Green from Nekron's influence. Leaving Swamp Thing to carry on his new mission to protect the planet.
Alec Learns History of The Green
Following a violent dream, Alec is confronted Calbraith A.H. Rodgers, the Swamp Thing active in 1942. Rodgers explains that he gave up his spot in the Parliament of Trees to convince Alec Holland to again become one with the Swamp Thing. Rodgers explains that Alec's connection to the Green is unique and extraordinarily powerful. Before dying, Rodgers explains that Alec's connection to the Green will be needed to defeat a rising threat, known as Sethe. Sethe, the polar opposite of the Swamp Thing, is the avatar of the Rot. Rodgers also warns Alec to beware of the white-haired woman of his Swamp Thing memories. Shortly thereafter, fleeing the forces of the Rot, Alec is confronted by that very woman, Abigail Arcane, who promptly levels the barrel of a gun in his face. she scares Alec to the point where he subconciously used his plant powers. He then teams up with her to find her brother William Arcane who has escaped from the hospital to bond with Sethe.Alec and Abby eventually stop at a small store and are confronted by William who is surrounded by zombified animals. Alec is able to harness the green to fight them of and uses a tree to capture william. Alec and Abby then share a kiss until william laughs and shouts that they are all doomed. Abby is then consumed by the rot and later pleads with the Green to turn him into the Swamp Thing while the zombies are madly searching for him. The parliament of trees reluctantly gives him the power and he flies of to defeat Sethe and save Abby.
Swamp Thing flies to Sethe's lair and fights the zombie minions but, soon finds out that Abby has become the queen of the Rot and is impaled by her claws. Alec speaks to the human side of her and she resists Sethe's control. Swamp thing is immediately attacked and is powerless against Sethe due to the wounds inflicted by Abby. Abby uses her connection to the Rot to defeat Sethe and save Swamp Thing.
Abby drives Swamp Thing to her old home to rest. But, Swamp thing is nearly beaten to death by Anton Arcane while he's resting. Anton captures Abby but, the Parliament of trees reveales that Anton didnt kill the human body underneath the mantle and manages to resurrect Alec. Alec defeats Arcane and his undead henchmen and watches as Anton goes into a portal to the Rot. Animal Man and Swamp Thing meet and they bouth go and fight off Anton Arcane and his ROT Army in the porttal at the swamp. Swamp Thing and Animal Man are now RED and Green togather as a team to fight off Anton Arcane Army.
The History of Anton Arcane
In Swamp Thing Issue #0 the story takes place In 1897 Mantobia, Canada. A girl who neeed help from the cold of winter storm and the native as Swamp Thing brought her in to his house and took care of her and feed her a plum for her strengh and all of a sudden the girl skin started to peel off and it was Anton Arcane. Swamp Thing was fighting off the Antone Arcane and was killed by Arcane in a battle. Years and Years later a science name Alec Holland and fellow science friends wher living at a house and where plant biochemest. One night Alec Holland coworker lady friend was in bed and she saw he friends attacking her and she defended herself with a knife and there friends voice change it was not them at all. She was caught and killed and Anton Arcane used her skin to be her at get Alec Holland atttenition and she opened the plant chemistry and took a flame torch on the table droped it and burned the place down and Alec Holland was in the swamp water and screaming on fire and drowned in the swamp water lake and became the Swamp Thing. At the end of the story we see Anton Arcane carrying two dead bodies of the RED and Green that are the African Congo Animal Man the Red and Swamp Thing from Mantobia, Canada.
Swamp Thing has finally met Animal Man, they helped each other to fight off the ROT and it was also said that he was gone for a year and that Animal Man and Swamp Thing were seperated from Antone Arcane powers.
Poison Ivy and Dead Man where finding their way back while Swamp Thing was looking for Buddy Baker, Animal Man and he never found The Red it was in San Diego. Swamp Thing saw the trees and he talked to them and told them that he will help them fight Anton Arcane and his army of ROT.
Swamp Thing, Poison Ivy and Deadman fought off the ROT in one battle and got help from Swamp Thing's little warriors, they lost the battle and went to the green, they had to leave because the ROT knows where they are. Meanwhile in the sky on a plane Abigail Arcane was going on vaction to get away from the ROT but the passengers where all infected by the ROT so Abigail had to fight causing the plane to crash and kill Abigail and the ROT passengers, the trees will tell Swamp Thing the news later on.
In the two storylines in the Swamp Thing series in to the ROT battle. In the Swamp Thing Annual past events before Rotworld was explained, they were about Alec Holland travelling to Europe to meet Anton Arcane who turned out to be a demon that killed people and used their skin to cover up who he really is. Alec Holland did some research and met Abby Arcane, they talked about the plants and the small town that she takes care of for her uncle Anton Arcane.
After their date Alec Holland went back to the castle to do his research on the plants and their radiation, about what was killing them and their minds. Anton Arcane came to see Alec Holland and wanted to kill him because he was part of the Green of the plants and Anton Arcane was part of the ROT. The Green attacked Anton Arcane and riped his skin open and revealed the real him.
Alec Holland put some plant seeds in the river and the water wich saved him, then the green told him to go to the airport and fly back to America, he then met with Dr Woodrue who took him to the airport to the states. Swamp Thing told the trees that Abby was still alive and that he was on his way to find her with the help of Deadman, Poison Ivy didnt go since she though the mission was to dangerous.
Swamp Thing and Deadman left and Swamp Thing made a plant raft, they where headed to Gotham City to find the power weapon to end the war on the ROT and kill Anton Arcane and save Abby Arcane.
The weapon that was needed was made by Batman, and could be found in the Batcave in Gotham City. On their boat ride in the Gotham River a huge octopus came up to the surface. Swamp Thing found out that it was William Arcane [Antone Arcane's Nephew] who ruled the rivers and oceans holding Aquaman's Trident.
Swamp Thing battled William Arcane in in the Gotham City river and killed Starro and some of the fish after the fight with William Arcane with the help of Deadman. Swamp Thing made it to the Batcave and found Batman and he found out that Batman was a monster, part of the ROT. All of a sudden Batman was shot by Barbara Gordon who sent the call for help. Swamp Thing and Barbara Gordon begun working on a plan to destroyed the ROT once and for all.
Abby was trapped in Anton Arcane's castle, there she used her abilities to tear him apart but this only slowed him down since he is the avatar of the ROT and he cannot be killed. Swamp Thing saw Superman as the ROT and was in shock. In the Batcave Swamp Thing saw a video that Batman made before he died and it was only for Alec Holland to see, on the video Batman was talking about a formula to stop the ROT army. Batman face was infected and he left everything to Swamp Thing to take over, the virus was spreding fast on his body. Swamp Thing went with Barbara Gordon to Arkham Asylum and Swamp Thing got his plant formula ready to attack the ROT Army and bring everything back to normal soon and for those who where not afraid to fight in battle with Swamp Thing. The team got ready and and there where Robin's mask and Batman shirt in memory of them that where killed by the ROT. They had guns with the formula and where ready with Swamp Thing to attack the ROT in this last battle. Swamp Thing and Animal Man saw each other in the batte of Anton Arcane and got ready as the Green and the Red, fought off Anton Arcane. Animal Man helped Swamp Thing to get the Batbot in the sky to kill off Anton Arcane Army of the ROT after everyone got together and won the war on the ROT.
Anton Arcane managed to ecape and ran to his castle, telling his allies that the war is not over yet and that Animal man's daughter was in the ROT and that Swamp Thing's girlfriend was in trouble and Swamp Thing wanted to get him, Animal Man told him no not yet. Swamp Thing went to get him and he disappeared in the porthole to continue his nightmare and he will never stop untill it is done once and for all. Animal Man and Swamp Thing saw a spirit of the ROT and they where helping them. Swamp Thing and Animal Man said why are you helping us? The sprit and voices told them that they should not have trust Anton Arcane and where not expecting this to happen and that Anton Arcane went to far on this ROT.
Animal Man and Swamp Thing went through the porthole and teamed up to fight Anton Arcane and save their family from his evil. Swamp Thing and Animal Man where going in to the porthole to go back home to there families and Animal Man made it back home to San Diego and Swamp Thing made it back to Louisiana to see his girlfriend and stop Anton Arcane from taking over the world. Swamp Thing and Animal Man only have one change to stop him and save the World from Anton Arcane nightmare of hell from happening again. The Rot voices said to them they only have one chance to stop Anton Arcane evil from happening. Swamp Thing and Animal Man went back and stopped Anton Arcane and his evil ROT Army and Swamp Thing had to kill his girlfriend Abrigail off as a part of the problem. Swamp thing killed Anton Arcane and a ROT solider took his body and Anton Arcane got a new body and stronger and he stapped Alec Holland and killed him and Abrigail came and stabbed her Uncle Anton Arcane and save Alec Holland and the ROT souls took Anton Arcane and told Swamp Thing that they will take it form here. Swamp Thing and Abvrigail came back to the forest swamp back home and she carried the bodies of Alec Holland and Abrgil and they where happy together and Swamp Thing buried tem and the earth and soil took over and composted there bodies to dust. Swamp Thing kissed Abrigal good bye and the trees said that she is a bit evil and he to let go of her and he kissed her good bye and she vanished to dust and the trees said you will protect us and do everything right and Swamp Thing will do his best to help the Green. Swamp Thing will be fighting Batman's enemy called the Scarecrow with the aid of Superman in the fight to help Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing was seen in the Middle East dessert fighting off a army that was fighting off each other. Swamp Thing stopped it from happing and the two army's attacked him and tried to kill him and to dust. swamp thing killed the two army's off with his plant power from his arms and he left and in the dessert he went back in to the ground and vanished in thin air. Swamp Thing made it to Metropolis and found the plant place there in the garden area of Metropolis park and saw the Scarecrow there and he attacked Swamp Thing with his gas and they did not work at all and Swamp Thing said to him I am a plant it will not affect me at all. Scarecrow use a strong gas and knock out Swamp Thing and for a few mins and he came back up on his feet and captured the Scarecrow and his gas and his plants grew all over the city of Metropolis and Superman is in the air is seeing the green stuff in his city and is saying one word and it is Alec Holland. Swamp Thing fought off the Scarecrow with the help of Superman and they team up to stop this plants that have taken over Superman city of Metropolis. Swamp Thing talked to Superman and Superman said to Dr. Holland do not do this again to my city and if you need my help you know where to find me and contact me. Superman flew away to take care of other stuff and Swamp Thing saw his girlfriend Abgil and she need his help on something important that need to be done. Swamp Thing went with the girl and Swamp Thing saw a village and town and there where people living there and fighting over somthing like it was like witchcraft trails in the 1600's hundreds in France. Swamp Thing saw a verisin of him and and he was part of the green. The Swamp Thing of France in the 1600's told the American Swamp Thing this happened before your happend in the states. Swamp Thing worke up and saw the whole things happened and he told the girl poit that he has to save the green and it calling for him. Swamp Thing fix all the problem that he could and all of a sudden he was moved to Scotland the highlands to stop all of the green and clam it all down. The trees and plants are calling to him in pain and Swamp Thing has to fix it and heal it up.
In September of 2013 we will see in Swamp Thing issue 23 a series called a Villians Mouth. It will bring back the return of Anton Arcane. Swamp Thing enemy which he fought in the Rot War with Animal Man his best friend. Swamp Thing will have to battle Anton Arcane without his friend Animal Man. Swamp Thing will have to take this personal without Animal Man help in this second battle. The issue will change to Arcane 1 insteed of Swamp Thing for a shot time and it will be back to Swamp Thing as it was.
In Justice League Dark issue 19 we see Swamp Thing in the House of Mystery helping his British friend John Constantine at his House of Mystery to fight off Dr. Occult a member of the JLD who was a trader to the team and joined the evil side. Swamp Thing saw his friend John Constantine and he was mad he did not know who the team was. Swamp Thing plants have taken over some parts of the city and towns and the JLD heave to fight off the Dr. Occult and his powers. Swamp Thing will be a member of the Justice League Dark to help and defeat the evil Dr. Occult. The Justice League Dark will be also with another member of the team his is the Flash from the Justice League. Swamp Thing and Flash and Justice League Dark will have to fight there way in to the House of Mystery to get it back from Dr. Occult.The Justice League Dark offered Swamp Thing help but somthing bad happened when they where finding there House of Mystery. The Justice League Dark where fighting there dreams and Swamp Thing offered to find the house and it was taken over by the dream monster doctoer and called DR. Destiny who traps people in thre dreams in his own world. Swamp Thing was trapped in the House of Mystery and he told Dr. Destny that the Justice League Dark will come ater him and stopp all this madness from happing.The dreams has just started in the House of Mystery.
Powers & Abilities
Elemental Control: The Swamp Thing has complete mastery over all forms of plant life and can command vegetative matter to do his bidding. Through this power, he is in constant communication with the very essence of the Earth, and serves as the Plant Elemental for the entire planet.
In the past Alec Holland has gained access to other elemental powers. At one point gaining control over earth, water, air, and fire in addition to that of plantlife. However, often almost immediately gaining control over all of them, giving up all but his connection to the Green.
Superhuman Strength: The Swamp Thing's strength level is directly tied to his connection to the Earth. Occupying his most commonly used body, the Swamp Thing is capable of lifting volumes of mass many times greater than his own body weight. With additional power supplied to him by The Green, his ultimate strength level is nearly incalculable.
Immortality: Theoretically so long as there is some vestige of plant life on the planet Earth, Alec Holland will always have a vehicle through which to house his consciousness, thus rendering him effectively immortal.
Resurrection: The Swamp Thing houses his conscious mind inside of a faux body made up of compacted flora and vegetative material. At will, he can abandon this host form and take up residence inside of another shell. Even if the body he is currently occupying is destroyed, Alec's mind lives on and will reconstitute itself in a newly grown swamp-form. The Swamp Thing operated for several years before he even became aware of this ability. Eventually, it was the occultist John Constantine who revealed Alec's Elemental nature to him, and instructed in the ways of reconstituting a new body.
Chlorokinesis: The ability to commune with plantlife and to varying degrees control its growth and form. Summon forth vines to entangle or snare, and so on. A master of this ability can manipulate the microscopic algae inside of a person's body and use it to attack them from the inside out.
Self-Sustenance:The ability to nourish oneself, typically via an external energy source. In Swamp Thing's case, likely through a form of photosynthesis.
Flight: Post-Flashpoint, after Alec decides to become Swamp Thing again, he gains the ability to grow fully functioning wings made of leaves.
Over the years, Swamp-Thing has been utilized in the media many times. Although none of these were landmark successes, they do have a fan following; however, none of these media appearances used the stories setup by Alan Moore. Instead, they opted for the traditional origin.
There were two live-action films based on Swamp-Thing. The first of which was directed by horror legend Wes Craven and followed the original origin fairly exact. The movie did moderately and earned a sequel that failed. Dick Durock portrayed Swamp-Thing in both films.
Swamp Thing (1982)
The Return of the Swamp Thing (1989)
A short-lived live-action series was later created to extend the mythos setup by the films. Dick Durock renewed his role of Swamp-Thing. It lasted form 1990-1993. Swamp Thing fights off Anton Arcane and his evil plans to take back what was his and Swamp Thing and his friend has to stop him and his plans from happing.
There was also a Swamp-Thing cartoon series that only lasted five episodes. It was based on the Kenner toyline and sort of followed the continuity setup by the films. The series followed Swamp-Thing and his allies facing off against Dr. Arcane and his Un-Men. It starred Len Carlson as the voice of Swamp-Thing.
Although Swamp-Thing never directly appeared in any DC Animated Universe cartoon, an alien bearing a striking resemblance to him had a blink-and-you-missed-it appearance in the background of the Justice League episode " Comfort and Joy".
In the Batman Animated Movie. We see former Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon at a convince store buying a drink or coffee and on the newspaper stands we see a comic book on Swamp Thing and Green Lantern and V For Vendetta at the front of the store stand.
In 2002 when the game Heroclixs came they made a lot of DC Comics heros and villians. In the 2003 pack called Cosmic Justice .Swamp Thing was made in the set. In 2012 the upgrade pack called Superman:Flashpoint Swamp Thing is been remade with his power card and his comic books apperence.