Submission #3337 - Swamp Thing (Character Overview) page

Did a massive grammar and punctuation update on the Rotworld section under Major Story arcs -> Earth Prime.. Despite that id recommend the whole section was deleted instead, since its nearly unreadable.

03/29/2013 6:49:02 am
Moderator comment

Great submission, keep up the good work. Probably best to keep the section in.

03/29/2013 8:27:54 am
Edits proposed
Allow Live Change
Character - Swamp Thing EDIT  

Current Events

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.


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".


Swamp Thing - Creation

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.

Character Evolution

DC Comics/Vertigo

Swamp Thing (DC/Vertigo)

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.

Major Story Arcs DC/Vertigo

Swamp Thing Has A Daughter

Daughter of Swamp Thing

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'.

Brightest Day

Holland Returns

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.

Earth Prime

Alec Learns History of The Green

Swamp Thing vs. Alec

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

Swamp Thing

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

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 finely meet finally met Animal Man and , they helped each other to fight off the ROT and it was also said that he was gone for one a year and that Animal Man and Swamp Thing where were seperated from Antone Arcane powers. Poisin Poison Ivy and Dead Man where finding there their way back and while Swamp Thing was looking for Buddy Baker, Animal Man and he never found the RED The Red it was in San Diego. Swamp Thing saw the trees and he talk talked to them and told them that he will help them fight Anton Arcane and his army of ROT. Swamp Thing and , Poison Ivy and Deadman fought off the ROT in one battle and got helped help from little Swampthings warroirs and Swamp Thing's little warriors, they lost the battle and went to the green and , they had to leave because the ROT knows wheres where they are. In Meanwhile in the sky on the a plane Abgal Abigail Arcane was going on vaction to get away from the ROT and but the pasangers passengers where all infected by the ROT and Abgail fought back and the Plane crashed and killed Abgail and the ROT pasangers. The 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 storyline storylines in the Swamp Thing series in to the ROT battle. In the Swamp Thing Annual . It talked about the past events before ROT World happened it was Rotworld was explained, they were about Alec Holland traveling travelling to Europe to meet Anton Arcane who was turned out to be a demon that killed people and used there their skin to cover up who he really is. Alec Holland did pant some research and meet met Abby Arcane, they talked about the plants and the small town that she takes care of for her uncle Anton Arcane. After there their date Alec Holland went back to the castle to do his research on the plants and ratation of the plants that their radiation, about what was killing them and there their minds losing no memory. 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 reveled revealed the real him. Alec Holland put some plant seeds in the river and tha the water thats what wich saved him and , then the green told him to go to the airport and fly back to America and , 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 and , Poison Ivy did not didnt go since she though it the mission was a to dangerous mission to go. Swamp Thing and Deadman went left and Swamp Thing made a plant raft and , they where headed to Gotham City to find that the power weapon to end the war on the ROT and kill Anton Arcane and save Abby Arcane.The weapon that need was in Gotham City it needed was made by Batman, and it was could be found in the Batcave in Gotham City. On there their boat ride in the Gotham River a huge octopuses 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 battles battled William Arcane in in the Gotham City river and and killed Starro and some of the fish after a the fight with William Arcane with the help of Deadman. Swamp Thing made it to the Batcave to find 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 begin begun working on a plan to destroyed the ROT once and for all. Abby was trapped in Anton Arcane's castle so , there she used her abilities to tear him apart but this only slows 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 , on the video Batman was talking about a formla formula to stop the ROT army. Batman face was infected and he left everthing everything to Swamp Thing to take over, the virus was spreding fast on his body. Swamp Thing went with Barbra Gordon and they where in Arklem Asyum Barbara Gordon to Arkham Asylum and Swamp Thing got his plant forlma formula ready to attack the ROT Army and bring everthing everything back to normal soon and for those who where not afraid to fight in battlewith battle with Swamp Thing. The team got ready and and there whore Robins where Robin's mask and Batman shrit shirt in memory of them that where killed by the ROT. They had guns with the formla 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 redy ready as the Green and the Red and , fought off Anton Arcane. Animal Man help helped Swamp Thing to get the Batbot in the sky to kill off Anton Arcane Army of the ROT after everyone got togather together and won the war on the ROT. Anton Arcane ecaped managed to ecape and ran to his castle and told them , 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 trobble trouble and Swamp Thing wanted to get him and , Animal Man told him no not yet. Swamp Thing went to get him and he disppered disappeared in the porthole to continune continue his nightmare and he will never stop untill it is done once and for all. Animal Man and Swamp Thing saw a sprit spirit of the ROT and they where helping them. Swamp Thing and Animal Man said why are you helping us for? 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 too to far on this ROT. Animal Man and Swamp Thing went in to through the porthole and team teamed up to fight Anton Arcane and save there their family from his evil going on. Swamp Thing and Animal Man where going in to the porthole to go back home to there familys 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 happing happening again. The Rot voices said to them they only have one change chance to stop Anton Arcane evil from happening.

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.

Swamp Thing - now with wings!

Flight: Post-Flashpoint, after Alec decides to become Swamp Thing again, he gains the ability to grow fully functioning wings made of leaves.

Other Media

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.


The Return of Swamp Thing

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.

Swamp Thing (1991-1993)

Animated Swamp Thing

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.

Justice League

Swamp Thing Cameo Appearance

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".