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Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing Alec Holland-6.jpg
General Information
Real name: Alec Holland
First Appearance: Swamp Thing #1 (November, 1972)
Created by: Len Wein
Bernie Wrightson
Affiliations: White Lantern Corps
Former Black Lantern Corps
Abilities: Chemist
Portrayed by: Ray Wise
Dick Durock
Len Carlson
Chilimbwe Washington (Voice)



In a secret facility located in the Louisiana swamplands, scientist Alec Holland and his wife Linda invented a bio-restorative formula that would solve any nations' food shortage problems. Ferrett and Bruno, thugs working for Nathan Ellery, barged into Alec's lab, knocked him out, and set a bomb. Alec woke up as the bomb exploded, and his corpse was blasted into the swamp. The corpse was drenched in the bio-restorative formula, and this affected the swamp's plant life, imbuing it with Alec's consciousness and memories. The newly conscious plant life formed a semblance of a human form and rose up from the bog as the Swamp Thing, the latest in a long line of Earth elementals created when Earth was in need of protection. The Swamp Thing originally thought he was a transformed version of Alec Holland, and longed to regain his human body.

Sunderland Incident[]

Sunderland carried out a covert military operation, blasting a hole in Swamp Thing's head, and bringing his body to Sunderland Corporations to unlock the secret of Holland's bio-restorative formula. Sunderland hired the Floronic Man to study Swamp Thing's body, which was being stored in a cryochest. After completing his study the Floronic Man deduced the truth about Swamp Thing, that he was a plant that thought it was Alec Holland. Sunderland and Floronic Man parted on bad terms, so the Floronic Man used Sunderland's automated computer systems to raise the thermostat in Swamp Thing's cryochest. The allowed Swamp Thing's body to regenerate, and he soon stumbled across the Floronic Man's report, which sent him into a mindless rage. He killed Sunderland, and set off for the Louisiana swamps. Swamp Thing went into shock from learning his true origins. He rooted himself into the swamp and spent three weeks dreaming; his mind eventually traveling into the Green. He discovered the presence of Floronic Man's corrupting influence in the Green, and wrenched himself back into reality. He caught up with Floronic Man and convinced the villain that his war against animal life was pointless, reminding him that plant life and animal life needed each other to survive.

Finding Love[]

Abby Arcane asked for Swamp Thing's help when her autistic students were being tormented by Kamara, the Monkey-King. Swamp Thing destroyed the demon with the help of Etrigan. Swamp Thing retrieved the skeleton of Alec Holland from the bayou and gave it a proper burial. This allowed the spirit of Alec to free himself from the earthly plane and ascend into Heaven. Swamp Thing discovered the body of Abby Arcane. Anton Arcane, in possession of Matt Cable's body, had sent Abby's soul to Hell. Swamp Thing beat Arcane to a pulp, allowing Matt to cast the sorcerer's soul out of his body and back to the nether world. Swamp Thing traveled to Hell to reclaim Abby's soul. He was forced to fight off a legion of the damned, including Anton Arcane, but he prevailed with the help of Etrigan. Swamp Thing encountered Pog and the crew of "Find the Lady". They were seeking a new planet to inhabit after having been forced off theirs by a race of monkeys called The Loneliest Animals of All, and Swamp Thing had to break the news to them that an equally brutal species ruled Earth. Swamp Thing and Abby Arcane confessed their love for each other. To celebrate the beginning of their relationship Swamp Thing grew hallucinogenic tubers for Abby to eat, enabling her to see the world as he did.

Plant Elemental[]

Swamp Thing's body was destroyed after an encounter with Nukeface. He sent his mind into the Green to attempt to form another body. After weeks of effort Swamp Thing formed most of his new body. John Constantine came to his swamp, and told him that he was a plant elemental. Constantine hinted at knowing much more about what Swamp Thing was than he did, and promised to discuss these matters further if Swamp Thing met him in Rosewood in a week's time. Constantine told Swamp Thing that he had not completely destroyed the vampire population of Rosewood, a number of them now lived in an aquatic settlement. Running water could destroy the vampires; they could only live underwater because Rosewood’s water body was stagnant. Swamp Thing formed a new body from a mountain and let its’ river merge with Rosewood, wiping the vampires out. Constantine told Swamp Thing to meet him in Maine in two weeks time.

Kennescook, Maine; Swamp Thing encountered Phoebe, a werewolf, and watched on helplessly as she committed suicide. Constantine arrived and told Swamp Thing to go back home to Louisiana. Dead slaves that worked on the Robertaland plantation rose from the grave as zombies. Swamp Thing burned Robertaland to the ground after he realized that it was the source of their power. Wandering through the swamp Swamp Thing failed to notice a hallucinogenic tuber drop off his own body. The tuber was later discovered by hippy Chester, who took it home. Swamp Thing encountered the murderous Boogeyman in his swamp. The serial killer had never seen anything like Swamp Thing before and fled, ultimately falling into a bog and drowning. Swamp Thing saw a pattern emerging in all the monstrosities he had recently confronted across America, but admitted he would need Constantine to explain it to him. He was instructed by Constantine to travel to San Miguel, California, and Constantine promised this would be the last leg of their mission before he revealed everything he knew to Swamp Thing.

Crisis on Infinite Earths[]

Swamp Thing visited the abandoned Cambridge mansion, haunted by every person ever to have been killed by the Cambridge repeater firearm. A group of thrillseekers were being menaced by the ghosts, and one of them told Swamp Thing the haunting would only stop if the ghosts heard the sound of hammers, a stipulation the ghosts made when they first demanded that Amy Cambridge build the house. Swamp Thing pounded his fists on a table until the ghosts vanished. Constantine appeared and told Swamp Thing he wanted him to see first-had the effects the Crisis was having on Earth. Swamp Thing and Constantine witnessed the effects of the Crisis, blood red skies and people and beasts from many different time periods displaced into the present day. They were teleported to the Monitor’s satellite by Alexander Luthor, Jr. Constantine introduced Swamp Thing to Luthor, who had a plan to make sure reality survived the Crisis, and told Luthor that Swamp Thing would ensure that the spiritual realms survived the after-effects of the Crisis. Constantine told Swamp Thing that after the Crisis ended reality would be unstable and vulnerable for a time, and the ancient cult of the Brujeria were taking advantage of this situation to summon the Shadow Creature to destroy Heaven. To do so the Brujeria needed a worldwide belief in monsters and the darker things in life; they were the ones responsible for the rash of nightmarish incidents that Swamp Thing had contained over the past few weeks. He told Swamp Thing they would travel to South America to battle the cult, but first he wanted Swamp Thing to visit the Parliament of Trees in Brazil, where he promised Swamp Thing would finally learn the truth about his origins.

Post-Infinite Crisis[]

Swamp Thing told Abby he might be gone for a while. As they kissed and said their farewell the couple was unaware that amateur photojournalist Howard Fleck was taking pictures of them. Swamp Thing traveled to Brazil, where Constantine led him to the Parliament of Trees. Swamp Thing, Alex Olsen of the Parliament told Swamp Thing he was the latest in a long line of plant elementals, like the rest of the Parliament, and Swamp Thing learned the histories of his predecessors. Swamp Thing could only join the Parliament when his time wandering Earth was through, but he still had plenty of work to do, so they asked him to leave. Swamp Thing destroyed the Brujeria, flooding their underground cave with dirt and crushing them with tree-roots, but he was not in time to stop them from creating their messenger, the Voladora, and sending her off to awaken the Shadow Creature. Constantine and Swamp Thing scrambled to come up with a plan to deal with the Shadow Creature, then split up. Swamp Thing traveled to the afterlife ad recruited the help of Deadman, Phantom Stranger, Spectre and the Demon, and they prepared to make a stand against the Shadow Creature in Hell. One by one Swamp Thing’s allies fell to the Creature until Swamp Thing tried talking to it. Reflecting on what the Parliament taught him about nature he offered insights to the Shadow Creature that it’s place in the universe was necessary, that good would grow stronger after dealing with it. His talk sparked something in the Shadow Creature. It sped towards Heaven, and merged with God.

Gotham City[]

With the help of Deadman and Phantom Stranger, Swamp Thing traveled from the Afterlife back to Louisiana. He met John Constantine, who came to the swamp to say his goodbyes before heading back to England. He was distressed to learn that Abby was in Gotham City awaiting trial for crimes against nature, a charge brought against her once the public learned she was having a relationship with Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing sped to Gotham City to free Abby from jail. He made a stopover in Arkham Asylum to greet Floronic Man and forgive him for his past abuse of the Green. Swamp Thing burst into a Gotham courthouse and demanded Abby’s release. When his demand was refused Swamp Thing tapped into the Green, causing Gotham to be overgrown with plant-life. Batman asked Swamp Thing to turn Gotham back to normal. Swamp Thing refused, so they fought and Batman was defeated. After Swamp Thing gave the city another ultimatum Batman talked to Mayor Skowcroft, convincing him that Abby hadn’t committed a crime, and that it would be in everyone’s best interests if charges against her were dropped. Swamp Thing removed the overgrowth from Gotham, but as he was about to be reunited with Abby he was attacked by Dwight Wicker and the D.D.I., who wanted to avenge the death of General Suderland. They cut him off from the Green using a communications scrambler, then seemingly killed him using napalm.

Outer Space[]

Swamp Thing appeared on the planet Blue Heaven, using alien vegetation not connected to the Green to form a new body. He stayed on the planet, exploring it and even creating plant-replicas of people he knew from Earth to keep him company. Finding this to be ultimately pointless he destroyed his creations and gathered up the courage to try and grow a new plant-body elsewhere in the universe. Swamp Thing grew a technorganic body from a planet-sized entity. The entity forced Swamp Thing to mate with her, and afterwards Swamp Thing swiftly fled across the universe to find a new place to grow a body. Swamp Thing and Abby Arcane created an Earth Elemental / human hybrid named Tefe with the help of John Constantine and the Parliament of Trees. Swamp Thing was among the heroes who attended a memorial service for Green Lantern Hal Jordan. As a tribute to Hal and the destroyed Coast City Swamp Thing turned the barren Coast into a lush garden.

The Brightest Day[]

It is reveal that Alec Holland is the Earth's Ultimate Savior and the Life Entity's Champion. The conclusion of the Brightest Day revealed that Swamp Thing had become corrupted by the personality of the villain Nekron in the wake of the Blackest Night crossover. This version of Swamp Thing believed itself to be Nekron similar to how it had originally believe itself to be Alec Holland. Swamp Thing went on a rampage in Star City, ultimately seeking to destroy all life on Earth. The Entity within the White Lantern used several heroes, including Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman and Deadman to slow the rampage and to construct a new Swamp Thing based on the body of Alec Holland. Instead of merely thinking it was Holland, this version of Swamp Thing would actually be him. The new Swamp Thing quickly defeated and killed the corrupted version. It then restored life to natural areas around the world and then declared that those who hurt "The Green" would face his wrath. The book ended with him killing several businessmen who engaged in polluting activities.

Post FlashPoint[]

Rise of Swamp Thing[]

  • Coming Soon


  • Coming Soon

The Seeder[]

As Swamp Thing begins to adjust to the reality post Rotworld, he begins to understand all that being a fully realized Avatar of the Green entails. He finds himself becoming closer and closer to the Green, but he likewise has a sense of sadness in relation to his former human self. After destroying a desert oasis that was created by a person named "Seeder" Swamp Thing decides to go to Metropolis to see if he can talk to Superman to discuss what it is like to handle such responsibilities as he now has with the Green.  While at the Metropolis Botanical Gardens for a nostalgic visit, he witnesses a person breaking in and stealing a plant that contains severe hallucinative properties. Swamp Thing recognizes the thief in question to be the Scarecrow. He decides to go easy on Scarecrow just binding him and delivering him to the police. But in a panic, Scarecrow releases any and every weapon he has at his disposal. All substances have zero effect on Swamp Thing until a Carbon Dioxide based hallucigen is released. Swamp Thing goes into a horrific dream world in his mind where his humanity and plant selves collide in terrifying fashion. While hallucinating, his body begins to summon the Green all over Metropolis in the form of crushing vines, killer plants, and other unpleasant vegetation. Superman works to save the City and recognizes Alec Holland to be the cause. He is unsure why though. After saving what he can, Superman makes it to the Botanical Gardens to discover Swamp Thing and his out of control growth. Superman likewise finds a terrified Scarecrow.  Superman uses his heat vision to completely incinerate Swamp Thing allowing him to reform through the Green new and revived.

Superman renders his advice to Swamp Thing who returns to the peaceful serenity of the deep Louisiana swamps. It is surprising when the serenity is disrupted by by a lady who comes to him asking to invoke " Sanctuarium Folium Viride". The "Sanctuary of the Green Leaf" is a protection right created about 800 years ago. As Swamp Thing reports that he has no idea what the lady known as Capucine is talking about, his head is blown off by a shotgun blast. Swamp Thing reforms, but while reforming, he gets to witness the power of Capucine as she makes short work out if the two men who were there to kill her. Swamp Thing is confused as to why anyone of Capucine's strength and ability would ever need protection, but he asks anyway. Capucine states that she does not need his protection now, but when she is dead. Swamp Thing decides to keep Capucine wrapped in vines as he goes to consult the Parliament of Trees regarding the matter.

The Parliament inform Swamp Thing that the Right was created during the Middle Ages by one of current Green Avatar's predecessors. The Parliament allow Swamp Thing to transport back to witness the events as they unfolded and speak with the Avatar who created it. The Avatar explains that the Right was created due to the persecution received by nature worshippers and other friends of the Green who were tortured and killed as heretics and witches.  He lets Swamp Thing know that he was the creator of the Right and it is solely at the discretion of the current Avatar as to honor it. 

As Swamp Thing speaks with the old Avatar, a strange occurrence happens. Something sucks the power out of the Green. It devours the old Avatar and almost takes Swamp Thing, but he is able to pull himself from the Green with all of his essence and is freed. When he returns to the swamp he finds Capucine unbound from the vines he used to secure her. He explains to her that he still doesn't know anything about her, but he has not made up his mind as to help her. Swamp Thing then tells her to wait as he has pressing business to take care of. Capucine begs him to hurry as her days are ending and "He" is coming. 

Swamp Thing teleports through the Green to the small village of Fetters Hill, Scotland. During his experience in the Green, he felt the sinister nature of the depletion and recognized it to be from the man known only as "Seeder". Swamp Thing had heard the name several times from around the world in recent months and he was ready to end it. While in Fetters Hill, Swamp Thing discovers that a tree has been planted by "Seeder" that drips whiskey from its branches. As he prepares to destroy the Tree, He is interrupted by John Constantine. Constantine states that he felt something unusual in the area and went to check it out as well. Swamp Thing does not trust Constantine at all, but listens to him and even gets attacked by a spell when he accuses Constantine of being Seeder. As he speaks with Constantine, the village which started with the miracle of the Whiskey Tree as a happy and festive occasion turns dramatically south as bedlam and lawlessness prevails. As Swamp Thing goes to put the Tree back in the Green, Constantine releases another spell and breaks Swamp Thing's connection to the Green. He tells of how he too had tasted the whiskey and how it needs to spread. Swamp Thing in a near helpless state can only listen. Constantine breaks a whiskey jug and forms a crown. Calling himself "John the First, The Whiskey King," Constantine commands the villagers to destroy Swamp Thing of which they happily oblige. 

Swamp Thing is torn to pieces and placed in a jail cell. Eventually, Constantine comes to speak with Swamp Thing telling him of his plans to spread the seeds of The Whiskey Tree throughout the country. Swamp Thing is horribly weakened, but realizes that he must escape before the Whiskey Tree's evil spreads. With great pain and effort, he stretches out to get the key of a passed out law enforcement officer. He escapes, but is way too weakened to fight since he has no connection to the Green. Swamp Thing is eventually surrounded by the villagers and burned into nothingness. Before dying however, Swamp Thing forms himself into a seed. Upon his body's destruction, Swamp Thing forms into a poppy flower and knocks out Constantine with the poppy's chemicals. The spell is released and Swamp Thing is able to call on the Green once again to put an end to The Whiskey Tree once and for all. He destroys the tree, uses poppys to knock all the villagers out allowing them to sleep off their drunkenness and he blocks the roads with dense forest not allowing the seeds to be spread. Though he is urged increasingly by the Green to completely destroy Fetters Hill and all of its inhabitants, Swamp Thing resists and allows the village to be spared. He recognizes that "Seeder" is responsible for the actions and he alone should be made to suffer the consequences. 

Swamp Thing returns to his swamp to find Capucine beaten and restrained. When asked what happened, She says that a man named "Seeder" was there and he was furious that Swamp Thing wasn't there. He took his anger out on Capucine who stated that he was too powerful and had strong dark magic with him that she was unable to defeat. Capucine said that a message was left for him. When Swamp Thing looks, he sees several vines formed to the words " It's Time Professor."


Powers and 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 contrl over earth, water, air, fire and flesh in addition to plant. However almost immediatly gaining control over all of them gave up all but root.
  • 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.
  • Teleportation: Once Alec surrenders his physical body and becomes a fully recognized Swamp Thing, he has the ability to instantly teleport to any object in the world that is a part of The Green. He does this by entering into any plant, tree, moss, etc. 


  • Chemist: Brilliant Chemist
  • Biologist: Brilliant Biologist


  • As the Swamp Thing, Alec Holland possesses superhuman strength (See Powers); As a human being, Alec Holland possessed the Strength Level of a man his age, size and weight who engaged in moderate regular exercise. Once surrendering his physical body to The Green, Swamp Thing's strength is immeasurable as he has complete and full access to every living part associated with The Green.


  • Pollution: pollution is highly dangerous to the plant life that makes up his body and the plant life he is connected to.
  • Fire: Fire can slow Swamp Thing down as it destroys his plant body causing him to have to reconstruct. 
  • Carbon Dioxide Based Hallucinogens: Swamp Thing is vulnerable to hallucinogens that are based on Carbon Dioxide.  The Scarecrow sprayed him with such a substance that caused Swamp Thing to hallucinate and almost completely cover Metropolis with vegetation until Superman intervened.


Former Equipment[]


Former Weapons[]


  • The character of the Swamp Thing was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.
  • Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe XXII erroneously establishes that Swamp Thing's first appearance was in House of Secrets (Volume 1) #92. However, this version of the Swamp Thing was Alex Olsen, a scientist who was transformed into a muck-monster nearly one-hundred years prior to Alec Holland's ill-fated experiments. Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson re-envisioned their own creation for the modern era and introduced the Swamp Thing as Alec Holland in Swamp Thing (Volume 1) #1. Writer Alan Moore later revisited the Olsen character in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #33, and established him in canon continuity as a previous, yet separate incarnation of the Swamp Thing.
  • Although similar in appearance and origin, the Swamp Thing is not to be confused with the Marvel Comics character known as the Man-Thing.


  • The Swamp Thing is the only character from the Vertigo family of titles to receive his own Colorforms playset.

In Other Media[]

  • Different versions of the Swamp Thing have made it to both the big and small screen. Stuntman Dick Durock portrayed the role of the Swamp Thing in the 1982 Wes Craven feature film, Swamp Thing. He reprised the role in the equally campy 1989 sequel, The Return of the Swamp Thing. In 1990, a live-action Swamp Thing television series was produced and Durock was called upon once again to don the green latex. During the second season of the series, Warner Bros. produced a short-lived animated Swamp Thing series. Actor Len Carlson provided the voice for the Swamp Thing.
  • A Swamp Thing series of action figures were produced in line with the 1991 Swamp Thing animated television series.