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Quote1 I stand as the avatar of plant life so that no one else who actually would harm the balance can have that role. And when you fight me, you fight the plant life of the whole world. Quote2
-- Swamp Thing src
Alec Holland is Swamp Thing, the champion of the Parliament of Trees. He has control of all plant life in the universe due to his link to a force that connects all plant life known as the Green. He has been a member of the Justice League as well as its mystic division the Justice League Dark.

Origin

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Plague-Bringer

After awakening in the swamp as Alec, Holland took up residence in a motel in Houma. He initially attempted to recreate his Bio-Restorative Formula in hopes that he would remember everything that had happened to him, getting a job in a research laboratory to do it.
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Alec is visited by his predecessor.

After a few weeks he realized that he didn't want the Green to be a part of his life anymore, so smashed his formula and went to work as a builder. After two weeks of work as a builder, news reports of whole ecosystems dropping dead of a strange illness began popping up. Alec was met by Superman, who wanted to ask Alec a few questions about this illness. Alec simply told Superman that it was a common occurrence in nature and that it was nothing to worry about. That night, while Alec was sleeping, he was met by a creature resembling Swamp Thing.[1]

Using vines, Swamp Thing told Alec his history. He was originally a U.S. fighter pilot during World War 2 named Calbraith A.H. Rodgers. Rodgers was shot down by a German fighter pilot, his crippled body was then taken by the Green who transformed him into the newest Swamp Thing. Like all others before him Calbraith served as the Green's protector until his body died, after which his conscious was subsequently placed in the Parliament of Trees, allowing him to become its newest member. Alec eventually became the avatar of the Green after Rodgers.[2]

Calbraith told Alec that an ancient evil known as Sethe was responsible for almost every major plague ever, and was going to return soon with a new sickness. Rodgers told Holland that Sethe was the evil Swamp Thing was primarily created to defeat, and thus it was Alec's destiny to defeat the plague-bringer. Rodgers informed Alec that Sethe would send agents to kill Alec, and that he shouldn't trust the woman in his dreams. Calbraith then withered away and died, leaving Alec alone. Alec was almost immediately attacked by his landlady, who had been infected with Sethe's plague. Soon a whole crowd of people were in his room attacking him, causing him to flee outside where he was picked up by a woman on a motor cycle.[2]

The woman on the motorcycle drove the pair to a safe distance from the crowd and revealed herself to be Abigail Arcane, the woman of Alec's dreams. She then threatened to shoot him, as she believed the Alec she had rescued might not be the real one, but an agent of Sethe.
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Abby tries to resist the pull of the Black.

Alec instinctively called out to the Green around him, wrapping Abby in vines. Reaffirmed that Alec was the real thing, Abby told him to come with her.[3]

When Alec asked Abby where they were going she responded by telling Alec they were going to a hospital to pick up a little boy called William. This boy was being targeted by Sethe as he could control dead matter. In the same way Alec was intertwined with the Green, William was intertwined with The Black, the elemental force of death and decay. Abby told Alec that her family- the Arcanes, all had a strong connection to the Black. Abby's uncle Anton embraced the call of the Black, however Abby despised it. She had initially fallen in love with Swamp Thing because his connection of the Green cancelled out the call of the Black, however since Swamp Thing was now gone she was struggling to resist the Black. The pair arrived at the hospital where they found all the staff and patients dead. Abby realized that this meant William had accepted the call of the Black, and was now at large.[3]

They tracked William to a diner, where there had been another massacre. Knowing they needed rest, Alec suggested they stay in a nearby house. However Abby reminded Alec that any place with any type of rot or death could lead to the Black taking hold of her, so the pair slept in an open field. In his dreams Alec was contacted by the Parliament of Trees, who tried to convince him to kill Abby before she could be taken by the Black, however he refused. In the morning the pair continued there journey to track down William and stop him from joining with the Black.[4]

Abby and Alec soon stopped in a pharmaceutical store to stock up on medical supplies. As they exited the store they were attacked by William and a group of dead animals. Abby was soon overwhelmed by the necrotic creatures, prompting Alec to kill all the creatures with vines and hang William up on a tree.
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Alec and Abigail kiss.

As Alec treated Abby's wounds the pair shared a kiss. All of a sudden Alec heard the Green calling out in pain and fear, the Parliament of Trees in Brazil were being destroyed by the agents of Sethe.[5]

The pair were once again attacked by William, however this time Alec was not able to fend off the power of the Black. William captured Abby and told Alec that she was meant to be the true agent of the Black instead of William. Knowing he couldn't save Abby if he was captured as well, Alec fled into the swamps of Houma hoping the Parliament of Tress would take him as their avatar, however they simply told him he was too late as they had no power left. He was quickly tracked down by William who ripped his body apart with the powers of the rot.[6]

The Parliament put Alec's conscious in a sort of stasis, making him feel the agonizing pain of his body being ripped apart long after he should've died. They did this as punishment, believing that his constant refusal to become the avatar eventually led to their demise. Alec pleaded for them to use the last of their powers to make him the champion of the Green, however they persisted that they didn't have the resources to. Alec told the Parliament that he had a vial of his bio-restorative formula in his bag which could be used to turn him into the avatar. Agreeing to transform him into the last envoy of the Green, the Parliament used the last of their power to turn Alec into the Swamp Thing.[7]

Avenging his father

Alec traveled to Gotham City, home of the Batman, after he received news that his father Lloyd McGinn had been murdered. He approached the Batman for help in the hopes that he could avenge his father. The pair began working on the case together, interrogating various criminals such as Kite-Man for information. Eventually they discovered the culprit after interrogating an arms dealer. The murderer was a mercenary named Headhunter who always shot his victims in the head twice.[8]

With this information Swamp Thing instantly tracked down Headhunter to the Gotham Museum of Art using his connection to the plant life of the city. Batman and Swamp Thing confronted Headhunter who told them he hadn't killed Lloyd for money. Instead Headhunter had only murdered Lloyd because he learnt he was the father of a "super-hero". Alec became overwhelmed with rage and sorrow and killed the Headhunter by ripping him to pieces. The death of Headhunter angered Batman greatly. Seeing no reason to stay in Gotham Alec left the grisly scene in the hands of the furious Batman.[8]

Relationship with Allies

  • Lloyd McGinn: Alec was never close to his father and the two possessed a complex relationship. Lloyd abandoning Alec and his wife when Alec was five distanced the pair and they only met a handful of times after that. Lloyd evidently still cared about his son as he was excepting of him even after he became the Swamp Thing. Alec clearly also cared about his father enough to visit him occasionally. When Lloyd was murdered Alec sought vengeance on his father's killer even though he upheld the belief that death just led to new life. Alec became incredibly sorrowful after killing Headhunter, reminiscing about the lullabies his father used to sing him.[8]

Powers

  • Avatar of the Green: As the Avatar of the Green, the Swamp Thing's body is composed of plant-based stem cells that are capable of forming into any form of plant life imaginable.[9]
    • Chlorokinesis: As the Avatar of the Green Swamp Thing has control over all plant life in the universe.
      • Chloroportation: Swamp Thing can move his consciousness to any plant in the universe.
      • Metamorphosis: Swamp Thing can manipulate his plant body to preform several different actions providing he has enough plant matter.
        • Wings: Swamp Thing can generate plant-based wings.
          • Flight: With plant-based wings, the Swamp Thing is capable of flying.
        • Size Alteration: Swamp Thing can alter the size of his host body by adding or removing plant matter from his body. He can be as small as a potted planet or as large as skyscraper.[10]
        • Accelerated Healing: Swamp Thing can cover up any damage done to his plant body by adding more plant matter.
        • Bio-Fission: Swamp Thing can create multiple duplicates of himself.
      • Toxikinesis: Swamp thing is able near able to instantly spawn plants and then grow them in seconds, on his body he has used this to create his own modified versions of poisonous plants to kill or subdue enemies.
    • 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.
    • Self-Sustenance: The ability to nourish oneself, typically via an external energy source. In Swamp Thing's case, likely through a form of photosynthesis.
    • 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.

Abilities

  • Chemistry: Alec is a brilliant chemist and biologist.

Weaknesses

  • Swamp Thing is aware of Batman's true identity - Bruce Wayne.[8]

Related

Footnotes


Swamp Thing Character

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This character specifically relates to the Swamp Thing and is predominantly seen in the Swamp Thing family of titles. This character may be part of the Swamp Thing's supporting cast, a minor acquaintance, or one of his adversaries. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Swamp Thing Characters category.
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This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Justice League of America members" category.

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