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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

Alec was never close to his father Lloyd McGinn, and the two possessed a complex relationship. Lloyd abandoned his family when Alec was five and only visited his son a few times in his life after that.

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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.[2]

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.[3]

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 motorcycle.[3]

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.[4]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[9]

Justice League Dark

The Last Age of Magic

Seeing the death of magic, Swamp Thing attracted Zatanna and rebuffed the two split perspectives on how to resolve the issue, believing a third path can be formed with aid of Wonder Woman's Justice League Dark. Guiding her to the Tree of Wonder in Salem, he parlayed the speech between the Tree, in the form of her father, and the sorceress. Seeing the oncoming threat of the Otherkind and the Upside-Down Man, the two hastily joined Diana, Detective Chimp, and Kirk Langstrom in the Hall of Justice.[10]

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The new formation!

The new team journeyed to the Tower of Fate to gain the assistance of Kent Nelson. However, he parted from the rest to reflect under the nearby Tree of Wonder to investigate a disturbance. There he was approached by John Constantine, who criticized Thing for his ultimate plan to use the team to gain entrance and retirement into the Parliament of Trees by stabilizing the Tree of Wonder. Explaining his frustration to John the two agreed upon the coming threat.[11] However their conversation was broken by the betrayal of Nabu, who had falsified Dr. Fate's identity and subsequent arrival of the Upside-Down Man. Attacking the being in a giant form Alec was swiftly killed, but Diana, empowered by a strange yet powerful magic was able to banish the Upside-Down Man with John's and Zatanna's aid and revive the fallen Elemental.[12]

The Witching Hour

Returning to a meeting, Hecate, wishing to take control of Diana, began possessing her, however the team was able to escape into the Oblivion Bar, Swamp-Thing destroying the way back. However John was already there in the destroyed Bar, warning the group that they missed an attack by another witch marked and that Witching Hour had begun.[13] Searching for answers the League hunted a unicorn before coming to Aeaea to speak with Circe, a student of Hecate for answers, finding out that Diana and four others are Witch-Marked, containing Hecate's power. Not only that, but her ultimate plan is to replace all magic and use this new system to prevent the Otherkind from invading. However their conversation was cut short by Deadman warning all that a witch-marked Manitou Dawn was attacking Nanda Parbat.[14]

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Against a possessed Wonder Woman!

Arriving, Swamp-Thing kept the city from falling apart with the Green, but was alerted to find Black Orchid was a witch-marked, using her power of The Green and The Red to attack the Parliament of Trees in Brazil. Attacking the woman, Alec was only able to defeat her by Constantine cutting her connection to Hecate through Diana.[15] Taking hold of Orchid, Alec was attacked by the reformed Parliament (now dubbed the Parliament of Flowers), now under the control of Hecate. Luckily he were teleported to Circe's location along with the rest of the League, the witch warning that Hecate and the possessed Diana are going after the Sphere of the Gods. Forced with little choice they all attacked Diana in Olympus, but the Amazon, having convened with the other parts of Hecate broke free. Using the Upside-Down Man, the Dark Multiverse counterpart of the goddess, to defeat Hecate and restore a tenuous order. Returning to the Hall of Justice, Swamp Thing prepared to adjust to the change in magic and Parliaments.[16]

He and Constantine later attacked Nabu in Salem, using the battle to catch the attention of The Phantom Stranger, planning to use the Stranger to defeat the Lord of Order.[17] However even the Stranger was sealed within the Helmet of Fate. Buying time, Constantine distracted Nabu as Alec fled to warn the League of the worsening scenario.[18]

Doomsday Clock

 Main article: Doomsday Clock Vol 1

After Superman is framed and rendered comatose, Swamp Thing joined the group of heroes heading towards Mars to confront their mysterious enemy. The heroes meet and engage Doctor Manhattan, but they are easily defeated.[19]

Powers

  • Avatar of the Green: Swamp Thing is an avatar of The Green - a cosmic energy force that connects all plant life in the universe. 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.[20]
    • Elemental Control: 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. Swamp Thing also has limited control over the other elements.
      • Chlorokinesis: Swamp Thing has absolute control over all plant life in the universe, and can manipulate plants in any way he wishes.
        • Bio-Fission: Swamp Thing can create multiple duplicates of himself.
        • Metamorphosis: Swamp Thing can manipulate his plant body to preform several different actions providing he has enough plant matter.
        • Regeneration: Swamp Thing can cover up any damage done to his plant body by adding more plant matter.
        • 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.[21]
        • Toxikinesis: Swamp Thing is able to instantly spawn plants on his body, which he has used to create his own modified versions of poisonous plants to kill or subdue enemies.
          • Illusion Casting: Swamp Thing can grow tubers in his body that when eaten, causes the victim to experience illusions. The illusion can also cause them to enter the Astral Plane and even enter The Green.[22]
        • Wings/Flight: Swamp Thing can generate plant-based wings that allow him to fly.
      • Pyrokinesis: Swamp Thing has limited control over fire, and has been shown capable of spontaniously start fires at will.[23]
    • Astral Projection: Swamp Thing can cause his essence to abandon his body for multiple purposes.
      • Possession: Swamp Thing is able to posesss other bodies at will. He once he housed his essence inside John Constantine's body, in order to mate with Abigail Arcane.[22]
      • Chloroportation: Swamp Thing can move his consciousness to any plant in the universe, allowing him to essentially teleport through plants.
    • 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.
    • Exorcism: Swamp Thing stated that he is able to forcibly remove a possessing spirit from a person's body, however the process would kill the host.[24]
    • 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 considered the strongest of the "Guardian" classification, magic users who are empowered by elemental forces of the universe to create their own protectors and are typically bound to a consciousness of a mortal.[25]
  • Swamp Thing is identified as a god in the eyes of a shadow god. [26]

Related

Footnotes



Alec Holland 02
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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Justice League member
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This character has been 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 the clutches of 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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