- Dr. Alec Holland had all the answers... he was an intelligent man... but Alec Holland is dead... and in his place stands only a... SWAMP THING!
Synopsis for "Dark Genesis"
D.D.I. agent Matthew Cable drives his friends, the scientists Alec and Linda Holland, to a remote cabin in the Louisiana bayou. The Hollands are working on a top-secret Bio-Restorative formula designed to stimulate hormonal growth in plant life, enabling plants to grow in hostile terrain.
Midway through their research, they hear a knock on the door. A group of men representing an organization known as the Conclave introduce themselves, and expresses great interest in the Hollands' work. The leader of the men, Maxwell Ferrett, offers the scientists a blank check in exchange for exclusive rights to their work. Alec tells them that their information is not for sale. Ferrett prepares to strong-arm them, but another man, Bruno, notices Matt Cable's car pulling up to the cabin. Ferrett and the others leave, promising to return. Alec and Linda tell Matt about their encounter.
Ferrett reports back to his boss, Mister E. Mister E tells them to make one more attempt to buy the Hollands' research. If they still refuse, then drastic measures will be required. Ferrett returns, but Alec angrily threatens to call the cops unless they leave them alone. The goons knock Alec unconscious, and plant an explosive underneath one of the laboratory tables. Alec comes to and tries to escape, but the bomb explodes dousing him with various samples of the Bio-Restorative formula. His body erupts into flame, and Alec stumbles outside into the swamp where he falls over dead.
Days later, Linda and Matt Cable hold a small funeral service for Alec Holland. What they do not realize is that the Bio-Restorative formula has resurrected the essence of Alec Holland into the body of a grotesque Swamp Thing. Although he still maintains the intellect of Alec Holland, he cannot speak. The Swamp Thing stands guard, and watches over the cabin after Linda returns home.
Ferrett and Bruno raid the cabin and murder Linda. The Swamp Thing finds her body and flies into a rage. He chases the men out into the swamp. He catches Bruno first, and smashes his jaw with one solid punch. Ferrett fires his pistol at the monster, but the bullets are ineffective. The Swamp Thing turns about and kills Ferrett. Matt Cable appears on the scene, and mistakenly believes that the muck monster is responsible for the death of Linda Holland.
Elsewhere, miles away in an ancient castle, a mysterious man observes the events in the Louisiana bayou and develops a strong interest in the Swamp Thing.
Appearing in "Dark Genesis"
- Swamp Thing (First appearance) (Origin)
- Alec Holland (First appearance; dies)
- Linda Holland (First appearance; dies)
- Matt Cable (First appearance)
- Anton Arcane (First appearance)
- Un-Men (First appearance)
- Mister E (First appearance)
- Bruno (First appearance)
- Louisiana Blue (First appearance)
- Maxwell Ferrett
- Mutt (Swamp Thing's dog) (First appearance)
- Bio-Restorative Formula (First appearance)
- This issue is reprinted in Roots of the Swamp Thing #1, DC Special Series #2, Swamp Thing: Dark Genesis, Secret of the Swamp Thing, and Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Vol. 1.
- The origin of the Swamp Thing is revealed in this issue.
- Many resources cite House of Secrets #92 as the first appearance of Alec Holland. However, the creature that appears in that issue is actually Alex Olsen, a man who became a swamp monster during the turn of the century. Writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson recreated the Olsen character as Alec Holland who makes his comic debut in this issue.
- The Mister E that appears in this issue is not to be confused with the mystical figure, Mister E.
- For many years, it has been widely accepted that Alec Holland physically transformed into the Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #21 establishes that the Swamp Thing is actually a separate entity that had absorbed Holland's memories and personality. Alec Holland's physical remains were eventually recovered, buried, disinterred and later buried again.
- Swamp Thing Recommended Reading