Origin of the Swamp Thing character
He was originally Alec Holland, a man who was transformed into a muck encrusted mockery of a man after an explosion in his laboratory doused him with chemicals. Swamp Thing first appeared in House of Secrets #92 (June-July 1971), depicted in this story as Alex Olsen. Near the beginning of the 20th Century, scientist Alex Olsen is caught in a lab explosion set by his co-worker, Damian Ridge, intended to kill him so that Ridge may gain the hand of Olsen's wife Linda. Olsen is changed by the chemicals and the forces within the swamp into a powerful, monstrous Swamp Thing who kills Ridge before the latter can murder Linda. Unable to make Linda realize his true identity, the Swamp Thing sadly shambles back to his boggy home.
After the success of the short story in the House of Secrets comic, the original creators were asked to write an ongoing series, but updating the character to be in the present and to appear more heroic. Swamp Thing #1 (1st series, October-November 1972, by Wein and Wrightson) was then begun, fast-forwarding to the 70s, and relating a completely different origin for the frightfully foliaged character. 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 Mr. E, 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. Much of his later adventures would involve the Swamp Thing attempting to find a way to become human again.
The major difference between the first and second Swamp Thing is that the latter not only appears more muscular than shambling, but possesses the ability of speech. The speech impediment of Alex Olsen is a major reason why his wife was unable to recognize him.
Swamp Thing in the comics
The Swamp Thing series is considered one of the most important in comics history, specifically during the Moore era. There were four series in total, including several Specials, with the latest series being published now. Many of the best writers in the comic industry had their starting roots either in Swamp Thing or Hellblazer, which started out from ST.
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