Swamp Thing

The Swamp Thing is a fictional superhero in American comic books published by DC Comics.[1] A humanoid/plant elemental creature, created by writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, the Swamp Thing has had several humanoid or monster incarnations in various different storylines. The character first appeared in House of Secrets #92 (July 1971) in a stand-alone horror story set in the early 20th century.[2] The character then returned in a solo series, set in the contemporary world and in the general DC continuity.[3] The character is a swamp monster that resembles an anthropomorphic mound of vegetable matter, and fights to protect his swamp home, the environment in general, and humanity from various supernatural or terrorist threats.

Swamp Thing
Cover of Swamp Thing #9 (March–April 1974), art by Bernie Wrightson
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearance
  • Alex Olsen:
    House of Secrets #92 (July 1971)
  • Alec Holland:
    Swamp Thing #1 (October–November 1972)
    Albert Höllerer:
    Swamp Thing #47 (May 1986)
  • Tefé Holland:
    Swamp Thing #90 (December 1989)
    Allan Hallman:
    Swamp Thing #102 (December 1990)
  • Aaron Hayley:
    Swamp Thing: Roots
    (March 1998)
    Calbraith A. H. Rogers:
    Swamp Thing #1
    (November 2011)
  • Levi Kamei:
    The Swamp Thing #1
    (March 2021)
Created by
In-story information
Alter egoAlexander "Alex" Olsen
Alec Holland
Albert Höllerer
Tefé Holland
Allan Hallman
Aaron Hayley
Calbraith A. H. Rodgers
Jon Haraldson
Levi Kamei
SpeciesSwamp monster/Elemental
Team affiliationsJustice League Dark
Justice League
the Parliament of Trees
Justice League United
PartnershipsAnimal Man
Swamp Thing
Series publication information
Schedule(vol. 1): Bi-monthly
(The Saga of the Swamp Thing, vol. 2–6, The Swamp Thing): Monthly
FormatOngoing series
GenreSuperhero, horror
Publication date
  • (vol. 1)
    October–November 1972 – August–September 1976
  • The Saga of the...
    May 1982 – July 1985
    (vol. 2)
    August 1985 – October 1996
  • (vol. 3)
    May 2000 – December 2001
  • (vol. 4)
    May 2004 – September 2006
  • (vol. 5)
    September 2011 – May 2015
  • (vol. 6)
    January 2016 – June 2016
  • (The Swamp Thing)
    March 2021 – present
Number of issues
  • (vol. 1): 24
  • (The Saga of the Swamp Thing): 38 plus one Annual
    (vol. 2): 133, plus six Annuals
  • (vol. 3): 20
  • (vol. 4): 29
  • (vol. 5): 42 (#1–40, plus #0 and 23.1), a Swamp Thing: Futures End one-shot and three Annuals
  • (vol. 6): 6
  • (The Swamp Thing): 10
Creative team
  • (The Saga of the Swamp Thing, vol. 2)
    Tatjana Wood
    (vol. 3)
    Alex Sinclair

The character found perhaps its greatest popularity during the original 1970s Wein/Wrightson run and in the mid-late 1980s during a highly acclaimed run under Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben. Swamp Thing would also go on to become one of the staples of the Justice League Dark team of magical superheroes.

Outside of an extensive comic book history, the Swamp Thing has inspired two theatrical films, two live-action television series in 1990 and 2019 and a five-part animated series, among other media. IGN ranked him 28th in the "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes" list. He appeared in his first live adaptation in the 1982 film. Dick Durock portrayed the Swamp Thing, while Ray Wise played Alec Holland. Durock reprised the role in the sequel film The Return of Swamp Thing along with playing Holland. Durock reprised the role again in the 1990 television series. The Swamp Thing was performed by Derek Mears with Andy Bean playing his human form of Alec Holland in the television series for DC Universe.

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