open/close all folders
AKA: "Alec Holland"A plant mass that was born from the memories of Alec Holland. Initially believing himself to be Alec Holland, he eventually learned his real nature.
- Anthropomorphic Personification Of Nature.
- Badass Bookworm: Well, Alec used to be a scientist, and he thought he was Alec for a long time. In a Running Gag, he's one of the few people who can always take Batman in a fight. 'Nuff said.
- Becoming the Mask: He isn't really Alec, just a plant elemental who assimilated Alec's memory and personality. While he eventually accepts this, the base of his personality is, for all intents and purposes, still Alec.
- Berserk Button: Don't touch Abby. Really, just don't. He turned all of Gotham into a jungle and beat the Batman to unconsciousness for keeping Abby in jail.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Despite his monstrous appearance, he really isn't that bad of a person and can be amicable if he or his family aren't harmed or threatened. We still advise against pissing him off however, as he is capable of plant-based rampages on par with Poison Ivy's, if not worse.
- The Bus Came Back: His resurrection and death are undone by the New 52, and while in the Green, the real Alec runs into Swamp Thing.
- Creepy Good: See Horrifying Hero.
- Dead All Along: He eventually found out this was true of Alec Holland.
- Elemental Embodiment: He is an embodiment and representative of the Green, the cosmic force behind all plants.
- Gaia's Vengeance: He is Gaia's Vengeance, the representative of all living plant life.
- Horrifying Hero: He is a mass of plants assuming a vaguely humanoid form, several times taller than a regular human being and living in a Swamp. Still pretty much a good guy as long as you don't make him mad.
- Interspecies Romance: With Abby.
- Light 'em Up: Thanks to the whole Brightest Day shenigans.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: When he discovered he was a lot more than just "Alec Holland", Swampie quickly became more powerful up to Physical God levels, able to manifest as long as there's any plant life around.
- Nature Hero: He is nature, and probably the Trope Codifier of Gaia's Vengeance heroes.
- Physical God: At the height of his powers.
- Plant Person: Just look at the picture.
- Super Power Lottery:
- Bizarre Alien Senses: In the "vegetable sex" scene, Abigail temporarily experiences Swamp Thing's ability to sense life force, and perceives the wetlands as a shimmering field of glowing vegetation, dotted with bright life-sparks of animals.
- Elemental Powers
- Green Thumb: Obviously, and he is a good contender for the strongest case of this power in the whole DCU to the point of being called a god. His control over plant life is strong enough that he can transform the entirety of Gotham into a jungle or create entire towns down to the last detail out of plant life alone.
- Healing Factor: Up to Eleven; he can rebuild his body out of any mass of vegetation, even if it has been completely blown up. This borders on Resurrective Immortality.
- Super Strength: His physical strength is just as impressive as his size would make you expect.
- Tomato in the Mirror: He was never Alec Holland. He's just a ghost in weeds.
- Unscrupulous Hero: In later series, his only concerns are maintaining the stability of the Green and keeping his family safe. If either of those are threatened, especially the latter which he often expressed preference for over the former, the Swamp Thing will certainly kill in the most gruesome of ways as vengeance and will express no remorse over the fact.
Swamp Thing II
AKA: Alec Holland
The real Alec Holland. Having died and moved on to the afterlife, he was eventually resurrected to serve as the new Swamp Thing.
- Back from the Dead: He was resurrected to fight the corrupted Swamp Thing. In the New 52, he was brought back for some other reason.
- Ghost Memory: He possesses Swamp Thing's memories, and at first he doesn't know why.
- Legacy Character: He serves as the second Swamp Thing after the plant elemental who used his name.
- Replacement Goldfish: For Abby Arcane. She even says he's not "her" Swamp Thing when they first meet.
- Rescue Romance: In the New 52, he falls in love with Abby after she rescues him.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Abby. Due to their roles as avatars of their respective elements, they cannot be together.
Abby Arcane Holland
Swamp Thing's Love Interest (later wife), and Dr Arcane's niece.
- Boyish Short Hair: In the New 52.
- Distaff Counterpart: Of a sort to Swamp Thing as the Avatar of the Black.
- Happily Married: Eventually, to Swamp Thing. Ends up averted later on when Swamp Thing's dedication to the Green ends up being too much for Abby to tolerate in their marriage, and she decided to leave him and their daughter.
- Interspecies Romance: With Swamp Thing. This was actually made a plot point once, as she was arrested for essentially marrying a plant. Swamp Thing didn't react well.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Niece: To Arcane.
- Mystical White Hair: She is best-recognizable by her white and black hair.
- Skunk Stripe: Inverted. She has white hair with a black stripe.
- Psychic Powers
- Rescue Romance:
- She fell in love with Matthew after he (and the Swamp Thing) rescued her.
- She fell in love with Swamp Thing after he rescued her.
- With New 52 Alec Holland, she is the rescuer.
- Sanity Slippage: Her marriage to Swamp Thing and trauma under Dr. Arcane has not done much to stabilize her mental state and is often seen in hysterics in stories when her personal life is threatened. Her New 52 incarnation seems to avert this, having become quite blasé as a coping mechanism instead.
Abby's uncle and Swamp Thing's Arch-Enemy, Arcane is an Evil Sorcerer Mad Scientist obsessed with gaining immortality. To this end, he has tried several times to get his hands on the Swamp Thing's body.
- Alliterative Name: Anton Arcane.
- And I Must Scream:
- While in Hell, spiders lay eggs inside his body that hatch and eat their way out, causing him awful pain for eternity. To make things worse, the whole thing include a case of Year Inside, Hour Outside.
- Later, The Parlment of Decay punishes his misuse of the Rot by trapping him a place of peace and life where death doesn't exist... which, considering his obsession with creating a place of endless death and decay, is torture to him.
- Arch-Enemy: To Swamp Thing. He is by far the most persistant and personal antagonist.
- Axe-Crazy: Could seriously rival The Joker as one of the most depraved, homicidal villains in the DCU. His "accomplishment" include, among others, molesting his sister as a child, experimenting on his wife, practicing a lifestyle of necrophilia, cannibalism, depravity, and satanism that got him kicked out of school and once indirectly raping his own niece.
- Back from the Dead: Death seems to be more of an inconvenience, really.
- Bald of Evil: Usually despicted as bald, though there have been exceptions.
- Been There, Shaped History: Anton was the one who convinced Hitler to go into politics and start his campaign of terror and mass genocide, simply because he wanted more bodies to experiment on in order to find the secrets of immortality after he felt the last Great War ended too quickly and didn't provide him enough bodies for his liking.
- Big Bad: By far the most prominent villain faced by the Swamp Thing.
- Cain and Abel: With his brother Gregori, Abigail's father, who "accidentally" stepped on a landmine, after which Anton experimented on him and turned him into the Patchwork Man.
- Creepy Uncle: A strong contender to the title of creepiest uncle in all of fiction. How many others went so far as to secretly possess the rotting corpse of their niece's husband and carry on their relationship as if nothing was wrong for months (yes, including sexually), reveling in her horrified reaction once she found out, then throwing her soul in Hell, just for petty revenge?
- Demonic Possession: When he managed to escape Hell, he used this to interact with people, even possessing Matt Cable for a time.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Completely ruined his niece's life and raped her by possessing her husband just because she turned down his request that she becomes his apprentice.
- Enfant Terrible: Even as a kid, he was a sociopath who took pleasure in hurting and molesting his younger sister. And he only got worse growing up.
- Evil Sorcerer: Skilled in many forms of magic, including necromancy, among other things.
- Evil Uncle: Doesn't even begins to describe his relationship with Abby.
- Heel–Face Turn: Though obviously, it didn't stick.
- Horrifying the Horror: His apocalypse in Saga of Swamp Thing made the Joker stop laughing.
- Immortality Seeker: His main goal. Towards this end, he often plotted to steal Swamp Thing's indestructible body to inhabit and instigating the death of millions just to have more bodies to experiment on. Think Dr. Herbert West Up to Eleven.
- Joker Immunity: As noted above, he has been killed an incredible number of times, but he always manages to come back and torment the Swamp Thing again even after being dead and sent to Hell.
- Mad Scientist: He is a brillant enough scientist to create synthetic organic matter, which he uses mostly to create monsters under his control or find ways to become immortal.
- Made of Evil: When Anton became an evil spirit and possessed Matt Cable, he was able to spread his evil influence across the country to the point even the Monitor, a cosmic being who oversaw the entire cosmos, was terrified of the evil Anton was giving off, even likening it to something on the level of Trigon the Terrible or the Spectre. The evil was so potent it started freaking out the afraid and deranged, and even managed to the make the Joker stop laughing, rendering him drooling and catatonic in the process. He's so bad the demons of Hell were impressed at how remorselessly evil he was after being sent there and allowed him to become a demon.
- Necromancer: In the New 52, he became the avatar of the Rot, the force of Decay and Death.
- One-Winged Angel: Has at several times turned himself into various kind of hulking monsters through his experiments.
- Reality Warper: Used for horrific results when he possessed Matt Cable.
- Same Character, but Different: By far one of the villains who has changed the most over the course of years, to the point it's difficult to find a picture appropriate for his page.
- The Sociopath: A particularly twisted example. He has zero empathy for anyone, and exists only to sate his disturbing desires.
- Spider People: In his third appearance, he became a cybernetic monstrosity, half spider, half zombie, with one compound eye piloting a aircraft shaped like a dragonfly.
- Take Over the World: Seemingly Anton Arcane's ultimate goal if not trying to be immortal. Later, he had the power to do so when he took possession of Matt Cable's body and his reality warping abilities. And during Rotworld, we saw what the world would be like under Arcane's rule.
- Would Hurt a Child: Oh yes. Pre-New 52, he had been terribly abusive to his own younger siblings when they were young; in his reintroduction afterwards as an avatar of the Rot, he narrated how he had been killing avatars of the Red and Green for over a century... and that his favorites were those he killed when still in their cribs.
AKA: Jason Woodrue
- Breakout Villain: He started out as a fairly minor villain from The Atom. Then Alan Moore used him for his own take on Swamp Thing, and he quickly got a boost in popularity.
- Gaia's Vengeance: Briefly attempts to do this after his contact with the Green, believing he is saving Earth from mankind by killing all non-plant life. Swamp Thing gets him out of it when he points out plants also need animals to survive.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: He once managed to use Swamp Thing's body to contact the Green. The experience drove him insane, to the point that he tried to exterminate all non-plant life on Earth.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: Briefly became a hero during The New Guardians series. He however reverted back to be a villain after the death of most of his teammates.
- Large Ham: "THERE WAS NO NOISE! THERE WAS NO SCREAMING MEAT!"
- Off with His Head!: Happened to him in Batman: Shadow of the Bat. Twice. Good thing he can heal, indeed.
- Plant Person
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Originally a small-time baddie who bounced back and forth between Batman and The Atom. Considering what fighting Swamp Thing did to his popularity, the change was for the best.
- Steven Ulysses Per Hero: Wood rue. He actually invokes this himself when he tries to act as an agent of the Green.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has several in the space of a few issues.
- Was Once a Man
A con-man who specialises in the occult. See his pages.
- Anti-Hero: He technically is a good guy, but his motivations to do good are entirely selfish, and his methods tend to be morally ambiguous at best.
- Badass Longcoat: And a sentient one, at that.
- Breakout Character: Ended up becoming so popular he eventually got his own series that lasted longer than Swamp Thing's, and his iconography became a part of pop culture too.
- Jerk Ass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- The Mentor: to Swamp Thing.
Abby's first husband, a government agent.
- Reality Warper: Acquired these abilities from shock treatments designed to wipe his memory clean.
- Deal with the Devil: After fatally wounded in a car crash, Arcane in the guise of a fly convinces Mat to let "help" him survive. In reality, Arcane takes over his body and uses it to exact the most twisted revenge upon Abby and Swamp Thing.
- Death Equals Redemption
- Death of the Hypotenuse: His coma and eventual death after the Arcane Saga free up Abby to openly enter a relationship with Swamp Thing guilt free.
- Inspector Javert: At first.
- Jerkass: During Alan Moore's run, Matt slides more and more into unlikable terrority, becoming colder and distant while abusing his powers to create pornographic fantasies for himself away from Abby. As such, the reader doesn't chide Abby for clearly developing romantic feelings more and more for Swamp Thing
- Transplant: He became Matthew the Raven in The Sandman.
The Parliament of Trees
The Patchwork Man
AKA: Gregori Arcane
The daughter of Swamp Thing and Abby, conceived when Swamp Thing was using John Constantine's body.