In a secret facility located in the Louisiana swamplands, scientist Alec Holland and his wife Linda invented a Bio-Restorative Formula that would solve any nations' food shortage problems. Ferrett and Bruno — thugs working for Nathan Ellery — barged into Alec's lab, knocked him out, and planted a bomb in the facility. Alec woke up just as the bomb exploded, and in flames, he ran into the swamp. His body had been drenched in the bio-restorative formula, and this affected the swamp's plant life, imbuing it with Alec's consciousness and memories. The newly conscious plant life formed a semblance of a human form and rose up from the bog as the Swamp Thing, the latest in a long line of Earth elementals created when The Green was in need of protection.
However, Alec Holland was dead. The Swamp Thing laboured for a time under the misconception that he had actually been Alec, transformed into a monster. Eventually, he discovered that he was merely plant matter that had absorbed Alec's consciousness through a series of particular circumstances.
Alec's spirit was not at rest, though, and he appeared to the Swamp Thing. He urged the creature to retrieve his skeleton from the bottom of the bayou and give it a proper burial. This allowed Alec's spirit to free itself from the earthly plane and ascend into Heaven.
Alec Holland was returned to life, while the Swamp Thing had become a being of mindless destruction. Alec's last conscious memory was of hurling himself into the swamp to extinguish the flames engulfing him, having no memory of ever being Swamp Thing previously. John Constantine took it upon himself to seek the living Alec out, and force him to reunite with the Swamp Thing as one, returning its conscience. However, since he had been given his life back, Alec wanted to keep it, and John conceded, letting him live.The Life Entity revealed Alec Holland as its champion and a missing, vital component of the Swamp Thing itself. Unlike the previous incarnation, a mass of humanoid plant life with all of Holland's absorbed memories, this new renewed Swamp Thing was generated directly from the body of Alec Holland himself. The Entity imbued upon Holland all of the powers of The Green that the former had wielded. Including the additional elemental governance over fire. As the Swamp Thing, Alec grew to an enormous height to battle the Corrupted Being. Upon defeating it, he restored the Green to its natural order.
This history is continued in The New 52 at Alec Holland (Prime Earth).
- Elemental Control The 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.
- 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.
- Chlorokinesis: The ability to commune with plantlife and to varying degrees control its growth and form. Summon forth vines to entangle or snare, and so on. A master of this ability can manipulate the microscopic algae inside of a person's body and use it to attack them from the inside out.
- Self-Sustenance: The ability to nourish oneself, typically via an external energy source. In Swamp Thing's case, likely through a form of photosynthesis.
- Vulnerability to Pollution: Pollution is highly dangerous to the plant life that makes up his body and the plant life he is connected to.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- The character of the Alec Holland was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.
- While Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson had intended Alec Holland to be the Swamp Thing in their original run of Swamp Thing (Volume 1), Alan Moore retconned that interpretation in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #21 to ensure that Alec had died in Swamp Thing #1, and the Swamp Thing was an entirely different entity, created through unusual circumstances.
- Together, Alec and Linda won a Nobel Prize according to a newspaper clipping collected by Matt Cable.
- According to his headstone, Alec was born in 1945 and Linda in 1949.
- Swamp Thing (Volume 1)
- Swamp Thing (Volume 2)
- Swamp Thing (Volume 3)
- Swamp Thing (Volume 4)
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5)
- 30 Appearances of Alec Holland (New Earth)
- 13 Images featuring Alec Holland (New Earth)
- 4 Quotations by or about Alec Holland (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Alec Holland (New Earth)
This character exists under the Vertigo Imprint which is intended for Mature Readers. Vertigo titles although they may cross over into regular DC continuity.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Vertigo Characters."
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.