Updated on 16 October, 2021
Swamp Thing may not be the most popular character who comes into mind when you consider classic superheroes, but without him, the DC Universe and comic books as a whole would be very different. From his very first comic, Swamp Thing was an integral part of the DC Universe. In fact, the very concept of the superhero came from the Swamp Thing's own title. The character has appeared in a number of different comic series, ranging from short one-shots to long ongoing storylines. From his earliest gig as the hopelessly doomed soul of a Gothic romance to his current time at least, here are a lot of things you may not know about Swamp Thing.
The Swamp Thing first appeared in the aforementioned comic, where he was simply referred to as "the devil's vegetable matter". The story indicated that a scientist had created a serum which was capable of turning any object or human being into a vegetable. What he didn't realize was that the serum also made the subject go insane. The poor devil was forced to wander through the swamps and marshes of New Orleans, seeking help from people who would come to take care of him. It was because of this crazy scientist that Swamp Thing became a very important part of the DC Universe, becoming the basis for many of the characters who have appeared in the comics since then.
The Swamp Thing's green skin is a clear indicator that he is, in fact, a vegetable person. This is backed up by the fact that the villain is obsessed with rotting dead bodies, and will go to any length to get his hands on them. In many of the early appearances of the Swamp Thing, we see that he'll catch a variety of criminals in the act of committing a crime, and then shoot the criminal dead with his own tentacle. The most memorable scene in one of the early Swamp Thing story, "Dead Zero" saw the green vegetable-man trapping a member of the Yancy clan in an electrically charged net, after they tried to apprehend a member of the villain's criminal organization.
It was in the late seventies that the character of the Swamp Thing really came into his own, and he began to gain popularity among both readers and artists in the comic book industry. With the introduction of the character's supporting cast in the latest Batman Beyond television series, more people became familiar with the character. Some of the most popular Swamp Thing comic books, however, continue to be written today, and they have a fan base that continues to increase each and every year.
The most recent version of the Swamp Thing Comic book series has taken a new twist on the concept, and has brought the character up to date with modern day concerns. A new villain has been introduced, and he is a human who has the ability to turn into a powerful being called the Shade. He also has a strange connection to the world of the dead, which has caused a schism between him and the other Swamp Thing characters. This latest version of the DC comics tale, written by Greg Rucka, is the ultimate origin of the character, and is the best known version of the character to date.
In the new 52 series, Rucka created a new timeline where the original Swamp Thing took up a new life in modern day Gotham City. His identity was not changed, but his appearance was changed, so as to fit in with the new Batman. Because of this, he could not find the love and friendship that he had when he was a regular Swamp Thing, and he retired from his superhero career. Two new members of the Bat family showed up to take his place, and Batman asked him to help them find and recruit their old ally, the bat killer, Deathstroke. However, Rucka instead focused most of his attention on the mysterious vigilante called John Constantine. This new John Constantine is a hulking monster, about thirty times larger than the original Constantine, and he possessed mystical powers.
The mystical abilities of John Constantine were put to test when he was forced to save the city of New York from an evil force called the Midnight Lantern. During the confrontation, John Constantine was blasted apart by a beam of light that came from the sky, and was seemingly killed. However, in the very next issue, the mysterious Constantine was seen to have survived the blast, and was captured by the evil knight, Azazel, whom Constantine had fought and defeated some time before.
In the final issue of the main article, "Swamp Thing," the mystery behind John Constantine is unraveled. We learn that he is actually immortal, which explains why he is so powerful. We also discover that Azazel is the villain of the story, and that he plans to use the mystical power of the Swamp Thing to attack humanity, and kill the newly elected President of the United States, James Constantine. Azazel has also implanted a plan into the mind of the young John Constantine that will allow him to take over the world using the resources of the Swamp Thing, in order to make himself supreme ruler of the world. Finally, we get the scoop on the latest version of Azazel, played by Justin Hartley, who also happens to be the stuntman that gets the face of super-hero John Constantine.