Brightest Day: The Return of Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing

It’s been almost a year since Brightest Day began, and the hunt for the new protector of earth has taken many twistsand turns along the way. Brightest Day #23 dropped a pair of bombshells this week. It revealed that Swamp Thing is back in the DCU in the form of a deadly Black Lantern. It also revealed that Alec Holland is the destined protector for the Life Entity inside the white lantern. This is huge news for fans of Swamp Thing. Unfortunately, with the character being out of the spotlight for several years now, many readers are uncertain of what to make of these revelations.

Swamp Thing is one of the more famous creatures in comics he becomes the DCU classic “man into monster” story, inspired by characters like Hulk. In his debut, Swamp Thing began life as Alec Holland, a brilliant researcher who was developing a method of restoring plant life to lifeless regions. But after being doused in his own chemicals during a lab accident and collapsing in the nearby swamp, Holland was transformed into a human/monster hybrid known as Swamp Thing.

Alec Holland became the Swamp Thing a plant elemental in the DC Comics Universe originally created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson. Swamp Thing’s origins were dramatically re-imagined when Alan Moore came on board the series as writer. The Swamp Thing creature had merely fed on Holland’s body as it regenerated and thereby gained fragments of his memories. The real Alec Holland had been dead since his accident. Swamp Thing’s efforts to defined the natural world have put him into contact with many other DC heroes and villains, including Superman, Lex Luthor, Darkseid, and Batman. But since the cancellation of Swamp Thing Vol. 4 several years ago, the character has remained dormant. But thanks to Brightest Day series it looks like he is back.

Rise of Alec Holland
Rise of Alec Holland

Brightest Day has followed the lives of 12 heroes and villains resurrected at the end of Blackest Night. Each was granted new life by a mysterious white lantern and charged with a particular mission. For Deadman, a character who spent his entire prior heroic career as an intangible ghost, the goal was to find the true protector of Earth and rightful wielder of the white light. Those who assumed Deadman himself would emerge as the protector were proven wrong when the true steward of the White Lantern emerged.

Swamp Thing actually appears to be a villain in this story. The character was resurrected by the same dark energies that powered the Black Lanterns during Blackest Night. Far from being a protector of nature, this Black Lantern Swamp Thing is the “Dark Avatar,” a creature intent on destroying the magical forest in Star City. What’s more, issue #23 revealed that this forest is the new home for the Parliament of Trees.

Brightest Day #23

As this issue also showed, four heroes will be opposing Swamp Thing in these final chapters. Several of Brightest Day’s stars have been endowed with the powers of the four elements. Martian Manhunter is Earth, Firestorm is fire, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are air, and Aquaman is water. As the four basic building blocks of life these elemental heroes are in a position to halt Swamp Thing’s onslaught. The question now is what form Alec Holland will take. Will he be human again? Will he merge with Swamp Thing? Will his influence be the thing that restores the raging monster to normal and ends his attempted destruction of the Parliament of Trees? Lots of questions that will be answered soon.

Geoff Johns as a writer has created a wonderful story. Who would of thought Swamp Thing when Brightest Day began. I will be following this till the end and also the new series after this the Search For Swamp Thing. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt