I doubt that there can be many people these days who are unaware that
ALEC HOLLAND wasn't the first unfortunate to become a "mock-encrusted
mockery" of a man...a SWAMP THING! That dubious gift of fate goes to
ALEX OLSEN, who - in THE HOUSE OF SECRETS #92 (July 1971) -
fell victim to the all-consuming jealousy of DAMIAN RIDGE, his co-worker
and supposed friend, who resented him being married to LINDA, whom
Damian had secretly loved and coveted for, oh...ever such a long time.
However, if I assumed that most people already knew these things, then I'd
have nothing to write about, so I'll imagine, dear reader, that you're only
aware of the second incarnation of the Swamp Thing, who debuted in the
first issue of his own magazine in November of 1972, and who was a bio
restorative research scientist working for the U.S. government along with
his wife, LINDA HOLLAND.
ALAN MOORE grafted his own take onto the character back in the '80s,
and ol' Swampy's probably undergone a few more revisions since then
Truth to tell, I'm currently completely in the dark over the current status of
Doc Holland's alter-ego - DC seem to change the histories and continuities
of their characters faster than ALAN SCOTT can scream "I'M FREE!" in
his best JOHN INMAN voice.
However, whether you're up to speed on on what's happening to ol'
tuber-tonsils or not, whether you can differentiate between all the
subsequent versions since Alec Holland first crawled out of the mire
back in the early '70s or are as completely clueless as I am, I thought
you'd still enjoy seeing the story that spawned - THE STARTLING
SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING! Enjoy.
The above tale, plus the first 'baker's dozen' of the original Swamp Thing
saga by LEN WEIN, BERNIE WRIGHTSON and NESTOR REDONDO are
reprinted in the excellent DC COMICS CLASSICS LIBRARY volume,
entitled ROOTS OF THE SWAMP THING. Wein only wrote the first
thirteen issues before moving on to pastures new, so if you were thinking
of buying a book about our favourite bog-birthed man-monster then it
has to be this one.