I doubt that there can be many readers 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 of you 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 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.