Warning: The following contains spoilers for Swamp Thing: Green Hell, on sale now from DC Comics.
In Swamp Thing: Green Hell (by Jeff Lemire, Doug Mahnke, David Baron, and Steve Wands), DC introduces a post-apocalyptic world where the three Parliaments have conspired to create a new Swamp Thing to wipe out all human life. Without moral restraint, built on the corpse of a vicious, bloodthirsty host, and fueled by the power of the Red, the Green, and the Rot, this version of the creature is the most disturbing version to date.
This new Swamp Thing is its most dangerous form yet. Created by the Green with the full support of the Rot and the Red, this version of the creature faces no opposition from the other parliaments that normally serve as balancing agents within the morphogenetic field. While the Rot declares that it serves the other two, it has repeatedly acted to take the upper hand and run rampant across the living world. In the DC Multiverse, the morphogenetic field created by all life is called the Red (created by non-plant life) and the Green (created by vegetation). The two on their own are all-pervasive “mystical and powerful” life-forces, flowing through and binding all life together. The Rot serves as the opposite force, restraining both the Red and the Green.
Alec Holland, DC's most well-known manifestation of the Swamp Thing, was able to influence the moral decisions of the avatar. This time, the ruthless leader of scavenging raiders is chosen to become the creature. In his introduction, he raids the small populace and beats up his brother-in-law as a barbaric sign of strength. Already, he has proven that his level of humanity is much different from that of Holland. The Green has chosen him not as a protector or defender but as their weapon of mass destruction against humanity, and this Swamp Thing destroys everyone it encounters without mercy.
Even the design of this deadly new Swamp Thing is very different than what has been seen before. This creature is grotesque and monstrous, sprouting tentacles to impale its victims, and every murder is more gruesome than the last. At one point, the monster pulls a woman towards it and transforms its eye into a blade that then spears through her head. Vines twist into people and extrude bloody through eyes, noses, and mouths. DC promoted Green Hell as a “gory, gruesome monster mash” and it doesn’t hold back in achieving that.
Swamp Thing: Green Hell marks the return of the creature to its dark horror roots in surprisingly graphic fashion. Appearing originally in the horror series House of Secrets, the first Swamp Thing was a man named Alex Olsen who was murdered and left in a swamp where his corpse is reanimated by something mystical and vegetative merges with the corpse. The origin of the new creature echoes this first origin, with the Green once again taking possession of a murdered corpse and making it into its agent.
Without Holland’s spirit or memories and possessing the full support of all three Parliaments, this Swamp Thing might be the most dangerous version of the avatar ever seen. It is surely the most disturbing and vicious. Unencumbered by Holland's morality, Green Hell's Swamp Thing is a literal force of nature that is intent on the complete eradication of humanity, refusing to stop its violent rampage until its mission is completed.
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