NOTE: I apologise in advance if this thread is not appropriate for this forum.
I’m a big fan of the 1991 Swamp Thing cartoon (my introduction to the character) and have always been bitterly disappointed that only five episodes where made. While I admit that the show does have a lot of problems I still love it and think it’s a lot of fun. As the series is pretty obscure I’ve decided to make this thread to introduce people here to this version of Swamp Thing.
This series does not follow Alan Moore’s run on the comic and keeps to the original version of Swamp Thing’s origin. So there’s no “the Green,” no “Parliament of Trees” etc. This Swamp Thing is a mutated Alec Holland, simple as that. While this means he doesn’t have the god-like power of his comic counterpart he’s still pretty impressive and a force to be reckoned with in his own right. At the very least I hope people find it interesting and it stimulates some discussion.
Let’s start with the pilot episode “The Un-men Unleashed.”
1:47- Swamp Thing gets out of a net by “melting” into the ground. Notably he does this before Weed Killer can get off a shot. He then burrows through the ground faster than Deemo and Weed Killer can run, and trips them with a large vine.
2:07- Again showing how quickly he can transform Swamp Thing emerges and re-forms behind them. Before either can react he turns his fingers into vines and tangles them up, completely immobilising them.
2:40- Swamp Thing extends his arm Mr. Fantastic-style and rips off a boat’s steering wheel.
3:53- Swamp Thing camouflages himself against a tree by altering his colour and texture.
4:24- Intelligence feat. Swamp Thing built the Bog Rover vehicle (and presumably also built the Marsh Buggy we‘ll see later). Tomahawk admits that Swamp Thing knows the terrain better than him.
7:20- Swamp Thing emerges from the ground and reforms quicker than Skin Man can react and catches him in a hold.
7:38- Swamp Thing turns his body into slime to slip out of Skin Man’s jaws. He then sprouts cactus-like spikes so that when Skin Man charges he ends up stabbing himself.
10:06- Abby explains Swamp Thing’s origins.
14:15-Size-altering feat. Swamp Thing’s arm extends and enlarges, allowing him to pick Abby up effortlessly from the top of his tree-lab.
14:35- Again we see Swamp Thing transform into roots to burrow underground.
18:35- Despite being poisoned by Weed Killer and having had the growth formula drained from his body (which I imagine would be equivalent to draining a human‘s blood), Swamp Thing is able to break free of metal restraints.
19:34- A quick dunk in a fountain fully heals him.
20:11- Swamp Thing forms his finger into a vine lasso. He then shows good accuracy and strength, snaring Skin Man’s ankle, pulling him out of the sky, then swinging him around and launching him through the air.
21:36- With some help from Bayou Jack Swamp Thing forms a thick leaf canopy to shield his friends from getting hit by mutagen. He himself is immune to said mutagen.
22:03- Strength feat. After turning his feet to roots to anchor himself and turning his hands to vines Swamp Thing is able to lift and throw the Bayou Blaster and the three Un-men aboard it.
1:23- Emerging from the ground and re-forming. He was also able to sense the presence of the bear trap while underground.
1:43- Super-strength feat. Swamp Thing crushes a steel bear trap in one hand.
1:56- Swamp Thing transforms into a heap of foliage to hide Tomahawk.
2:34- Swamp Thing burrows underground behind a toppling tree and catches it in time to stop it falling. He then pulls it back and re-plants it.
4:07- Abby has some great stealth feats in this series. Not only is she able to sneak into Arcane’s lab without being detected, she also manages to get a sample of Xingu sap back to Swamp Thing.
5:23- More arm-stretching.
6:08- Drops from the tree-lab to the ground and then burrows through the soil.
7:28- Strength and endurance feat. Swamp Thing is unaffected by the air pressure and thin atmosphere found at high altitudes. He is also able to hold onto the plane’s wheels all the way from Louisiana to the Amazon Rainforest with no sign of fatigue.
7:50- Swamp Thing transforms into roots to infiltrate the plane, bending metal in the process.
8:10- Dodges a jet of poison.
8:26- Overpowers Weed Killer with one hand and throws him through the air.
8:50- Swamp Thing survives a 1000-foot fall and is just stunned.
10:14- Speed and shape-shifting feat. Swamp Thing snatches a boy out of the way of a jaguar’s pounce (enlarging his arm to pick the boy up), and forms his other arm into a whip. He then forms his right hand into a large “mouth” to scare the jaguar away.
11:50- Here we see just how lethal Weed Killer’s toxins are as he easily fells a large tree. The toxin also has a corrosive effect, melting the ground it touches. Additionally we see how strong Arcane’s henchmen are as Deemo and Skin Man are able to catch the falling tree (and Swamp Thing routinely overpowers these guys).
13:19- Swamp Thing pulls down two large tent poles, snapping one in the process.
14:26- A display of strength from Skin Man in his Un-man form as he first rips through a heavy tent canopy and then lifts it up with his feet. Finally he lifts a bundled-up Swamp Thing and carries him in flight with ease.
15:19- After being first weakened by exhaust gases and then doused in Weed Killer’s poison, Swamp Thing is again fully healed by some fresh water.
17:04- More Un-men strength feats. Skin Man smashes right through a tree which Weed Killer then catches and throws to Deemo. Deemo then breaks it in two with his serpent neck.
19:26- Swamp Thing breaks out of Deemo’s coils. The same Deemo who just broke a tree in two.
19:33- Swamp Thing turns his fingers into roots and uses them to rip down Arcane’s web. If we assume the web is the same as regular spider-silk then it has similar tensile strength as high-grade steel, and Swamp Thing tore it apart easily.
19:58- Some great transmutation feats here. Swamp Thing de-powers the Un-men, returning them to their usual forms, and then turns them into trees. He notes that it’s only temporary.
21:07- Swamp Thing separates his hands and instantly regenerates a new pair.
21:17 Swamp Thing reverses the destruction Arcane wrought, causing all of the trees to grow back. However this required him to combine his powers with the special properties of Xingu sap. Swamp Thing admits that his powers have limits and he couldn’t have done this by himself.
1:25- Swamp Thing demonstrates and explains how he can absorb bio-energy from plants.
2:22- Like he did in episode 1 we again see Swamp Thing extending and enlarging his arm, this time to safely catch the falling lift. He then re-forms himself at ground level.
3:05- More arm-stretching.
4:34- Swamp Thing grows to giant size, tall enough to see over the treetops.
7:02- I’d just like to point out here that no, a preying mantis does not “devour plants” since the species are carnivores. Clearly Arcane was just taunting him.
7:26- Swamp Thing gets out of Mantis Jack’s pin by turning into vines and then re-forming a few feet away.
7:40- Displays good reactions as he ducks under Mantis Jack’s attack.
8:09- Swamp Thing extends his arms and sprouts an extra pair to restrain Mantis Jack. He then shows his strength by hurling him into the river.
8:36- Subdues Mantis Jack with help from Tomahawk. This seems to be PIS to make Tomahawk look useful as we’ve seen Swamp Thing can restrain opponents without assistance.
10:23- Here we get a reminder that in addition to his powers Alec Holland is a brilliant scientist. He cures Jack with a Venus flytrap he genetically altered to filter out Arcane’s mutagen.
13:45- Swamp Thing turns into roots and burrows underground, also showing how quickly he can move in this manner.
13:54- Swamp Thing withstands three sustained energy beams from the radioactive Un-men for several seconds before losing consciousness. An amazing show of resilience since even their ambient radiation was intense enough to disintegrate Tomahawk’s arrow and vaporise Jack’s water stream.
16:31- Once again Swamp Thing is easily rejuvenated by dunking him in water.
16:50- Tactics/intelligence feat as Swamp Thing comes up with a plan to trap the Un-men.
17:28- We see here that the energy beams the Un-men are firing can melt metal and Swamp Thing survived getting hit by three of those.
17:37- Swamp Thing lifts the Bayou Blaster without needing to increase his size. He then transforms his hand into a cage to trap Arcane and Weed Killer and hurls the Bayou Blaster through the air.
17:59- Swamp Thing uses the same tactic of sprouting cactus spikes all over his body that he used against Skinman in episode 1. This time however he goes one better by firing the spikes and pinning Skinman to a tree with them. Deemo then rushes him and Swamp Thing also pins him to the tree by turning his hand into a prong. Meaning that not only did Swamp Thing overpower him, he’s also unaffected by the radiation Deemo is giving off. It took three directed, highly concentrated beams to harm Swamp Thing. Also note that all of the Un-men’s various restraints are able to hold them despite their radioactivity. Contrast that with the arrow Tomahawk fired at them.
18:54- Extends his body Mr. Fantastic-style. He then extends his arms and digs his fingers into the ground, allowing him to resist the strength of a giant flytrap for a few seconds before being overwhelmed.
19:50- An amazing endurance feat here. Swamp Thing absorbs the radioactivity into his own body, returning the flytrap to normal. He then withstands it long enough to transfer it back into the satellite, even though it must have taken a while for them to get to it, and as soon as he does so he’s good as new. Compare this with his comic counterpart who was temporarily “killed” (i.e. his body disintegrated and he had to grow a new one) by a radioactive hobo (I‘m totally serious).
1:52- Tomahawk seems evenly matched with Skinman in a physical struggle. This may seem odd due to the strength Skinman displayed in episode 2 but we can probably put it down to him being tired from digging up the burial ground.
2:56- Swamp Thing shape-shifts into a wooden ramp, again demonstrating how quickly he can transform.
5:06- Having transformed into roots Swamp Thing fills up the open graves with great speed.
6:17- Another showing of Skinman’s strength in his Un-man form as he’s able to knock Swamp Thing over. However Swamp Thing then grabs his ankle and proceeds to slam him into the ground.
6:30- It’s hard to tell but based on Swamp Thing’s reaction it looks like Skinman slashed his face here. Seconds later he’s fully healed with no wound to be seen.
6:48- Swamp Thing transforms his hands into propellers and spins them fast enough to create a wind that blows Skinman into a tree.
7:58- Swamp Thing infiltrates the Arcane plantation through the plumbing by transforming into slime/algae. Unlike his comic counterpart he needs Abby to turn on the tap for him to get through.
8:50- Swamp Thing bashes down a heavy wooden door. He then reacts quick enough to dodge a jet of Weed Killer’s poison by extending his arms, grabbing a cable and then retracting them. Note also that Weed Killer’s toxin eats into the stone wall.
9:12- This time Weed Killer lands a hit. While Swamp Thing is incapacitated he is not killed or seriously harmed. When Abby gets him out of the transducer he seems fully recovered except for some coughing. Meaning he recovered within minutes from a strong, concentrated toxin without needing fresh water like in earlier episodes.
11:17- Arcane uses his sceptre as an energy-charged striking weapon, smashing through a wall of rock with one hit.
12:58- Swamp Thing traps a mutant crayfish with his vines. He noted that he couldn’t overcome it with pure strength.
14:40- A possible bit of PIS here as it’s odd that Swamp Thing seems afraid of falling rocks but hey, old habits die hard. Anyway, he forms a wooden staff to deflect the debris.
15:34- Swamp Thing seems to have difficulty with the guardian but there are a few things we need to remember. First Swamp Thing was caught off-guard with a sneak attack, meaning he wasn’t able to brace himself, and second he doesn’t want to harm the guardian so he’s holding back.
16:11- Swamp Thing can emit a blinding light from his body.
17:00- Arcane triggers a cave-in just by smashing his sceptre into the ground.
17:07- Swamp Thing again shows how quick he can be as he saves the guardian from being crushed by a rock.
17:29- Swamp Thing increases his size to hold up the cavern and then transforms the added mass into wood which he then separates from in his usual form. He then sprouts six extra arms to hold up a collapsing rock, although he does need help from Tomahawk and the guardian.
19:51- Arcane causes another rock-fall. This time he doesn’t even need to hit the rock-face, just holds his sceptre to it and the energy emitting from it causes the rock-fall. For all the good it does as Swamp Thing easily digs a way out for himself and Tomahawk. He then grows his arms to easily overpower Skinman and throw him down the river.
1:22- Swamp Thing creates an entire bridge from his own body.
3:03- We see again that Swamp Thing can accurately sense what’s happening on the surface when he burrows underground as he extends vines and disarms two goons.
3:13- Swamp Thing forms holes in his body T-1000 style to allow enemy shots to pass through, then enlarges his hands to throw the goons away.
6:13- Despite being frozen Swamp Thing is able to extend two vines to grab the scientist’s wrists. He then breaks out of the ice. He’s a bit woozy but is otherwise unharmed.
9:03- Swamp Thing transforms himself into solid wood, easily repelling Skinman’s attack.
9:15- Again we see how quick Swamp Thing can be as he enlarges his hands and lifts up Arcane before he can harm his hostage.
11:42- Swamp Thing recovers from the effects of Weed Killer’s toxin despite not being given water and easily throws away Skinman and Deemo. He then lifts up a ramp to block a jet of poison and then throws it.
17:20- Swamp Thing is able to “see” his friends are in danger despite not having any eyes. Note also that they were so far away that a regular person needed binoculars to see them.
17:46- Swamp Thing manages to recover and grow back from being reduced to a puddle of goo. True he needed concentrated sunlight, pure air and water provided by his allies to achieve this, but it shows just how much he can survive and recover from.
19:25- Swamp Thing drives his feet through concrete, breaks free of Deemo’s hold and throws him down a manhole.
19:46- Spiderman-style wall-crawling up glass by transforming his hands into suction cups.
19:53- Another display of how corrosive Weed Killer’s poison is.
20:02- Swamp Thing turns his arm into a vine and swings away before Weed Killer can fire. He then shows some inventive shape-shifting by turning his legs into vines and throwing Weed Killer from the building. Finally he easily overpowers Skinman.
20:39- Catches a falling lift by transforming into a tree.
And that concludes the series. As I said I know the show has a lot of problems but I still love it and I really think it deserved more episodes.
Thank you very much to Dr Will Hatch for commenting and thanks to everyone who reads this thread. It didn’t get much response but I’m glad I made it.