Swamp Thing has been the premiere champion of the Green, and in Future State, DC reveals exactly why he was chosen in the first place.
Warning: contains spoilers for Future State: Swamp Thing #2
Within DC mythology, Swamp Thing has been the premiere champion of The Green, and now DC has revealed why he was chosen in the first place. In Future State: Swamp Thing #2 from writer Ram V and artist Mike Perkings, during the final showdown between Swamp Thing and Jason Woodrue (here going by the name the Undying Man), readers learn that Swamp Thing’s ties to humanity make him special.
In the previous issue, readers learn that Swamp Thing has conquered Earth thousands of years into the future. While scattered pockets of humanity still exist, plant creatures are the dominant life form. One group of humans comes to Swamp Thing seeking help against the Undying Man. He accompanies them back to their home and learns of the Undying Man’s plan to unleash the Dark Sun on Earth, wiping out all life, and in this issue, readers learn the secret of the Undying Man as well as what makes Swamp Thing so special in the first place.
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Revealed to be Jason Woordue, The Floronic Man, the Undying Man has longed to be the champion of the Green but is constantly passed over in favor of Swamp Thing. Tired of being overlooked, Woodrue has decided to wipe out all life on Earth, and he has harnessed the power of the hero Obsidian to do so. Swamp Thing tells Woodrue that the Green passed him over because Woodrue valued his “humanity so little.” Later, when Woodrue unleashes the destructive power of the Dark Sun, it is Swamp Thing who saves humanity by building a tree-based shelter for them. As he builds it from scratch, he echoes the sentiments from earlier, saying the Green always chooses a human host, because of humanity’s “potential for eternal hope.” Years later, readers see humans still living in the shelter Swamp Thing built, peacefully co-existing with nature.
Ever since the Green’s introduction during Alan Moore’s seminal Saga of the Swamp Thing run in the 1980s, humans have always served as their avatars, and Swamp Thing here articulates why: the Green represents rebirth and hope and humans have the potential for all of these, making them perfect to serve in the role. Also, humans have the potential for compassion and empathy, traits that would serve them well as champions for the Green. Woodrue had none of these qualities, seeking enlightenment outside of himself rather than inside, as Swamp Thing noted; this led Woodrue down a dark path.
Swamp Thing’s humanity being his most notable quality is a nod to the characters’ early days when he did not accept what he had become and sought to become human once again—without realizing he was perhaps more human than others. It brings the character full circle while looking ahead to his future.
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