The final episode of Swamp Thing has a post-credits scene, but it is unclear exactly why. Was this teaser meant to lead into the second season? Or was it part of a storyline that was abandoned after the first season's original order for 13 hour-long episodes was cut?
It would not be an understatement to describe the production of Swamp Thing as troubled. Rumors of problems behind-the-scenes dogged the series while filming, including talk of budgeting issues and finance problems that were ultimately proven false. Still, the rumors continued to flow after Warner Bros. cut the initial episode order for Swamp Thing season 1 to 10 episodes and production on the final 3 episodes was suddenly shut down. The killing blow came a few weeks later when the series was cancelled after the release of the first episode.
The continuing confusion over why Swamp Thing was cancelled only adds to the mystery of the series' finale and why it was edited to include a post-credits scene setting up a story that will never be resolved. The only question larger than that is what this scene was meant to set up in the first place. Here is everything we know about Swamp Thing's post-credits scene, and what it might have developed.
What Happens In Swamp Thing's End-Credits Scene
The post-credit scene of Swamp Thing's finale sees Deputy Matt Cable arriving at the sheriff's office. He finds the station abandoned, with the lights out and no signs of life. As Matt searches the station, he finds evidence of a struggle and leaves on the ground. A further search reveals more vegetation on the doorway leading to the holding cells and vines running along the walls.
When Matt reaches the cell block, he's astonished to find the bars of one cell overgrown with vegetation, seemingly ripped open from the inside by the plants. He also finds Tyler, one of the other deputies, dead on the floor with what appear to be large thorns protruding from his back. The blood on the thorns is still fresh, indicating that whatever killed Tyler did so recently. Hearing something moving deeper in the cell block, Matt picks up Tyler's gun and moves further into the building.
Matt finds a kneeling figure, humanoid but clearly not human. It slowly stands, revealing itself to have skin of wood, slightly overgrown with moss that gives it a greenish tinge. The figure wonders out-loud how Alec Holland could ever have wanted to be human again, as a terrified Matt asks the creature who he is. With a feral smile, the wooden man says that he was Jason Woodrue before snarling and charging at Matt. The scene cuts to a vantage point from around the corner and ends with Matt screaming as he fires the gun six times, apparently killed as his screams are cut off and Woodrue continues growling.
Swamp Thing Villain Floronic Man Explained
Dr. Jason Woodrue first appeared in The Atom #1 in 1962, using the codename Plant Master. Woodrue claimed to have been exiled to Earth after attempting to conquer the alternate dimension of Floria, which was ruled by dryads. This claim is suspect, however, given that the only evidence of Floria existing is Woodrue's accounts, and Woodrue was quite insane even when he was human. Regardless, Woodrue went on to use his advanced knowledge of plants and a formula that accelerated plant growth to try to take over the world.
The one aspect of Woodrue's background before he became the Plant Master that has been confirmed is that he was once a professor of botany at Gardner University while completing his doctoral studies. Coincidentally, his students included both Alec Holland and Pamela Isley. Depending on the timeline, Woodrue's experiments were responsible for transforming Pamela Isley into Poison Ivy.
Continually defeated by both The Atom and the Justice League, Woodrue sought a means of increasing his power over plants. This led to his developing a formula that he believed would transform him into a human/plant hybrid and internalize the properties of his growth formula. Shockingly, his potion worked, leaving him with skin like tree bark and hair like leaves. Woodrue also gained the power to merge with plants in his immediate vicinity and control them.
Woodrue took on the new name of the Floronic Man to go with his new powers. Despite the upgrade, Woodrue was no better at fighting superheroes than he had been before. He joined the Secret Society of Supervillains in the hopes that they might help him get revenge on the Justice League, but being part of a team didn't make him any more successful.
Woodrue lay low for several years, until he was contacted by General Avery Sunderland. A noted industrialist, Sunderland hired Woodrue to analyze a freeze-fried Swamp Thing and learn just how Alec Holland had been transformed into a plant-based creature. It was Woodrue who determined, in the comic book story that inspired Swamp Thing, season 1, episode 9, "The Anatomy Lesson," that Swamp Thing had never been Alec Holland but was instead a new life-form that had absorbed Alec Holland's memories.
Having stolen several of Swamp Thing's organs during his analysis, Woodrue ate them in a bid to acquire more power. This temporarily gave Woodrue a connection to The Green, the mystic force that connects all plant life. Using this connection, Woodrue took control of many plants across the globe and attempted to flood the Earth with oxygen in a bid to save the Earth from humanity. He was stopped by Swamp Thing, who pointed out that killing all the humans by altering the atmosphere would also kill all the animals and then the plants would die off without the steady stream of carbon dioxide they exhaled. The Green severed its connection to Woodrue and he was locked up in Arkham Asylum by the Justice League, now even crazier than he'd been before.
What Was Swamp Thing's End-Credits Scene Setting Up?
The fact that Swamp Thing would transform Jason Woodrue into the Floronic Man is not particularly surprising. Woodrue is one of the quintessential Swamp Thing villains and it only makes sense that he eventually be put on equal footing with Swamp Thing, perhaps challenging him directly for the role of Champion of The Green as he did in the comics. The only question is whether Woodrue was intended to be the chief villain of Swamp Thing season 2 or if his transformation was meant to lead into the original finale for the 13-episode season 1.
From what we see in Swamp Thing, season 1, episode 10, "Loose Ends," it seems likely that the Floronic Man was meant to be the chief villain of the original season 1 finale. It seems highly unlikely the show would have developed the detailed make-up and costuming needed to turn Kevin Duran into a convincing Floronic Man for a simple post-credits teaser. In retrospect, it also seems likely that Swamp Thing's episode order was cut for the same reason as the first season of Titans and that, much as that series' planned season 1 finale was reworked into a season 2 opener, so too was Swamp Thing being setup to have The Floronic Man open up Swamp Thing season 2.
Sadly, with Swamp Thing have been canceled untimely and the show's expansive $2 million swamp set dismantled, it seems unlikely that we will ever see what the showrunners had planned to follow the first terrifying appearance of the Floronic Man. Despite the best efforts of a loyal fanbase, it may prove more expensive than it is worth for the show to be revived. Hopes are high however, that Alec Holland may yet be resurrected once again, perhaps alongside fellow cancelled series survivor John Constantine. There's also a slim chance that DC Universe might decide to pick up one of the Swamp Thing spin-off ideas, such as Blue Devil or Justice League Dark.