Swamp Thing is an American animated television series based on the DC Comics (later Vertigo Comics) character Swamp Thing. The series was produced by DiC Entertainment and corresponds with Kenner's 1990 toy line. The series was short-lived, with the pilot episode airing on October 31, 1990 followed by only four additional episodes that aired weekly from April 20 to May 11, 1991 on Fox. Despite it's brief run various merchandise was produced in 1991, resulting in the only successful marketing campaign for the character.
Like previous film incarnations of Swamp Thing, the animated series rejects the popular Alan Moore revision of Swamp Thing's origin and portrays him with his original origin as a man turned into a plant-like entity. Anton Arcane takes the role of the main villain responsible for Alec Holland's transformation into Swamp Thing. Arcane is backed by his gang of Un-Men: Dr. Deemo, Weedkiller, and Skinman. Swamp Thing also has two friends named Tomahawk and Bayou Jack. Tomahawk is Native American not to be confused with the DC/Vertigo character, Thomas Hawk, who was a soldier in the American Revolution rescued by Native Americans. Bayou Jack is a Vietnam veteran.
Swamp Thing (voiced by Len Carlson) — Once a scientist named Alec Holland whose secret lab was destroyed by Arcane and his cronies, turning him into the Swamp Thing. He now protects the swamp from evil with his supernatural powers over nature.
Tomahawk (voiced by Harvey Atkin) — A Native American ally to Swamp Thing that battles the Un-Men.
Bayou Jack (voiced by Philip Akin) — An African American Vietnam veteran and ally of Swamp Thing who later in the series becomes a temporary fourth Un-Man, half-human and half mantis.
Anton Arcane (voiced by Don Francks) — The evil scientist is obsessed with gaining immortality (And the cause of Swamp Thing becoming what he is) that uses the Geno-fluid of his transducer chamber to turn himself and his Un-Men into monstrous creatures. He becomes an arachnid monster.
Dr. Deemo (voiced by Errol Slue) — A rhyme speaking snake-like voodoo doctor who transforms into the fanged Serpent monster.
Skinman (voiced by Gordon Masten) — A frail, zombie-like man who transforms into the flying Fangbat monster.
Weed Killer (voiced by Joe Matheson) — A green-skinned, gas mask wearing plant killer that turns into the leech-like Bogsucker monster.
Abigail Arcane (voiced by Paulina Gillis) — She is the stepdaughter of the evil scientist Anton Arcane who hopes to help her friend Swamp Thing become human again. Abby's distinctive look comprises her natural beauty, lean figure, her often bare feet and her beautiful hair.
J.T. (voiced by Richard Yearwood) — A young boy who is friend to Delbert and aid to the heroes.
Delbert (voiced by Jonathan Potts) — A young boy who is friend to J.T. and aid to the heroes.
Swamp Thing has a total of 5 episodes spread over 1 season that were produced from October 1990 to May 1991.
Similar to Toxic Crusaders, the animation style of Swamp Thing follows the trend of goofy, horror anti-heroes made for children. Spoofing Chip Taylor's hit song "Wild Thing," the opening theme plays "Swamp Thing! ...You are amazing!"
Swamp Thing was apparently turned down by CBS, leading to its mid-season debut on FOX. Despite the show's limited number of episodes, NBC featured it during Chip and Pepper's Cartoon Madness in fall 1991, and the Sci Fi Channel would also syndicate it years later. The UK's Children's Channel also re-aired Swamp Thing in the 1990s.