This is a terrible Fourth of July post.

§ July 4th, 2022 § Filed under collecting, swamp thing § 3 Comments

So I was looking at one of those “here are the hot comics!” apps that some collectors are using in place of t heir own want lists, because I’m trying to keep on top of when some comic is dubbed by the investment gods as The New Thing and I can gird myself for the onslaught of phone calls and emails from folks all asking for the same item.

At any rate, on a whim, I looked at the various Swamp Thing entries, as I seemed to recall some discrepancy or ‘nother the last time I looked. And yup, here it is, in the listing for Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 (1984):


The “new origin” bit is correct, but the first appearance notation is way off. (And gotta be honest, totally forgot about the New 52 “Seeder” incarnation of the character, which is fine because I bet he won’t be called that the next we see him, if ever.)

Anyhoo, Jason Woodrue, the Plant Master, first popped up as an Atom villain in the first issue of the diminutive hero’s own series in 1962. There he is on the cover in the selfsame hot comics app that listed Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 as his debut:


And then I thought “oh, well, maybe they mean the first time he was referred to as the Floronic Man, or the first time he looked all planty.” And nope, I knew neither of those were the case. I mean, it says right there in the Atom #1 listing…he transformed from the normal human appearance into his plant form in Flash #245 (1976). Here’s the app’s entry for that comic:


…which is the form in which I first encountered the character, in Justice League of America #195 (1981):


And then there was the Steve Bissette/John Totleben redesign of the character, first appearing in that Saga of the Swamp Thing #21, and as pictured here from #24:


Unless that’s what they meant by “first appearance,” the first time this particular design of the character appeared, I’m gonna say that app’s entry for Saga of That There Swamp Thang #21 is “human error” and needs to be corrected. Though I wonder if someone out there heavily dependent on the app has their copy of #21 marked with a big “FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE FLORONIC MAN!” tag.

Actually, don’t need to wonder…hello “Top Rated Plus” eBay seller with this listing:


The desperate quest to establish “first appearances” for maximum collectability can be a weird and wild one, leading to contradictory and erroneous information getting out there. Thus, the moral of the story is…TRUST NO ONE. Except me, your pal Mike.

Oh, and I saw this, too, in the entry for Saga of the Swamp Thing #25:


Augh, don’t get me started (because I already did start back in 2004 in this link-rotted post). And even the app in the entry for #37 says


Hoo boy.

3 Responses to “This is a terrible Fourth of July post.”

  • I agree.
    .
    .
    .
    It’s a Terrible 4th of July post.
    ;-)

    This would have been an appropriate ARBOR DAY or even EARTH DAY post.

    Is there a “HOT COMICS ARE HOT” Day?

    (Silly me.. like “Love Your Pet Day”,”Kid’s Day” or “International Cheese Day” that’s EVERY day.)

  • Thom H. says:

    I’m not saying “Plant Master” and “Floronic Man” are the best codenames ever (although I am partial to “Floronic Man” myself), but “the Seeder”? Bleh. No, thanks.

    Also, the way Cheetah is looking at him in that panel is hilarious. She’s not a fan, apparently.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    For over a decade now, I’ve trusted NO ONE except you Mike.

  • Leave a Reply