- "But if we're right, larger quantities of our chemical will be used to create gardens out of sweltering deserts... and that is definitely worth the effort!"
- ―Alec Holland
|1st appearance:||Swamp Thing, Vol. 1 #1|
The Bio-restorative formula is a fictional item featured in comic books published by DC Comics. It is considered part of DC's Pre-Crisis Earth-One continuity, though it's existence and background have been preserved in the rebooted internal reality which existed following the 1985-86 maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths. The item first appeared in Swamp Thing, Volume 1 #1 in November, 1972.
Description & History Edit
The Bio-restorative formula was a chemical compound developed by the husband and wife team of Doctors Alec and Linda Holland. It's purpose was to promote vegetative growth in what would otherwise be inhospitable environments. Although Alec did the lion's share of the research and most of the credit is attributed to him, it was actually Linda who made most of the breakthrough discoveries concerning the process. The project was financed by the United States' Defense Department Intelligence, who assigned government agent Matthew Cable to serve as liaison and bodyguard to the Hollands. They set them up in a private laboratory (which was actually a refurbished barn) in the middle of the Louisiana bayou. Within a short period of time, their experiment proved to be a success as they began stimulating the growth cycle of local fauna, which continued to grow and thrive at an alarming rate.
The Bio-restorative formula stood to be the miracle scientific breakthrough of the century. Cable reminded them that there were many who would kill to lay their hands on such a valuable commodity and many more who would kill to make sure that it never saw the light of day. A representative of the latter was the mysterious businessman known only as Mister E., who saw the development of the bio-restorative formula as a threat to his future enterprises. Mister E. sent his underlings Maxwell Ferrett and Bruno to the Hollands' laboratory armed with a blank check, offering to buy their formula so that they could prevent it from reaching the open market. Alec and Linda immediately refused, and Ferrett made a veiled threat about how it would be in their best interests to sell it to them. Before he could force his position any further, Matt Cable drove up to the lab, forcing Ferrett and the others to retreat.
They returned later after they knew that Cable was away. Not taking any chances, Alec Holland barred them at the door to his lab with a shotgun. Ferrett insisted that they had come in good faith, but Holland wasn't buying it. He had Bruno slug Alec from behind then had another underling plant a bomb underneath his laboratory work station. When the bomb detonated, the chemicals from the Hollands' bio-restorative formula ignited and splashed all over Alec. Aflame, he raced outside and collapsed into the swamplands where the chemicals interacted with the surrounding plant life. Alec Holland died and in his place rose an immense creature that many would come know as the Swamp Thing. Mister E.'s thugs murdered Linda Holland shortly thereafter, but the Swamp Thing got his revenge upon Ferrett and Bruno. 
Some time later, another greedy corporate shark, Avery Carlton Sunderland, sought to divine the secrets of the bio-restorative formula for himself. He had succeeded in capturing the Swamp Thing, but upon close inspection of his form, determined that there was nothing to be learned from it. He then had the remains of Linda Holland exhumed, hoping that trace elements of the bio-restorative formula may have attached itself to her body. This too yielded no satisfactory results. It was actually one of Sunderland's more reluctant scientific consultants, Jason Woodrue, who made a breakthrough discovery. By comparing his studies to the biology of Planarian worms, which are known for their extraordinary ability to regenerate lost body parts, he determined that the chemicals from the formula that interacted with the swamp water near the Hollands' lab had undergone a similar permutation and achieved quasi-sentience. This newly awakened consciousness believed itself to be Alec Holland and mimicked it's personality and memories. The true Alec Holland died in the swamp.