"I am thinking about the old man. I am thinking about the cracking of his joints as he runs. I am thinking of the terror in his ancient, atrophied heart."
Jason Woodrue
"The Anatomy Lesson"
Swamp Thing Vol 2 21
Saga of the Swamp Thing
Title: "The Anatomy Lesson"
Volume: 2
number: 21
Cover date: February, 1984
Publisher: DC Comics
Executive editor: Dick Giordano
Writers: Alan Moore
Pencilers: Stephen R. Bissette
Inkers: John Totleben
Cover artists: Tom Yeates
Cover inker: Tom Yeates
Colorists: Tatjana Wood
Letterers: John Costanza
Editors: Len Wein
Previous: Swamp Thing, Vol. 2 #20
Next: Swamp Thing, Vol. 2 #22

"The Anatomy Lesson" is the title to the twenty-first issue of the second Swamp Thing ongoing comic book series published by DC Comics. The story was written by Alan Moore with artwork by Stephen R. Bissette. Inks were provided by John Totleben. The cover art for this issue was composed by Tom Yeates with Tatjana Wood on colors. Wood also contributed the interior coloring work as well. Lettering was provided by John Costanza and it was edited by Len Wein. This issue shipped with a February, 1984 cover date and carried a cover price of 75 cents per copy (US).

Synopsis Edit

General Sunderland arranges to have Jason Woodrue, the Floronic Man, released from prison and brought to the Sunderland facility in Washington. There he is instructed to examine the remains of the Swamp Thing and from him, divine the secret of Alec Holland's Bio-Restorative formula. Woodrue detests Sunderland and the fact that he wields so much control over him, but he concedes to the older man's demands nonetheless.

Jason spends days examining the Swamp Thing; his own vegetative nature gives him a keen insight into the creature's biological structure. While performing a rudimentary autopsy, he finds that the Swamp Thing's body contains non-functional, vegetable versions of normal human organs, such as a heart, brain, liver and kidneys. However, none of them could ever have served any functional purpose due to a lack of any true biological material. He ultimately concludes that the Swamp Thing is not actually Alec Holland, as was previously believed.

Woodrue explains his findings to Sunderland, comparing the Swamp Thing's nature to that of a Planarian worm. He reveals that when Alec's body, doused with the Bio-Restorative formula, came into contact with the swamp, the chemicals reacted with micro-organisms in the environment, producing a unique, yet distinctly separate organism. This organism absorbed the memories and personality of Alec Holland, and in fact, believed that it actually was Alec Holland.

Sunderland has little interest in Woodrue's findings, other than their inherent commercial value. He also has little regard for Woodrue himself, and Jason knows that it is only a matter of time before Sunderland tires of him and sends him back to prison. As Sunderland storms out of his office, Woodrue tampers with the old man's computer, unlocking the doors on the laboratories on the lower level.

What Sunderland never realizes, was that a creature like the Swamp Thing, cannot be killed through conventional means. Swamp Thing eventually wakens from his containment housing and finds Woodrue's notes. Having believed himself to be Alec Holland, he always held onto the hope that one day a cure for his condition might be found, and he could resume a normal life. Now learning the truth, he realizes that all hope is lost, and he flies into a frenzy. The Swamp Thing batters down the doors to the laboratory just as General Sunderland is making his way down the corridor. The creature overtakes the old man and kills him.

Appearances Edit

Featured characters Edit

Supporting characters Edit

Antagonists Edit

Minor characters Edit

Organizations Edit

  • None

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Locations Edit

Items Edit

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Vehicles Edit

  • None

Powers Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • This issue is job number: C-601.
  • This issue was released as both a newsstand edition and direct sales edition.
  • The splash page for this issue contains a bisected outline of a human body with the words "The Anatomy Lesson" placed between the sections. This is stylistically similar to the opening title card of the 1956 movie, Anatomy of a Murder.

Recommended Reading Edit

See also Edit

External Links Edit

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