|First appearance||As Jason Woodrue: Atom #1 (June–July 1962)
As Floronic Man: Flash (vol. 1) #245 (Nov 1976) As The Seeder<br / Swamp Thing #21 (Aug 2013)
|Created by||Gardner Fox
|Alter ego||Jason Woodrue|
|Team affiliations||Injustice Gang
Secret Society of Super Villains
|Notable aliases||Plant Master, Floro|
|Abilities||resilient humanoid plant-based body with extensive control over a variety of plant life|
The Floronic Man (Jason Woodrue), also known as the Plant Master, Floro and The Seeder is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe. He was created as an enemy of the Atom; however his most famous appearance was in the Swamp Thing comic, particularly when it was written by Alan Moore.
Fictional character biography
Jason Woodrue first appears in The Atom #1 (June–July 1962). Woodrue is an exile from an interdimensional world (Floria) inhabited by dryads. Calling himself the Plant Master, Woodrue uses his advanced botanical knowledge to control plant growth in an attempt to take over the world. He is defeated by the superheroic Atom. Plant Master returns to face the Atom and the Justice League.
In Flash (vol. 1) #245 (November 1976), Woodrue uses an experimental formula to transform his body into a plant/human hybrid, with his skin resembling bark and his hair turning into leaves. Now calling himself the Floronic Man, he is defeated by Green Lantern. After a rematch with the Atom and Wonder Woman, the Floronic Man later becomes a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.
In Alan Moore's relaunch of the Swamp Thing in Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 (February 1984), Woodrue is hired by General Averly Sunderland to discover how scientist Alec Holland had been turned into the Swamp Thing. Woodrue discovers that the creature, instead of being a mutated version of Holland, is instead an intelligent mass of plant life that had fed on Holland's dead body and absorbed his knowledge and memories. The Floronic Man tries to warn Sunderland that the Swamp Thing is not dead, but the General refuses to listen and announces his intent to terminate Woodrue's employment. Subsequently, the Floronic Man traps Sunderland in his office with a thawed and enraged Swamp Thing, who kills the General.
In Saga of the Swamp Thing #22 (March 1984), the Floronic Man uses the Swamp Thing's body—now regressing to a plant-like state out of his inability to accept the new revelation about his origins, Woodrue literally eating parts of him—to contact the Green, which is composed of the life force of all plants on Earth. The experience drives the Floronic Man insane, and he sets out to destroy all nonplant life on Earth by forcing the plants to produce an excess amount of oxygen to force humanity into extinction, in the belief that he is 'saving' Earth from mankind. Woodrue is confronted by a revived Swamp Thing, who reveals to the Green that plants cannot survive without animals as he is depriving them of the carbon dioxide they require to breathe, forcing Woodrue to acknowledge that his actions are the actions of a man rather than a plant. The Green abandons the Floronic Man, who is then taken into custody by the Justice League after undergoing a complete mental breakdown.
The 1988 Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean miniseries Black Orchid recasts Dr. Jason Woodrue as a University professor who taught botany to Philip Sylvian, Alec & Linda Holland, and Pamela Isley. The character Philip Sylvian, apparently unaware of Woodrue's transformation, refers to him as a "poor old guy" and states: "Last I heard he was in Arkham Insane Asylum..."
The Floronic Man was briefly a hero, after the events of Millennium led to him to become a member of the New Guardians. In this new role, Woodrue takes on the name Floro. After the death of most of his teammates, he reverts to his original status as a villain.
Floro returns in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #56 (November 1996). After breaking Poison Ivy out of Arkham with his two underlings Holly and Eva, Floro explains his past to Batman and Poison Ivy, telling the story of how he prevented a plot of Swamp Thing's, only to get decapitated. After scientists manage to keep his head alive, the first thing he comes in contact with is marijuana. Regenerating a plant body, he begins his quest to flood the streets of Gotham City with his advanced and cheap pot. Floronic Man takes some of Poison Ivy's DNA in an attempt to create a "child". Poison Ivy, in exchange, gets a trunk full of dope money, and is free to walk away. Deciding she does not want Floronic Man running the world, she frees the Batman. After a short battle, Batman notices that Floro is standing in a puddle, and uses an electrical cable to electrocute the villain, then decapitates him once again.
The character has since appeared in various other comics and storylines. He assists Starman, Alan Scott, Batman and others in trying to save a friendly, peaceful version of Solomon Grundy. In a recent issue of Batman, he is killed after assassins shoot him repeatedly with bullets, although this is in direct contrast to his most famous appearance (in The Saga of the Swamp Thing #21) in which he points out that "you can't kill a vegetable by shooting it through the head." He is one of the many villains who was mind-wiped by the JLA, but has since recovered those memories.
In the post-Infinite Crisis DCU, he is responsible for Pamela Isley's transformation into Poison Ivy
In The New 52, Woodrue is re-introduced in Swamp Thing Annual, making a deal with The Green by taking care of Alec Holland. Woodrue is later revealed to be The Seeder, now endowed with powers by the Parliament of Trees. Swamp Thing had been hunting him for disrupting the balance of the Green. The Parliament of Trees decides that he and Swamp Thing must fight, once they have fully realized their powers, to decide who shall be the champion of the Green.
Powers and abilities
In his original form, Jason Woodrue had advanced knowledge of botany, which he used to accelerate plant growth. After becoming the Floronic Man, Woodrue gains the ability to merge with and mentally control plant life.
In other media
- He first appears in other media in animated form, as the Plant Master, in an episode of The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure called "The Plant Master".
- Dr. Woodrue is referenced several times in the Swamp Thing television series. In this incarnation he is a scientist that is a rival of Dr. Arcane. He invented some sort of method to "grow" human life by artificial means
- An unmutated Jason Woodrue appears in the 1997 film Batman and Robin portrayed by John Glover. He is depicted as a mad scientist responsible for the origins of Bane and Poison Ivy. Dr. Woodrue is shown in a South American lab (before financed by Wayne Enterprises), where he uses plant toxins to create an enhanced soldier by toxin derived from a serial murderer facing life imprisonment. While trying to sell Bane to various bidders, Pamela Isley, who works for Woodrue, discovers his illegal experiments. Dr. Woodrue offers her the opportunity to join him, but she threatens to report him and calls him a "psycho". Woodrue attempts to kill her by throwing her into a shelf full of plant chemicals and toxins. Isley springs from the ground moments later, having been transformed into Poison Ivy by the chemicals. Ivy kills Woodrue with a kiss and destroys the lab.
- Floronic Man is also reportedly featured in David S. Goyer's script for an upcoming Green Arrow film project entitled Supermax.
- Dr. Jason Woodrue is mentioned by Poison Ivy in her first interview tapes in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- The DCAU version of Dr. Jason Woodrue (as Floronic Man) is seen among the villains in the comic Justice League Adventures (based off the Justice League TV series)
- Greenberger, Robert (2008). "Floronic Man". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 128. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017.
- Veitch, Rick (w), Ewins, Brett (a). "The Secret Origin of The Guardians of the Universe" Secret Origins 23 (February 1988), DC Comics
- The Atom #24 (Apr/May 1966)
- Justice League of America (vol. 1) #61 (March 1968)
- Super-Team Family #14
- Secret Society of Super-Villains #11 (December 1977)
- Saga of the Swamp Thing #24 (May 1984)
- Starman (vol. 2) #33–35 (August–October 1997)
- JLA #115–119 (August–November 2005)
- Infinite Crisis #7
- "DCU | Heroes and Villains". Dccomics.com. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
- Swamp Thing Annual #1
- Swamp Thing #24 (Dec 2013)
- "Supermax: Green Arrow Story Details + Villains/Inmates Gallery - Movie News - Latest Movie Reviews and trailers". Latinoreview.com. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
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- Justice League Adventures #6