|First appearance||Swamp Thing #65 (1987) (Sprout)
Swamp Thing #90 (1989) (Tefé)
|Created by||Rick Veitch|
|Notable aliases||The Sprout, Mary Conway|
Tefé Holland is a fictional character, a DC Comics universe leading and supporting character. The character is the daughter of Swamp Thing and Abby Arcane Holland. She first appears as the Sprout in Swamp Thing #65 (1987). She is later born in Swamp Thing #90 (1989) as Tefé, named after Tefé, the location of the Brazilian river source and, in the DC Universe, home of the Parliament of Trees.
Tefé was originally a floating spirit called Sprout, who tried to find a body from a recently deceased person, was eventually given a body through Abby Holland having a baby, which was conceived through the Swamp Thing possessing John Constantine and having sex with her. Due to Constantine having the demon Negral's blood in his veins at this time, Tefe is also part demon. She eventually became an Earth elemental like her father, beginning a line of human Earth elementals as a new Swamp Thing in Swamp Thing vol. 3, having all of her father's powers, but retaining a human appearance. She no longer has these powers.[volume & issue needed]
Fictional character biography
Believing Alec Holland, the Earth Elemental known as Swamp Thing, to be dead, the collective consciousness of nature known as the Green created a new protector in the form of a young sprout. When the Green discovered that Holland was still alive, they ordered this now-redundant Sprout executed. A reprieve came in the form of hellbound magician John Constantine. Alec inhabited Constantine's body to impregnate his human wife, Abigail Arcane Cable Holland, with the seed of this Sprout. Cloaked in the flesh and blood of an infant child, this first human Elemental was given the name Tefé with the ability to manipulate both vegetation and flesh on an elemental scale.
The Swamp Thing (Alec Holland) and Abby Holland hoped that their child would be a better elemental, one able to mend the rift between the two worlds. The happiest days of Abby's life were when she was pregnant with her. They named her after the river that flows from the Parliament of Tree's grove. But something went wrong. The Parliament, composed of retired Earth elementals, seemed to go crazy. They wanted to convince Tefé that her true mission was to punish humans for crimes against nature. Swamp Thing did not allow it, but a part of Tefé truly believed her destiny was to destroy the human race. Frightened and confused, she disappeared shortly thereafter. For more than a year, Abby had no idea where she was. Because of this, Swamp Thing and Abby decided to separate.
After months of living the sort of normal, boring existence Abby thought she wanted, she decided to find her daughter and bring her back into her life. Abby spends over a year following leads until she tracks her down to a Westlake, Ohio. To her surprise, she finds her husband waiting for her and they get back together. But this was a bad time, for they find that Tefé has fused a group of loggers' hands and feet together and strung them up like big paper dolls until they bled into one another.
At this point, the couple realize that they are going to have to get some outside assistance. They believe the only person who can help them is John Constantine. He tells them Tefé's power is too powerful to simply be destroyed. The power of the green is too much for any kid to handle and that she might destroy the world before the power finally destroys her. Constantine decides her powers can't be removed, but they can be suppressed...at the cost of one human life. John can erase Tefe's memories, but they need to switch her with another little girl, put her in a new world with a new life and a new family that will love her as their own, or Tefé will go right back to her old self. They choose Mary Conway, an already terminally ill girl days away from dying. Constantine temporarily erases Tefé's memories, Swamp thing then manipulates Tefé's own flesh-shaping powers to give her Mary's exact appearance. Her body was transformed down to the very last cell.
Tefé's true nature was reawakened, as she murdered two of the Conway girl's friends and used her powers to create a lifeless simulacrum of Mary herself, presumably to convince Alec and Abby that their daughter is dead. Refusing to pay blind allegiance to the Green or humanity, Tefé is now looking for something she can trust to tell her what her true purpose is. She is willing to destroy anything that gets in her way.
When Tefé goes back to the Green she meets Knoll, a minor plant elemental who takes her to see the Parliament of Trees. To her dismay, the entire Parliament is dead. The supposedly immortal Parliament started out as trees, but in they end, they weren't any different from humans. They eventually grew mad with power and crumbled into nothing. Knoll tells Tefé the reason she was brought here is to realize what happens to plants who try to be something they're not and that she's a part of the green or she's human. Since Tefé has the power to obliterate every last man and woman, and reclaim this planet for the plants, Knoll wants to use her as a weapon against humans. When asked which side she chooses, Tefé responds, "My own," and leaves.
Tefé then takes a job on a crab boat, where she meets a man named Lawrence. Lawrence is trying to write a book using Tefé as the main character. But after four months of trying, he decides Tefé is just too one-dimensional to be the heart of his story. He decides that sometimes, the best thing an author can do to his story is cut the one thing he loves most. Lawrence stabs Tefé, and frames fellow crew member Hank. The captain believes his story and Hank is hanged. Chaos ensues as the Captain's wife Cheryl believes that her husband is the murderer and blamed Hank as an excuse to murder him. She threatens to kill him, but he jumps overboard before she can. When she realizes she was wrong, she is about to commit suicide until Tefé seemingly comes back from the dead. To save himself from Tefé, Lawrence takes Cheryl hostage. He ends up shooting her and her unborn child, and Tefé feeds him to the crabs. She tries to save Cheryl with her power, but is unable to.
Tefé is the featured character in the third Swamp Thing series from 2000 to 2001, launching the comics career of series writer Brian K. Vaughan. The series lasted 20 issues, with two tie-in specials featuring Tefé by Vaughan. She also makes a brief appearance in "The Books of Magic" #4, where she is seen in the final magical battle between light and darkness, being one of many possible futures shown to Tim Hunter.
Tefé is a bisexual character, currently with a lesbian lover named Zaina. This relationship is revealed in Swamp Thing (fourth series) #9 (2005), the first issue in the series to be written by Joshua Dysart.