Swamp Thing’s true unbridled power only surfaces when the fate of the Earth is at stake in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War – and it’s even greater than anyone could have imagined. After fourteen films and two complete timeline changes, Apokolips War is the bleak conclusion to the DC Animated Movie Universe. The film reunites the Justice League, the Teen Titans, and the Suicide Squad to take down the Justice League’s long-time enemy Darkseid (Tony Todd) once and for all. With such an imminent threat, and with the movie being a direct sequel to Justice League Dark, one of the players that couldn’t be left out of the fight is the feral goliath of nature, Swamp Thing (Roger R. Cross).
Two years after Darkseid brutally massacres the Justice League in Apokolips, a broken-down Superman (Jerry O’Connell) and Raven (Taissa Farmiga) seek the assistance of John Constantine (Matt Ryan) to execute a counterattack. Despite the painful memory of Constantine’s romantic interest Zatanna (Camilla Luddington) being eaten alive by Darkseid’s Paradooms – a monstrous cross between Doomsday and Parademons – the sorcerer agrees to join Superman’s team of survivors and take the last chance to save what’s left of Earth. The task is no easy feat, however, since Darkseid and his brainwashed minion Batman (Jason O’Mara) are already mining the Earth with “Reapers”, colossal terraforming engines scattered throughout the globe and guarded by Paradooms. Dozens of beloved DC heroes die gruesome deaths while trying to fight the Paradooms on top of the Reapers, but one green force of nature singlehandedly gives Constantine and his team a much-needed advantage.
When Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn) orders the remaining heroes to attack the Reapers, she realizes that they’re not enough to take them all down, so Constantine decides to seek the help of “the walking salad”. The sorcerer projects his body near the Reaper in Congo and looks around until a gargantuan green hand suddenly comes out of the ground and phases through his astral projection. Swamp Thing emerges and Constantine explains the situation, but the creature argues that the world’s massive loss of life is a well-deserved destiny for humans and that nature benefits from it. It’s only until Constantine mentions how “his precious green” would be annihilated if Darkseid conquers Earth that Swamp Thing feels the need to fight. He immediately grows wings and flies toward the Reaper, piercing it with enormous organic lances and ropes that grow out from his body. His strength only seems to increase when several portals open up and a myriad Paradooms attack him. Before Constantine returns to his real body, Swamp Thing has already beaten more Paradooms than any other group of heroes sacrificed themselves for.
Swamp Thing has a wide array of things that he can do with his powers, but none of them are ever intended to attack or harm anybody. He stays out of every conflict that doesn’t involve the welfare of the environment and generally stands out as a very reclusive character. His only concern in life is nature, and that may be the reason why his attack is so efficient. Earth’s recovery from centuries of human-made abuse, coupled with the ultimate threat to its existence, unleashed all of Swamp Thing’s potential in a matter of seconds – and his duty to protect the environment was put to the test. Unfortunately, Swampy meets the same end as all of his fellow heroes, but not without taking down an important part of Darkseid’s scheme along with him.
Although the ending of Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is a bittersweet defeat, Swamp Thing singlehandedly turned the tide against Darkseid and allowed the last survivors to overturn his plans. The chances of defeating the conqueror after endless casualties appeared slim to none – and for a moment, they were. If Constantine’s negotiation with Swamp Thing hadn’t gone right, many more heroes would have died trying to dismantle the terraforming machine in Congo, and the survivors wouldn’t have been able to face the evil conqueror one last time.
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