Sep 16, 2012

Swamp Thing's Teen Sidekick


In 1990, the newly founded USA Network was looking for series ideas, and they latched onto the DC comic book character Swamp Thing, a human-looking mass of vegetation who wreaks vengeance on people who try to invade his swamp home.  Seeing environmental relevance, they softened Swamp Thing (Dave Durock in a latex costume), gave him a new back story -- he was an environmental scientist disfigured by the evil Dr. Arcane (Mark Lindsay Chapman) -- and gave him a human chum, 11-year old Jim (Jesse Zieglar).  


A monster and a kid didn't bring in the viewers, so after 13 episodes Jim's 17-year old half-brother Will (Scott Garrison) showed up.   Will spends a lot of time being captured by Dr. Arcane, evil cultists, monsters, and sundry baddies, forcing the Swamp Thing to enact a daring rescue.  He also helps a series of stray kids, both boys and girls, but doesn't develop much romantic interest in anyone.  Oddly, it is Dr. Arcane, the villain, who is always meeting girls and falling in love.  


So a heterosexual villain, and a hero who is not interested in women.  And did I mention the beefcake?  The extremely buffed Garrison is shirtless or nearly nude in nearly every scene (this is a humid swamp, after all).

Scott Garrison had a few movies and tv appearances before Swamp Thing, and a few afterwards, notably two episodes as the beefy Perdicas on Xena: Warrior Princess in 1996, before retiring from acting.  But he left gay fans with three years of memories.






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