Snarling, Skinman swoops down through the air towards me, hatred burning in his feral eyes. Thanks to my armored Bark Skin form, I barely feel his needle-like teeth ripping at my shoulder as we collide. All the bat-like Un-Man gets for his efforts is a mouthful of moss and wood chips, which he angrily spits out, flapping out of reach again before I can return the favor with a blow of my own. While I am almost impervious to his claws and fangs in this state, such durability comes at the expense of mobility and speed. Skinman lands several hits for every one I score on him, but, if nothing else, a tree is patient--fatigue will soon slow Skinman's reflexes, and when it does, my sharp branches will be waiting to embrace him . . .
The idea for this figure came from THQ's 1992 Swamp Thing Gameboy video game (which is based on the animated television show, not the comic book). In said title, beating Dr. Arcane's Un-Men boss creatures will net Swamp Thing three different Bio-Restoratives, each of which grants him a new form which he can then assume at will. Deep within a pyramid in Egypt, the Un-Man Dr. Deemo guards the Bark Skin Bio-Restorative: once obtained, this natural armor reduces the amount of damage Swamp Thing takes from enemy attacks, however, he moves more slowly and cannot jump while it's active (presumably because a wooden body isn't terribly flexible). In the game, using the Bark Skin power doesn't alter Swamp Thing's appearance in any way, but I felt that just giving my Swamp Thing figure a wooden surface texture wouldn't be terribly exciting, so I decided to reinterpret things by sculpting him with a more extreme, tree-like body instead. I think the result looks pretty neat and intimidating, not to mention that all of those pointy branches would provide an additional layer of protection beyond the hardened hide itself--if I was an Un-Man, I'd definitely think twice before messing with Bark Skin Swamp Thing!
(I made this miniature action figure as an entry for an "Armor Up" themed custom toy contest at Figure Realm.)
For comparison/informational purposes, below are some relevant images:
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