Jason Woodrue first appears in The Atom #1 (Jun-Jul 1962). Woodrue is an exile from an interdimensional world 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. 2 #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 the Green Lantern. 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 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. 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 dethawed 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 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. Woodrue is confronted by a revived Swamp Thing, who reveals to the Green that plants cannot survive without animals. The Green abandons the Floronic Man, who is then taken into custody by the Justice League.
The 1988 Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean miniseries Black Orchid recasts Dr. Jason Woodrue as a University professor who taught Botany to Philip Sylvian, Alec and 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 lead 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 henchwomen 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 doesn't want Floronic Man running the world, she frees 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.
During the Infinite Crisis, Floronic Man reappears as a member of Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s Secret Society of Super Villains and takes part in the Battle of Metropolis.
Powers and abilities
In his original form, Jason Woodrue had advanced knowledge of the botanical science, which he used to accelerate plant growth. After becoming the Floronic Man, Woodrue gains the ability to mentally control plant life.
In other media
- Batman and Robin: Jason Woodrue (John Glover)
- Swamp Thing (1990s TV series): He is referenced several times in the Swamp Thing series as a scientific rival to Dr. Arcane.
- Batman: Arkham Asylum: While not appearing in the game, he is mentioned by Poison Ivy in her interview tapes. In the tapes it is referenced that Dr. Woodrue forcefully experimented on Pamela Isley and transformed her into the plant-human hybrid of Poison Ivy.
- Swamp Thing (2010s series): A more sympathetic Jason Woodrue appears in this DC Universe series where he is portrayed by actor Kevin Durand.
- DCAU: In the DC animated film Batman and Harley Quinn, Floranic Man appears as the main-antagonist alongside Poison Ivy. Here Floranic Man is once again an exiled Dryad who joins forces with Ivy to release a virus that would transform all humans on Earth into plant-life. He is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Justice League Dark (Del Torro): The Floranic Man was rumoured to have been planned as the main-antagonist in Guillermo Del Torro's Justice League Dark film.