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|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
Abigail Arcane was born into the aristocratic Arcane family of Blestemat, in Eastern Europe. After accidentally killing her own mother with her latent abilities, she was raised by her uncle Anton Arcane, who tried to draw out her connection to The Black - an elemental force of rot, death, and decay to which all Arcanes share a link - when she accidentally rotted her own mother to death as an infant. She was raised alongside Arcane's Un-Men, and tried to escape on multiple occasions.
When she was a teen, her uncle invited young botany student Alec Holland to his castle in Blestemat. While his true intention was to discover the extent of Alec's connection to The Green and then kill him, Arcane did not foresee that his niece would grow fond of the boy. Upon his discovery of a strange flower unique to the region, Abby's beauty distracted him from realizing its true nature: it was not a plant at all, but a construction of the Rot. With the power of this flower, Arcane controlled the dead citizens of his village, and kept Abby from trying to escape. While Alec was saved from Arcane's machinations by the Green, the rot-flower's influence removed any trace of the meeting between Alec and Abby from both of their memories.
Sometime later, she met and fell in love with the Swamp Thing - a creation entirely of vegetable matter, based on Alec Holland, whose life was sacrificed in the process. Eventually, the Swamp Thing was destroyed, though, and she spent the remainder of her time hiding from the call of the Rot - with limited success.
When Alec Holland suddenly found himself alive again, after having died to give the Swamp Thing life, he found that he still had the creature's memories inside him, and the Green's call was stronger than it had ever been before. Pursued by both the Green and agents of the Rot, Alec was saved by Abigail Arcane, whom he remembered from his shared memories, but had never met, to his knowledge. As they escaped on her motorcycle, she explained that, like him, she was connected to an elemental force, but hers was the Black - the Rot - an opposing force to the Green. She had fought its call, as he now fought the Green's for some time.
Her half-brother William was also connected to the Rot, and had just awakened to his role. Abby had put him in a home for sick children under the pretense that he was especially susceptible to germs in order to prevent him from reaching his dangerous potential. However, when he learned that he was able to control dead and rotting matter, and used this ability to escape his care facility and then headed off into the dessert to start building an army.
Against her warnings, Alec insisted on joining Abby on her journey to stop her half-brother from becoming the avatar of the Rot. She claimed that Alec's connection to the Green would weaken if he continued travelling into the Deadlands, where William's army was assembled. While making last preparations, Alec bought Abby some canned peaches, having used his memories of the Swamp Thing to recall that they were a favourite food of hers. Though Abigail was somewhat turned off by his using the memories of someone else to his advantage - someone she once loved - she accepted the gift.
Outside the store, they were set upon by William and his creatures. Though the fight went poorly, Alec managed to reach into the Green and trap William in a tree. Abigail was wounded, and as Alec treated her wound, they admitted to each other that they had both had dreams - sometimes nightmares - about their respective elemental forces. Alec had dreamed of a girl made of bones, and Abigail had dreamt of a boy made of leaves. There had always been warnings from the elements to avoid those people in both dreams, but realizing that they had been dreaming about each other, their own voices seemed stronger than those of the Green or the Rot. Pushing aside the natural opposition that the elements had to one another, Alec and Abigail shared their first kiss.
Abby was suddenly enveloped by tendrils of The Rot. As Alec desperately tried to tear her free, William escaped his captors and explained that the Rot never wanted him; it wanted Abby. She was meant to become Avatar of the Rot. As Abby was dragged into a cocoon of rotting flesh, she begged Alec to run before she could kill him.Afterwards, the Rot's servants took Abby's cocoon deep into the Deadlands, alongside Sethe's throne. According to the Parliament of Trees, when she emerged from the cocoon, she would become a force of death. Alec finally agreed to become the Swamp Thing for Abby's sake, and set things right.
Although the Swamp Thing reaches Abigail's cocoon as the Rot gradually takes over the country, he is too late: she has succumbed, becoming the Black Queen, the Avatar of the Rot, consumed by a desire to destroy him, and impales him on her claw.
However, with help from orchids grown within the new body of the Black Queen by Alec, Abigail manages to fight off her killer impulses, tear herself free of the shell of the Black Queen, and use the power of the Rot against its own masters, Sethe and his minions, and, to her half-brother William's horror, kills Sethe before the power of the Rot is taken away from her once more. Bringing the Swamp Thing to the house he once built for her after the fight, Abigail allowed him to sleep to recuperate, determined to protect herself in the meantime, and finds her uncle Anton and his Un-Men waiting for her some time later, having claimed to have killed the Swamp Thing in his sleep. Although he attempted to knock her out and spirit her away with his Un-Men, she, with the help of the truly alive Swamp Thing, manages to fend them off with the help of The Green and her own firearms, with Anton appearing to disassemble into a pool of rot to lead into the Rot itself, to a "Rotworld" of a future where the Rot has succeeded in destroying or corrupting every living thing.
As Abigail stays behind, the Swamp Thing, aided by Animal Man, descend into the pool to face and defeat the Rot once and for all, with Abigail urging Alec to promise to hurry back to her, reluctant to leave him to the Rotworld.
In the timeline of the Rotworld, Abby apparently died while in a plane to try to go to fight the Rot, decay overtaking the plane and causing a crash. Surviving, she attempted to infiltrate her uncle's castle in Blestemat, but her usual escape route was monitored by Anton himself, with her being captured. Anton gleefully told her that when he took a bite out of her in the swamp, he was able to use the genetic material he gleaned to make three Un-Men clones of her, albeit lacking anything of their brains but their stems to prevent them from rebelling against him. Though she tried to fight against his powers, Anton admitted that he had always been able to dampen hers, and whenever she got close to his level of power, he would make her forget with his rot flowers. Fighting against a dream caused by said flowers, she tried to escape her uncle by unravelling his body momentarily in order to escape to the Parliament of Decay, but found that she was too late, recaptured by her uncle before she could transfer the rights of avatar to herself. Too powerful for her, Anton eventually presented the Parliament with her head, torn from her body at the spine.
Due to time travel provided by the Parliament of Decay to the Swamp Thing and Animal Man, the former arrived at the castle in Blestemat shortly before Arcane killed and decapitated his niece, saving her life by tearing him in half. At the insistence of Abigail and the Parliament, the Swamp Thing reluctantly killed Abigail to allow her to become the Avatar of Rot in place of Anton Arcane, whose Rotworld counterpart had cannibalized his present day version, leaving him stronger than ever. With Abigail taking the place of her uncle, the Parliament was able to destroy him, locking him away in his own private hell while Abigail, now poisonous to the Green-based Swamp Thing, was forced to say her goodbyes before they served their respective Parliaments for the rest of their days.
The Patchwork History
Visiting her uncle some time later in a rotless hell the Parliament of Decay had made for him, she provided him with small amounts of rot as rewards for information about her mother. Learning of her true history and the reason of the death of her mother, and fighting him for control of her birthright as the Rot's champion, she pledged never to allow him to touch rot again, ignorant of his plot to escape through a rotting apple.
Powers and Abilities
- Black Avatar of Rot: Abigail is the physical avatar of the Rot, just as the Swamp Thing is that for the Green.
- Elemental Control: Abigail has control of the rotting of organic beings, including being able to give or restrict rot of others as she chooses. This typically manifests as a black smoke when her powers are in use.
- Regeneration: Can regenerate entire limbs from the Rot as its avatar.
- Abigail Arcane was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, first appearing in Swamp Thing #3. However, in the Prime Earth continuity, Abigail Arcane first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #2 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette.
- 44 Appearances of Abigail Arcane (Prime Earth)
- 21 Images featuring Abigail Arcane (Prime Earth)
- 3 Quotations by or about Abigail Arcane (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Abigail Arcane (Prime Earth)
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #23.1: Arcane
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #10
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #11
- Swamp Thing Annual (Volume 5) #1
- Swamp Thing Vol 2
- Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing Vol 1
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #3
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #2
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #4
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #5
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #6
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #7
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #8
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #9
- Animal Man (Volume 2) #12
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #13
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #14
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #15
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #16
- Swamp Thing (Volume 5) #18
Swamp Thing Character
Swamp Thing and is predominantly seen in the Swamp Thing family of titles. This character may be part of the Swamp Thing's supporting cast, a minor acquaintance, or one of his adversaries. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Swamp Thing Characters category.