"Yes...": Black Orchid has travelled all the way to the Louisiana swamp from Gotham City, and is waking to the feeling that the swamp itself senses her presence. Still, she is skeptical that she will find what she is looking for here, because, after all, the m
- Reeesults. Yes. So. Find me these super-purple-flower-women. One or both. And get them to the labs for examination and dissection. Yes?
Appearing in "Yes..."
- Abby Holland
- Barry (Dies)
- Janos (Dies)
- Bio-Restorative Formula (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Yes..."
Black Orchid has travelled all the way to the Louisiana swamp from Gotham City, and is waking to the feeling that the swamp itself senses her presence. Still, she is skeptical that she will find what she is looking for here, because, after all, the man she is looking for - Alec Holland - is dead.
She is interrupted from her thoughts by the voice of the Swamp Thing, and she instinctively assumes that he is a god, realizing at once that it is he that she came looking for. Nervously, she tells him everything about how Phil and Susan Linden were murdered, and her baby Suzy was kidnapped.
The Swamp Thing tells her to hush, and relaxes her by ushering her into The Green with him. Through it, he can read the memories that have imprinted themselves on her cells, and he tells her the story that he sees there.
Long ago, Alec Holland and Phil Sylvian had been young and idealistic. Alec had seen the wastefulness of man and dreamed of ways to feed the hungry by making the infertile deserts grow crops. Phil, though, had seen the value of epiphytes's ability to gain nutrition from the air, and dreamed of making people of plants. People who could breathe carbon dioxide, feeding on water, soil, and air could live in the rainforests of the world and save the old world from dying.
When Alec and his wife Linda tried to develop something called the Bio-Restorative Formula, they were killed for it. Phil's plan to create plant-people remained a dream until the day that Susan came back into his life. After agreeing to testify against her husband Carl, Susan was murdered. Phil, though, stole samples of her genetic material from her corpse and used it to make his dream bear fruit. The first successful plant-person was inclined to fight crime, apparently seeking some kind of revenge for its progenitor's death. When she too was killed, then this Black Orchid woke.
Full of wonder, Black Orchid wonders why Phil's process only worked with Susan, and what should happen next. Swamp Thing simply asks her what she wants, and she responds that she wants to find Suzy. The other thing she wants, she knows that he can already sense, because he is the avatar of the Green. Admitting as much, he promises that he will find Suzy if she still lives. As for her other desire, he hands her some seeds, and tells her that she will know where best to plant them. Then, tapping her forehead, he shows her where Suzy is located. Grateful, Black Orchid kisses his cheek, and flies away. After she has gone, Swamp Thing's wife Abby asks who she was, and he responds that she was an old friend, and that he gave her some babies. Abby finds that revelation perplexing.
Carl, meanwhile, thinks to himself of how he really loved Susan - which was why he had to kill her. Every time he thought of her with another man, it made him crazy. That is why he has to kill all of these weird flower-clones of her - so that he can be rid of her forever, and the memory of her.
Elsewhere, the truck carrying Suzy back to Lex Luthor's lab for dissection has been stopped on the road by a fallen tree, carefully placed by Black Orchid. While the drivers are distracted trying to figure out how to get the log out of the way, she retrieves Suzy from the truck, and they escape southward.
After eighteen days of searching, Lex Luthor is displeased with his men for failing to give him results. He places his man Sterling on the project full-time, and warns that if he doesn't get results - it won't be good.
Black Orchid and Suzy, meanwhile, have been spending their time in the Amazon Rainforest. Unfortunately, they are easily lost there, and they are forced to ask the indigenous people of the forest for directions.
Sterling traces the last sighting of the pair to a hunter called Vandervoort who has worked for them before. He reports back to Luthor, intending to send a ten-man retrieval team into Brazil to find them. Unfortunately for him, Luthor insists that Sterling accompany the team.
Thanks to the natives, Black Orchid and Suzy find the valley she dreamed of, but their arrival is marred by a feeling of anticlimax. In order to fulfill Philip Sylvian's dream of a civilization of plant-people in the rainforest, Black Orchid spreads the handful of seeds she was given throughout the valley, and encourages them to be fruitful.
Arriving in Manau, Sterling meets with Vandervoort and impresses upon his guide the importance of finding these purple flower-ladies. After trudging through the forest for a day, they find a group of natives and interrogate them violently. Weakly, one man admits that a hunter said he saw them passing overhead, but had averted his eyes because they are considered as goddesses to them. Annoyed, Sterling has the man shot and moves on to the next man.
After some further interrogations, one of the tribesmen agrees to take them to where he believes the women are. Apparently, they are with a northern tribe who does not speak, who guard a sacred spirit of the forests. While sitting around the fire, one of Sterling's men leaves camp to relieve himself, and has a fatal encounter with Carl Thorne, who has been following them the whole time.
In their valley, Black Orchid wonders if perhaps their kind needs death to exist. Susan gave her life to create them, Pamela Isley gave a piece of herself to make her creatures, Alec Holland had to die to become the Swamp Thing. Suzy remarks that it would be far more sensible for her to stop thinking so much. Sadly, Orchid admits that she has come so far to get what she wanted, and yet, still doesn't know what she wants.
Elsewhere, while Sterling's men are sidling along a sheer rock face, Carl picks one of them off with a blowdart. Later, another of Sterling's men winds up with his leg caught in Carl's bear trap. Vandervoort determines that these killings are too civilized to be the natives' doing. He decides that if Luthor pays him another bonus, he will work on stopping the killer. While Vandervoort is tracking him, Carl sneaks up from behind and plunges a knife through his back. Without Vandervoort to guide them, they are left with the native they coerced, but all the same, they soon find the grove where Suzy and Black Orchid are hiding.
Sterling confronts them, and Black Orchid warns them away, commanding that there be no killing in the grove. Sterling responds that he will have them both, no matter what. If they resist, they have defoliant ready to destroy them both. He explains that there will be no cavalry coming to save them, but just as he does, Carl bursts into the grove screaming the lyrics from New York, New York with guns blazing.
Though he makes a valiant effort, Sterling manages to put a bullet in Carl's chest. As he dies, he addresses Black Orchid, saying that she isn't, and never was Susan Linden. Seeing Carl dead, Black Orchid becomes angry. She had warned them that there would be no killing. All the same, she remains docile, and invites them to spray her with the defoliant. Obligingly, Sterling orders his man to kill her, but he simply declines. She is too perfect and beautiful to kill. Stepping forward, Orchid takes the gun from Sterling's hand and asks his men to bury Carl for her.
She turns to a confused Sterling and tells him to go back to Mr. Luthor and tell him that the game is over. If he ever interferes again with her or her sisters, she will retaliate. Whatever it is he loves, she will take it from him. Sterling explains that Luthor will have him killed if he says those things. She simply commands him again to give Luthor her message, and says her goodbyes.
Afterwards, Suzy senses that her mother is no longer happy in the grove, and Orchid admits that she is not. If she were to leave now, the sisters they planted would grow well - but it will be years before they are people. Suzy reveals that she has already spoken with the natives - strange, since they are silent - and they have told her that they will stay to protect the valley. However, they are displeased with the fact that Carl was buried there - they burn their dead. All the same, Suzy would like to go back to civilization too. She misses having real people to play with instead of animals. So long as she'd be able to come back, she would be happy to leave.
Happily, they agree to leave right then, and fly the long journey to the city again.
- This issue is reprinted in the Black Orchid trade paperback.
- First professional DC Comics work for British writer Neil Gaiman.
- Black Orchid Recommended Reading
Links and References
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