"Still Waters": This story is reprinted from Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #38.

Essential Vertigo: Swamp Thing #19 is an issue of the series Essential Vertigo: Swamp Thing (Volume 1) with a cover date of May, 1998.

Appearing in "Still Waters"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Deanna French
  • Leon
  • Nicky (Dies)
  • Ronnie
  • Bill
  • Howard
  • Frank




Synopsis for "Still Waters"

This story is reprinted from Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #38.

In Rosewood, Illinois, a group of boys swim in a pond, despite their parents' warnings. Suddenly, the boys realize that the pond is infested with leeches, and they all rush out except Nicky, who has grown unnaturally pale. Just below the surface, vampiric creatures have drained him of all of his blood. The boys are too afraid to go back into the water for him, and they run away. The vampires return to their homes, deep under the water in old Rosewood, the sunken town.

Elsewhere, Abby Holland and the Swamp Thing reluctantly part ways, as he decides to take Constantine's bait, and go to the town of Rosewood, Illinois. Upon Constantine's hinting, he attempts to transport himself there by regrowing himself through the Earth, to the new location. As he concentrates on getting there, he recalls that he had been there once before, and that the town had been corrupted so deeply by a dark presence that the Swamp Thing had cleansed the town by exploding the dam. He mentally locates a small seed in Rosewood, and uses it to begin regrowing himself there. He immediately thinks of Abby.

Abby, meanwhile is talking with one of her teacher co-workers. She's lost in thought thinking of Swamp Thing and her friend, Deanna, chastises her for not paying attention to her. Abby apologies and tell Deanna that she was thinking about someone, and Deanna shoots back "...You're going to have to face facts...your hustband's a vegetable". She of course is speaking of her literal husband who is in a coma still, but also unknowingly referring to Swamp Thing.

Constantine is in Chicago, at a bar, and he's just learned that the girl he was with previously in the last issue, tossed herself from her studio apartment. It's reported as suicide, but as shown in the prior issue, she was chased out by a demon.

Eventually, the boys decide not to go back for Nicky, or tell anyone what they saw. All of them leave except for Howard, who returns to the water alone determined to try to rescue his friend. At the same time, the vampires prepare the creature they call the Mother for a mating ritual. This massive creature once known as Charlene – a supermarket worker in Rosewood who once worried about her pimples and marriage prospects – now has an integral part to play in the vampires' conquest on land.

Swamp Thing regrows a new body in Rosewood successfully. He notes that after his 'death' by Nukeface which took him weeks to respawn himself, now took him a matter of hours and with no "hang over". When he is complete he is met there by Constantine, who warns that some of the vampires that were drowned out two years before had survived, and formed an underwater community. When the flood of Rosewood took place, a few where inside an airtight refridgerator unit in a supermarket. They were already bitten, but were hiding out from others. The gate was opened, and the flood washed away everything else, but they survived. Here, they found refuge from the harmful sunlight as well as from humans who might kill them. Constantine further explains that the virus that causes vampirism is anaerobic; oxygen can be a harmful substance to them. He bargains that he will reveal Swamp Thing's nature to him if he will deal with the vampires in the water. Annoyed, Swamp Thing begins walking into the water.

As Howard returns to the pond, Nicky appears to be alive, and demands that they go swimming again. It becomes clear that Nicky has become a vampire himself, and Howard is swarmed by Nicky's new companions. The Mother gives birth to many, many eggs, which soon begin to hatch. Both she and her mate descend into the dark waters and – their bodies torn apart after breeding – begin to decompose and die as the oxygenated water flows through their bodies.



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