"A Time of Running": This story is reprinted from Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #26.

Essential Vertigo: Swamp Thing #6 is an issue of the series Essential Vertigo: Swamp Thing (Volume 1) with a cover date of April, 1997.

Appearing in "A Time of Running"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Paul
  • Vince
  • John
  • Tim Carburton
  • Deanna French
  • Roberta
  • Michael
  • Jessica




Synopsis for "A Time of Running"

This story is reprinted from Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #26.

After witnessing a horrible accident, Abby Cable joins Jason Blood for tea. He warns her that the school for the autistic that she has just become employed at, Elysium Lawns, is in danger from something related to a boy named Paul, whose parents died of causes unknown. Abby is fed up with strangeness in her life, but Blood convinces her that she has no choice but to help the children. Jason Blood who is warring internally with also being Etrigan, tells her this to try to limit the casualties that Etrigan may inflict on those around the school as collateral damage.

Later, when she attends her first day of work there, all of the children have grown highly agitated. The staff struggles to subdue each of them. Deanna French, the superintendent notes that since the day before, all of the children have started producing drawings of horrifying monkeys. Abby recalls that before, there had only been one child who was obsessed with monkeys: Paul. She visits him, and he reveals that the children are being tormented by a creature called the Monkey King, who appears to each of them as whatever they fear most.

That night, Abby's husband Matt is full of disdain and disgust for the children in the school, and tries to convince her not to go back and help them. When she states that they need her help, he selfishly suggests that he might need her, sexually. Abby is disgusted, and though he tries to be apologetic, she states that she will walk to the swamp, and ask the Swamp Thing to help.

Despite her inarticulate warning, Swamp Thing already knows what's going on, and they run across Terrebonne Parish to the school. Unfortunately, when they arrive, it is all too clear that the creature is already there. The Monkey King forces Paul to join him as he instills horrible and frightful visions in the minds of the other children. When Abby and Swamp Thing get inside, and encounter the creature, they are both confounded by its horrors. However, the Demon Etrigan watches from above, and engages the creature.

Elsewhere, Matt decides that he should go to help Abby after all, feeling guilty about his earlier behaviour. Unfortunately, he is quite drunk already, and he loses control of the car, smashing headlong into a tree.



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