DC Database

"Growth Patterns": John Constantine is an occult investigator from England. He learns that something large is set to occur in the world of the supernatural and sets about learning all he can about it. But his search proves frustrating as he moves among his co

Quote1 My name's John Constantine, and I think we could do each other a favor. Mind if I smoke? Quote2
John Constantine

Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #37 is an issue of the series Swamp Thing (Volume 2) with a cover date of June, 1985.

Synopsis for "Growth Patterns"

John Constantine is an occult investigator from England. He learns that something large is set to occur in the world of the supernatural and sets about learning all he can about it. But his search proves frustrating as he moves among his contacts. No one has a great deal of information for him, but to say that "He's coming back". One source thinks that he is a living black hole. Another believes that it is the old one, Cthulhu. An old nun even believes it to be Satan. The only thing his contacts appear to agree on is that the entity's arrival should take place in about twelve months.

Meanwhile, Abby has been slowly helping to nurse the Swamp Thing back to health. A mere bud of an entity, she has been treating the diminutive plant with water and pesticides. It is an excruciatingly slow process and over the course of days, He regains only half of his overall strength at this point. Day by day he's growing more parts of himself.

John Constantine is in the apartment of Emma who he departs with after waking up to go find Swamp Thing.

He eventually finds Abby and the Swamp Thing. He chides the Swamp Thing for his ignorance and informs him that he is the last remaining plant elemental. He has the ability to extend his essence through any vegetative matter – with the ability to instantly teleport nearly any place he chooses to on Earth. Desperate to know more, the Swamp Thing pleads with Constantine to stay and tell him what he knows. Claiming that he has other places to be, John leaves them, but before he does, he admits that he plans to be in Rosewood, just outside Chicago, in a week's time, and that he would explain more if they were to meet there.

Meanwhile, Emma instinctively draws a terrible picture of a disfigured man. The being, known as an Invunche, comes to life and the terror-stricken artist pitches herself through her studio window to her death. There's also a montage of a few other evil acts from the other contacts that Constantine encountered.

Back in Houma, Swamp Thing seems to have completely regrown, and is pondering. Abby half-jokingly brings up the prospect of a honeymoon for them, since their "communion". He is vaguely recalling the name "Rosewood," and he is too wrapped-up in that train of thought to pay any mind to Abby's "honeymoon" proposal.

Appearing in "Growth Patterns"

Featured Characters:

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Other Characters:





  • John Constantine's creation and first appearance involves a bit of backstory.
    The character of John Constantine was created by Alan Moore on something of a whim. He had asked his artists Steve Bissette and John Totleben what they would most like to draw, and both had said that they wanted to draw a character that looked like the musician Sting. Taking their suggestion, Moore built the character solely around that idea, eventually deciding that the character should be a working-class magician.
    However, this decision has led to the first appearance of Constantine becoming a contentious issue.
    An unnamed, non-speaking character, drawn by Steve Bissette and John Totleben to resemble Sting appeared in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #25. Though this cameo character shares no other traits with the character that would later become Constantine other than physical inspiration, some people have claimed this to be Constantine's first appearance.
    Similarly, another unnamed and non-speaking character resembling Sting appeared in DC Sampler #3, in a series of panels indicating Swamp Thing's future - making it an arguable option for Constantine's true first-appearance as well.
    For the sake of certitude, the DC Database stands by this issue's appearance as first.[1]


  • The title card for this issue appears on the top side of an empty beer can and reads, "Swamp Thing - originally bottled by Wein & Wrightson".
  • The evil entity that everyone speaks of is the beginning of a subplot that culminates in the double-sized Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #50.
  • Swamp Thing learns that he is the world's last plant elemental in this issue.
  • Cthulhu is a God-like character from a mythos created by Gothic horror writer, H. P. Lovecraft, and featured in a short story called "The Call of Cthulhu". Numerous writers have expanded upon the Cthulhu mythos and it has become a popular material reference in comics, songs and role playing games.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

  1. Cronin, Brian (June 5, 2008). "Comic Book Legends Revealed! #158". Comics Should Be Good!