"(We Could Be) Diving For Pearls": Abby Holland wakes in her new home in the Louisiana swamps alone. She finds herself very hungry, and wonders if Swamp Thing has anything to eat. Unfortunately, Swamp Thing is gone somewhere, and all
- I'm one of you... but I am also... different. I have braved the empty void... and tasted... life forms beyond... even your dreams. I am no longer... just of the earth. I am a creature... of the universe now.
- -- Swamp Thing
Appearing in "(We Could Be) Diving For Pearls"
- Anton Arcane (In dream sequence only)
- Gregori Arcane (In dream sequence only)
- Matt Cable (In dream sequence only)
Synopsis for "(We Could Be) Diving For Pearls"
Abby Holland wakes in her new home in the Louisiana swamps alone. She finds herself very hungry, and wonders if Swamp Thing has anything to eat. Unfortunately, Swamp Thing is gone somewhere, and all she can find are the empty husks left behind from his travels in The Green. Her hunger growing, Abby is tempted to simply eat the hallucinogenic tubers which grown on Swamp Thing's body. She wonders if eating enough of them will allow her to contact him somehow.
Meanwhile, Swamp Thing is swimming through The Green to meet with the Parliament of Trees, who become agitated at his presence. Despite reminding the Parliament that he is an elemental like them, they are incredulous, having already come to the conclusion that the Swamp Thing is dead. He explains how he was destroyed, and flung himself into space in order to survive. Upon sensing the truth of his words, however, the Parliament becomes angry.
Abby takes a bite of one of the tubers, and begins having a hallucinogenic experience. She feels very good, but for some reason she can't remember her name. She thinks it might begin with "Ar..." Suddenly, she is attacked by a vision of her uncle Anton Arcane, carrying her father's detached head, and reminding her that she is of his line. Terrified, she collapses into the water, only to discover that she had been looking at a crumpled umbrella caught in a tree.
The Parliament of Trees explains that they have made a terrible mistake. Throughout history, there has only ever been one Earth elemental at a time. When one died or retired, a replacement would be grown. Swamp Thing dives deep down into the womb of the earth, and discovers a seed meant to house his replacement. He was supposed to be dead. The Parliament explains that to have two elementals at once is a crime without precedence, and its magnitude cannot be measured. In order to avert a catastrophe, the Parliament commands him to consume the soul housed within the seed; to kill it.
Abby regrets eating the tuber, and she still can't remember her name. She tries "kay..." and is immediately dragged underwater by a vision of her comatose husband Matt Cable, who reminds her that she is still married to him. She swims back up to the surface, remembering that her name is Abby and that she loves Alec Holland, the Swamp Thing. She recalls that Chester Williams had warned her about people who ate the tubers seeing their worst fears. On the other hand, Swamp Thing had said that fear is an illusion which dissolves when it is faced.
Swamp Thing hesitates in killing the seed. He replies to the Parliament that there has been enough killing, and that the new seed deserves a chance at life. He reminds that he is now different from all of the other elementals, that he has been to space - a creature of the universe. He declares his intention to retire with Abby, and simply leaves, allowing the seed to live.
Finally, Abby's hallucinations subside, and she crawls back to the land, still hungry for breakfast. As she lays down in the grass, though, the hallucinations resume. A great glowing light offers her some scrambled eggs, home fries, and coffee. Abby believes it is Swamp Thing, and embraces him, only to find that the voice was that of John Constantine. Abby gratefully accepts the breakfast he's brought, but quickly realizes that he has an ulterior motive.
The Swamp Thing arrives, and warns Constantine away, stating that he is no longer available for the occultist's crusades, despite Constantine's warnings of a coming danger. Angrily, Constantine complains that with all of his power, the Swamp Thing could make a real difference; that he could give Superman a run for his money. He makes an insulting comment toward Abby, and she throws her coffee in his face and runs off, in anger.
Swamp Thing turns on Constantine, deciding to make good on one of his threats. He begins to grow and control the flora living within Constantine's intestinal tract. He warns that he can make the flora do anything - rip him apart or plug him up, causing slow and painful death. He states that he will have no business with Constantine ever again. Constantine warns that if Swamp Thing shirks his duties as Earth's elemental, trouble will come calling on him. In response, Swamp Thing informs him that a replacement is on the way, and then simply allows his body to die, leaving Constantine alone.
Relieved, Constantine lights a cigarette, and then collects some tubers from the Swamp Thing's dead husk for himself.
- This issue is reprinted in the Swamp Thing: Regenesis trade paperback.
- The Swamp Thing appears next in Swamp Thing Annual #3.
- One of the members of the Parliament of Trees bears a strong and intentional resemblance to the Marvel Comics character, the Man-Thing.
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