"The Secret Life of Plants": Somewhere, a man named Carl explains a strangely symbolic dream that he had to John Constantine. In the dream, he was a flower, and a butterfly came to pollinate him. Internally, he attempted to convert the dream to its literal meanin
- Blue Beetle didin't set the whole world balls-up just so's he could roger his favorite dolly-girl, did he? Now out of simple self-preservation I'm willin' to muck in an try to set everything straight... But I was hopin' you might ease up on the whinin' and bitchin' and let us get on with it, eh?
Appearing in "The Secret Life of Plants"
- Ghost Hiding in the Rushes
- Roger "Piggy" Huntoon
- Blackbriar Thorn (As a spirit)
- Jane Day
- Gene LaBostrie
Synopsis for "The Secret Life of Plants"
Somewhere, a man named Carl explains a strangely symbolic dream that he had to John Constantine. In the dream, he was a flower, and a butterfly came to pollinate him. Internally, he attempted to convert the dream to its literal meaning, and he saw a plane crashing in flames. Carl seems frightened by his dream, and believes it is prophetic. Constantine agress.
In Houma, Louisiana, Chester Williams grows concerned about his friend Liz Tremayne. She hasn't left her room since the last time Abby Holland visited. He offers her some dinner, but she declines. Slyly, Chester asks if he can leave his old typewriter in her room, and then leaves her alone with it.
Elsewhere, Constantine visits an elderly gardener named Staj, who informs him that something about the soil has changed. Nature used to be in harmony, but now it's at war with itself. Later, he visits an acupuncturist named Ming. She explains how acupuncture works on a principle of channelling the electromagnetic energy within the human body. Constantine asks what might be able to alter someone else's electromagnetic energy through hidden means. She suggests that a wino named Dogbum in Gotham might be able to help him find out.
Constantine meets with a shaman, to whom he trades some silk cut cigarettes for information. The Shaman says only one thing: "Arcane," drawing a picture of Abby on the cave wall. In Gotham City, Constantine confronts Roger Huntoon, a psychologist at Arkham Asylum. Constantine demands to know how Huntoon keeps tabs on superheroes. Smugly, Huntoon responds that he has trustworthy friends in high places. Constantine bargains the location of one of Huntoon's old flames for the information.
In Metropolis, Constantine visits Brenda, the coroner. They're flirtatious, and Brenda is concerned that her Sioux Indian heritage keeps men from wanting second dates with her. She wonders why he asked her to see where she works so late at night, and Constantine responds that he was hoping to sample some of her other skills. At first she believes that he hopes to have sex in the morgue, but then she realizes his ulterior motive.
Brenda has learned to divine the future from the medicine men of her culture. Over the entrails of a human corpse, she attempts to divine the date of the Monarch Airlines crash that Carl dreamed of. She is successful, but she refuses to divulge the information she found until he makes good on his promise to make love to her among the corpses. Constantine admits that he will try anything once.
Later, Constantine visits a geomancer named Freddy. Freddy believes that clay is intelligent - specifically that clay made of silicon works as a natural micro-chip. Constantine wonders if there might be a place somewhere between Metropolis and Gotham that a geomancer might call a place of power. Freddy reveals that one of the purest deposits of clay silicates in the world is Slaughter Swamp.
Constantine stops by the Gotham Holiday Inn, where medium Jane Day is holding a seminar. Constantine demands to speak with a druid named Blackbriar Thorn. He coerces the druid's spirit to come out, despite the spirit's reluctance to speak through such a shallow mind. The druid informs him that the current wood elemental, Swamp Thing, has gone renegade from the Parliament of Trees, and refuses to either kill his successor or join the Parliament's collective mind. As a result, the balance of nature has been thrown off. The Parliament tried to kill him, but he found a way to neutralize their power by reaching out to alien worlds, and channelling those alien energies back to earth. Swamp Thing is currently in control, but if the situation is not rectified, all creation is in danger of collapse.
Next, Constantine attempts to coerce a boy named Rodney to use his incredible mathematical capabilities to determine which flight number corresponds to the plane that he thinks will crash, based on a flight schedule. This offers 438 possibilities. Within moments, Rodney has determined that the flight will be 007. Returning to Gotham, Constantine bribes Dogbum with expensive wines into helping him identify a specific passenger on flight 007 by his aura.
Meanwhile, Swamp Thing returns to his swamp home. He notices Abby's discarded survival gear, and her clothing strewn about the water's edge. He finds her naked, sleeping in the home he built for her in the middle of the swamp. Rolling over, Abby wakes, and smiles at him as they embrace. They make love, with Abby digging her fists deep into Swamp Thing's back. A bunch of yellow flowers begin sprouting from where her hands have touched, and she spreads her body out into the new bed of flowers. From within the mass of yellow flowers springs a quivering, moist, purple iris. Leaning forward, she brings her lips close to it, and blows softly into it. The breeze sends pollen through the flower's internals. As a final culmination to their love-making, it begins raining giant fruits and berries throughout the swamp.
Afterwards, Abby dresses, mocking Swamp Thing for his apparent exhaustion. He expresses some regret for his inability to satisfy her physically - like only a human man could. Abby is reassuring, claiming that men are not all they're cracked up to be. Their moment is interrupted by the appearance of John Constantine. He warns that they should not forget about the Sprout, and reveals that he has found out who the next candidate for becoming a wood elemental is. Abby tries to warn him off, but Constantine explains to her that Swamp Thing has set nature off balance solely because of her. Swamp Thing admits his folly, and agrees to hear Constantine out.
They hope that with the information Constantine has learned, they can train Swamp Thing's replacement and then he can retire. When asked what he did with the Sprout, after thwarting the Committee, Swamp Thing explains that he has kept the Sprout somewhere safe, where he can keep an eye on it.
Back in Houma, Chester Williams clips a bud off of his marijuana plant, and is surprised to find an eye growing on it. Inside, Liz is furiously typing on his old typewriter.
- This issue is reprinted in the Swamp Thing: Regenesis trade paperback.
- In the letters section of Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #74, it is revealed that Brett Ewins aided with the pencils on this issue.
- On the 15th page, John Constantine makes an allusion to Superman and Demon having once joined forces against Blackbriar Thorn. This occurred in DC Comics Presents Vol 1 66.
- Rodney manages to recall the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths for Constantine.
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- Cover gallery for the Swamp Thing series
- Swamp Thing Recommended Reading