"Center of the Cyclone": Clutching the Sprout tightly, Abby Holland rushes back to the swamp, on Swamp Thing's orders. She seems in a panic, as the night falls. Suddenly, as she nears the street, a limousine crashe
- There is no way... to turn back the clock... to repair the damage... already suffered... But perhaps... I can at least deflect... some of the horror... bearing down upon us.
Synopsis for "Center of the Cyclone"
Clutching the Sprout tightly, Abby Holland rushes back to the swamp, on Swamp Thing's orders. She seems in a panic, as the night falls. Suddenly, as she nears the street, a limousine crashes through the guard rail, and narrowly misses her. Reluctantly, she returns to the scene, ignoring her instructions not to stop.
From the crashed vehicle, out steps the Wild Thing - a creature that is the result of a brief merger between the Sprout and the madman Alan Bolland. He opens the back door to reveal a now deranged Roy Raymond, and his associate Lipchitz.
Swamp Thing carries the Swamp Knucker into space, hoping to find a place where it can't harm humans. He chooses Mars, knowing it lacks abundant life, but that it has much creative potential for a plant elemental. Once they leave their astral forms, and create bodies from the sparse plant life on Mars, the Swamp Knucker seems to lose its aggressive intent. It turns and walks away, through the wasteland that is the planet's surface. The Knucker understands the potential of the planet - and his own freedom.
As the car door opens, all of the human waste that the two men have created after being locked within the vehicle for days spills out onto the ground. Lipchitz realizes that they are free, but finds that he can't move. He realizes that his neck was broken in the accident, and appeals to Raymond to help him escape. Unfortunately, Roy Raymond has long since lost his mind, and is still attempting to negotiate a TV deal with Morgan Edge, despite the fact that the car-phone has been disconnected for days. Complaining that he can't hear the other end of the line, Raymond closes the door, amid Lipchitz' loud protests as Abby continues her journey to the swamp.
Elsewhere, John Constantine lies unconscious under a bridge. Two neo-Nazis decide to douse him with lighter fluid and set him on fire. Meanwhile, Swamp Thing returns to earth, and begins regrowing his body nearby. Just as the thugs are about to drop the lit match, Swamp Thing appears behind them, and they run away in terror. Swamp Thing inspects Constantine, and realizes that he is near death, having apparently fallen from a great height. Swamp Thing sends some vines to grow around Constantine's limbs, bracing his broken bones, stitching his open wounds, cradling his skull, and searching his brain for damage.
With his body forming an exoskeleton around Constantine, Swamp Thing walks them up the embankment and along some train-tracks, all while accessing Constantine's recent memory. He sees how Constantine had used his network to find out information. He sees how Constantine had returned to the cave of his shaman informant to find the shaman dead. On the wall, his complete drawing shows Abby Holland breast-feeding a child, accompanied by Constantine himself.
Desperately, Abby runs with the Sprout from Wild Thing, seeking out the hidden motorboat that she uses to get to her home in the swamp. Unfortunately, the ripcord seems to be failing, and the motor won't start. Wild Thing approaches, and gets too close. Suddenly, the motor of the boat explodes, and a canister of gasoline splashes into the water, surrounding her in a ring of flames as it ignites. Abby realizes that the synchronicity maelstrom that Constantine had cautioned her about is catching up with her.
Before the flames or the Wild Thing can touch her, Swamp Thing appears suddenly, sweeping Abby up, and pulling her from the flames. Turning to Wild Thing, they watch as its face explodes open into a horrifying prison of wood, enclosing around them. Swamp Thing manages to destroy it by using vegetable wavelengths of vibration to rip through it. Thinking they are safe, Abby and Swamp Thing prepare to return home.
Unfortunately, Swamp Thing is suddenly surrounded by the Committee of the Parliament of Trees. Sternly, he tells Abby to run, preparing to fight them alone. As she runs, she trips, and comes face to face with the Sprout. She attempts to touch it, and finds that her hand passes right through. Her wounded hand provides a channel for her to sense the Sprout's feelings and memories - the insanity and the failure of its attempted mergers with hosts. Behind all that, though, is something better; something still growing.
Swamp Thing appears, and explains how he defeated the Committee. Initially, he had freed the Sprout from the Wild Thing's body by binding the Committee to him instead. However, in destroying Wild Thing, he inadvertently released them. Rather than fight them this time, he simply communed with them of his travels through space, and they decided to travel there, knowing that they would escape the coming catastrophe in doing so.
That said, the coming catastrophe is apparently unstoppable at this point. Swamp Thing hopes that, at least, he can deflect some of the horror bearing down upon them by killing the Sprout. Abby protests, believing that there is still some good within it. Reluctantly, she walks home alone into the night.
In the back of Roy Raymond's limousine, the TV personality is still suffering from the delusion that his phone functions. He pauses for a moment to make an aside to Lipchitz, who appears to have drowned in the human waste on the floor. The police have found the car, and they drag Raymond from the wreckage. Watching from afar, Swamp Thing decides to take pity on the Sprout again, and they walk into the night together.
Appearing in "Center of the Cyclone"
- Constantine fell from a train and was knocked unconscious in Hellblazer #7. He is found in this condition by Swamp Thing in this issue.