"The Thinker": Solemnly, Swamp Thing sits on a stump in the Louisiana swamp, trying to mentally prepare himself for the task of killing the Sprout, whose existence has brought about such an unbalance in nature that the damage could soon
Appearing in "The Thinker"
- Parliament of Trees
- John Constantine (In a vision)
- Humans (In a vision)
- Superman (In a vision)
- Wonder Woman (In a vision)
- Zeus (In a vision)
- Hera (In a vision)
- Ares (In a vision)
Synopsis for "The Thinker"
Solemnly, Swamp Thing sits on a stump in the Louisiana swamp, trying to mentally prepare himself for the task of killing the Sprout, whose existence has brought about such an unbalance in nature that the damage could soon be extensive and irreversible.
He wonders why he is hesitating, having killed demons, monsters, and even humans before. He knows that if he had simply devoured the Sprout when it was just a seed, back when he had first returned to the Parliament of Trees, this danger would have been averted. Resignedly, he brings the sprout to his mouth, and prepares to consume it.
From behind a tree, the voice of Abby Holland begs him not to kill it. She hopes that there is some other way to resolve the situation without resorting to killing the Sprout. She states that she would do anything to help the Sprout - take any risk. Swamp Thing doubts his ability to reason out an alternative, but Abby suddenly has an inspired idea: he should evolve, and grow himself a bio-computer out of plant-matter that will let him gain the knowledge he seeks. Swamp Thing concedes that this seems like a good idea, if it will work.
Swamp Thing reaches into The Green, and immediately the first thing he senses is Mother Earth. As his perception increases, the seeds of a new growth begin peeking out from the top of his head, blossoming into a new plant brain. He senses the earth's adversarial relationship with man; their pollution, their population, their noise and war. He senses that the only threat to man's aristocracy is man himself.
As his new brain grows larger and more complex, he perceives the history of the elementals. They began with the beginning of creation, cannibalizing their physical forms from the bodies of those things around them. He sees how the lifespan of elementals has shrunk over time, and seems to end with him. The unbalance he has caused seems to suggest that there could be no more elementals after him.
He turns his increasingly powerful mind to the super-humans, but ultimately decides that they are not the right place to turn, as they are too tied to the fate of man. He turns to the immortals; the gods. Again, he turns away from the gods for a solution, knowing that they depend too much on humans for their own existence. He thinks then of the Spirit World, and how man cannot know the import of the battle that was fought there between good and evil, and the tenuous relationship formed between the two.
Beyond the spiritual, Swamp Thing contemplates matter itself, the atomic microverse which in turn forms the star clusters and galaxies of the macroverse. But beyond the atomic lies the quantum, wherein probability, the random, and all of that which man can not yet grasp are wildly spinning. Finally, with his new brain's understanding of the quantum, Swamp thing breaks through the barriers of his own ignorance, and allows himself to understand all things, taking his mind to a point where there is no time and there is no space.
Taking all of this knowledge to resolve his own problem seems petty, but he turns his thoughts toward the black hole of synchronicity that surrounds he and his family. He realizes that at a quantum level, the synchronicity is malleable, and he and his companions are perfectly positioned to turn events inside out. He supposes that the Sprout, though corrupted now, could be calmed by the experience of being in a womb - a human womb. And as he saw the lineage of elementals ending with him, he sees a mirrored image of that lineage spiralling out into the future, garbed in flesh rather than foliage. Still, there are some dangerous variables to be probed, before his carefully woven solution is perforated by something unexpected.
As if in response to his thoughts, Abby takes a sharpened stick, and stabbed through the fleshy balloon of plant matter that had grown giant from the Swamp Thing's head. Then she takes an axe and a hacksaw, dismantling the brain growth, and leaving only the anthropomorphic shape she knows as Alec Holland sitting there. He wakes, suddenly, demanding to know why she cut him off from his thoughts. Abby reveals that despite his feeling that it lasted mere moments, he had been sitting there thinking for a month and a half.
Despite having lost much of the capacity to understand his own plan, Swamp Thing does know what he must do. He struggles to explain it to Abby, knowing that she will play a key role in its fruition. Abby assures him that she will help in any way she can. Relenting, Swamp Thing asks how Abby would like to have a baby - their baby. Nature shudders with the laughter of the Swamp Thing.
- This story continues in Hellblazer #9.
- No trivia.