"L'adoration De La Terre": In London, the Phantom Stranger and Etrigan bemoan the confusion they face now that good and evil have formed a kind of union. Phantom Stranger is particularly perturbed, but Etrigan warns of more coming dang
- Damn! In my eagerness... to protect our planet... I have acted thoughtlessly toward the person... I hold dearest in all the world.
- -- Swamp Thing
Appearing in "L'adoration De La Terre"
- Abigail Holland
- Chester Williams
- John Constantine (Possessed)
- Liz Tremayne (Behind the scenes)
- Matt Cable
- Washington, D.C.
Synopsis for "L'adoration De La Terre"
In London, the Phantom Stranger and Etrigan bemoan the confusion they face now that good and evil have formed a kind of union. Phantom Stranger is particularly perturbed, but Etrigan warns of more coming danger hidden in the blood and deeds of a man: John Constantine. Constantine's blood has been tainted by a blood transfusion from the demon Nergal. The Stranger hopes that the Swamp Thing will realize the danger of Constantine's taint before he enacts his plan to save the world. Etrigan is not so optimistic.
In Constantine's apartment, the Swamp Thing begins taking control of the man's body, entering into his brain and blood stream. He resists the bodily urges of Constantine's addiction to smoking, suffering through the withdrawal. He dons the man's trench coat, takes his passport and money, and makes his way to the airport. On his way out of the building, it occurs to Swamp Thing that Constantine does have warm, familial feelings for the apartments' cohabitants. Swamp Thing is intrigued.
In Louisiana, Abby Holland, stops by her old house in Houma, where she hopes to find someone to talk to about the emotional weight of the request that the Swamp Thing has asked of her. Her friend Chester Williams answers the door in a frazzle. Regretfully, he suggests that this is a bad time to talk, because he and Liz Tremayne - who had previously been practically catatonic - has returned to her old self, and they are finally going to consummate their relationship by having sex. In fact, Chester is butt-naked, and Liz is waiting for him in the other room.
Despite not being able to discuss her issues, Abby is given some comfort from the fact that things are going well for her friends. Before leaving, Chester hands her a bunch of bills from the hospital. She feels that she owes nothing to the hospital, but takes the mail as a sign that she should speak to her comatose husband Matt Cable about what she and the Swamp Thing plan to do.
While preparing to board his flight to the USA, Swamp Thing, in the guise of Constantine, is accosted by a man named Funky Flashman, who claims to be an old partner. Funky intimates that one of the 'pies' in which he has his fingers is Darkseid, and he suggests that he and Constantine should arrange a battle between Darkseid and the Swamp Thing for money. After a long flight to Washington, D.C., stuck listening to Funky's immoral pitches, Swamp Thing's opinion of his host sinks to the point where he becomes consumed by thoughts of vengeance for all of Constantine's attempts to exploit him. As some small form of justice, he decides to give Constantine a tattoo.
In Hell, a torturous demon complains that Anton Arcane's incessant laughter is making him look bad among the other demons. Arcane explains that despite his being in hell, he has one triumph in that he has managed to cause his niece Abigail pain from beyond the grave. Skeptically, the demon has a look, to see whether this is true.
At the hospital, Abby stands over the prone, unconscious body of her once-husband Matt. In her head, she tries to justify what she plans. She hopes to use the craziness that follows her around for good this time, regretting that Matt had to be a casualty of that craziness. Even so, she feels some sense of responsibility to Matt, because legally, they are still married. Gripping his limp hand in her own, she explains that she loves the Swamp Thing now, and that she wants to have this baby, with or without Matt's consent. As if in answer, the wedding band slips from Matthew's thin finger. Abby takes it as a sign of his approval.
Swamp Thing surprises Abby in their swamp home, still in Constantine's body. Without much ado, he undresses and gets into the bed that Abby has prepared, warning her that they must hurry because he senses that she is ovulating. As Abby undresses, Swamp Thing marvels at the human sexual response - a thing he is now feeling for the first time as he possesses Constantine's body.
As they kiss, Abby is disgusted by the leftover taste of years of cigarette smoke in Constantine's mouth. In response, the Swamp Thing grows chlorophyll in his throat and lungs to nullify it. Before they can continue, Abby expresses her concern that Constantine might have been exposed to AIDS. Swamp Thing enters Constantine's blood stream and checks for anomalies. While he finds no trace of AIDS or infection, he does note that he senses something else; something mystical.
Despite having all of her questions answered, Abby is apprehensive about the fact that the Swamp Thing's host is Constantine. She doesn't trust the Englishman, and she worries that despite all the evidence to the contrary, once the act is done, he will smirk, and she will know that it was all a horrible trick - just like when she discovered that she had made love to her husband Matthew while he was possessed by her evil uncle.
Swamp Thing realizes his mistake, and begs forgiveness. He explains that if he could prove it, he would, but the process of leaving Constantine's body to use his powers would likely result in the man's death. Abby has an idea, and offers that if the Swamp Thing really is in control of Constantine's body, he wouldn't mind putting on the wedding band that she earlier retrieved from Matthew's finger. Swamp Thing agrees happily and proudly to take the ring, and Abby is relieved.
In Hell, the demon comments to Anton Arcane that despite the madman's claims, Abby seems pretty happy. With the balance back to normal, the demon places a loudly protesting Arcane into a ball full of spikes and scorpions, and tosses him into the pit of flames.
From nearby Abby and Swamp Thing's home, the Phantom Stranger and Etrigan listen to the sounds of their love making. The stranger admits that he was wrong, and that despite his hopes, Constantine's taint will be passed on. As they watch, the Sprout speeds through the swamp, and prepares to enter the new life that will begin in Abby's womb. Angrily, the Phantom Stranger makes for to stop the atrocity from occurring. Etrigan intercedes, taking the pair of them to heaven, where the hands of The Presence and the Great Darkness are clasped together firmly. Etrigan explains that so long as those hands are entwined, the balance will hold as well.
Embracing in bed, Swamp Thing reveals to Abby that he can tell that she has already conceived.
- The title to this issue, "L'adoration De La Terre" is french for "Adoration of the Earth".
- Mighty Mouse and Mrs. MacGuire both appear next in Hellblazer #10.
- The Phantom Stranger makes reference to John Constantine's "tainted blood" in this issue. John Constantine was forced to accept a blood transfusion from the demon Nergal in Hellblazer #8.
- A Constantine's neighbour, seemingly a rasta, is listening "Johnny too bad", a song by The Slickers.
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