"Final Payment": Matthew Cable lies in a hospital bed at Terrebonne Parish General Hospital. His body is emaciated and withering away and he is on life support. While Matthew's mind dreams of an encounter with the biblical Eve, his ex-wife [[

Quote1.png I'm sorry... I abused... your love... ! Forgive me, Abby... then forget me. Quote2.png
Matt Cable

Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #84 is an issue of the series Swamp Thing (Volume 2) with a cover date of March, 1989.

Appearing in "Final Payment"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Hubert Sax (First appearance)

Other Characters:



  • John Constantine's scrying kit


  • Chester Williams' boat

Synopsis for "Final Payment"

Matthew Cable lies in a hospital bed at Terrebonne Parish General Hospital. His body is emaciated and withering away and he is on life support. While Matthew's mind dreams of an encounter with the biblical Eve, his ex-wife Abigail Holland keeps vigil at his bedside. Despite the fact that her relationship with him was strained, she feels it was an important part of her life.
Abby sees the hospital administrator Hubert Sax who informs her that she is financially liable for all of Matt's hospital costs, which to date, total $2,728,614.12. Abby argues that Matt's employers, the D.D.I. should be covering his expenses, but Sax indicates that he does not appear to have any connections to government agencies, nor any medical insurance.
Outside the hospital, Abby encounters a parade on the streets of Houma, where she is accosted by Adam Strange. She recalls that she had thought he was crazy when last they met, and apologizes. He explains that the reason the Dominators had to take out the Swamp Thing because all of their weapons were plant-based. He admits that if Swamp Thing wasn't captured, it was because he wasn't anywhere in the galaxy. Abby gestures to the ring her husband left her, still on her finger, and states that she has her own information. Adam admits that he finds her faith inspiring.
Abby returns to Chester Williams and Elizabeth Tremayne's place, where she explains her troubles. Knowing that Matt was supposed to have been working for the D.D.I., they try to find contact information on the organization to see if they will agree to cover Matt's medical costs, but their efforts are fruitless. Afterwards, Abby reveals the true nature of her pregnancy. She explains how she is providing a physical vessel for the "Sprout", the elemental entity that has caused she and the Swamp Thing so much trouble in the recent past.
After receiving several calls from a collection agency, Abby despairs, feeling responsible for Matt's rights. She returns to the hospital and learns that Matt was an organ donor and that the hospital has begun procedures to harvest his organs. They've even taken his eyes. Abby returns to the hospital administrator, who claims that there is nothing illegal about their operations.
Matthew Cable meanwhile, continues to dream. His soul wanders the ethereal realm of the Dreaming until he meets Morpeus, the lord of all dreams. Morpheus convinces Matt that it is time to give up his mortal life and let go.
After seeing Chester unplug the phone after one too many calls from the collection agency, Abby gets an idea. In her bitterness and raged she plans to unplug the various life support systems connected to Matt's body. Matt suddenly comes to, and prevents her from pulling the plug. Instead, he tears them from the wall himself, sparing her the guilt. As he collapses, he meekly apologizes to Abby for abusing her love for him. He asks her to let him go and then forget him. Matthew's body pitches forward and Abby runs from the hospital room in tears.
Back in the Louisiana swamp, Abby encounters John Constantine. She has no patience for Constantine's games, but John, privy to Abby's situation, volunteers to help her crack the mystery of the D.D.I. He makes a scrying circle and communes with the spirit of an old friend, Ritchie Simpson, who has been trapped in cyberspace. He asks Ritchie to search the global computer networks to find any information relating to the D.D.I. The most that Ritchie can come up with is that the D.D.I. is a top-secret government operation.
Afterwards, John tries to talk to Abby about Swamp Thing and their unborn child, but Abby cannot deal with any more problems right now, and tells John to go away.


  • This issue gives special thanks to Neil Gaiman, presumably for the use of his characters.
  • The Swamp Thing does not appear in this issue. The reason for his absence is because he is travelling steadily backwards through time, as seen in recent issues of the series.[1]
  • Adam Strange refers to the Swamp Thing as "Smalsh-Yegger". This is the Swamp Thing's name on the planet Rann.
  • Abby is seen wearing both her wedding ring and the plant ring that Alec created for her in issue #80.
  • The dark-haired, pale-faced man that Matt Cable encounters is Morpheus of the endless. Morpheus is the lord of Dreams and dominates the realm known as the Dreaming. He is the featured character from the Sandman title. Matt Cable later becomes a supporting character in Sandman after Morpheus transforms into an arcana known as Matthew the Raven.
  • Ritchie Simpson is a cyber-mage and an old colleague of John Constantine. His mortal body was killed while trying to help John on a case and ever since, his spirit has been trapped in cyberspace.[2]
  • John Constantine tells Ritchie Simpson, "Say hullo to Agony and Ecstasy for me [sic]!" Agony and Ecstacy are two demons who have caused trouble for Constantine on occasion. Ecstacy's name is actually spelled with a "c" as the sixth letter, even though the word is usually spelled with an "s" (including this issue).[3]


  • Houma hosts a parade to celebrate the victory of Earth's heroes during the alien Invasion!. Models on the parade float are dressed up to resemble Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Another parade float honors those who were killed during the Invasion including Scott Fischer, Celsius and Jet (though Jet will eventually be revealed as still alive).
  • Hubert Sax's office is decorated with various Garfield-related memorabilia, including a Pez dispenser. Garfield is a cat featured in the eponymous comic strip created by Jim Davis.
  • One of the posters in Chester's place reads, "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out". This was a popular phrase used in the 1960s and coined by psychiatrist Timothy Leary. The phrase became synonymous with the hippie counterculture movement.
  • Another poster on Chester's wall is that of Wonder Wart-Hog. Wonder Wart-Hog is an underground comic book character, created by Gilbert Shelton and Tony Bell. The character is intended as a porcine parody of Superman.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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