"Fall of the House of Pendragon": 6th Century
- I am a ghost out of time. Condemned to a moment... that is far beyond... the world of clocks and calendars... and rhythms of nature.
Appearing in "Fall of the House of Pendragon"
Synopsis for "Fall of the House of Pendragon"
While tumbling through the Timestream, Swamp Thing wishes for a guide to get him back to his family. As if in answer, he soon is accosted by the Shining Knight, who has been looking for him in hopes that the Swamp Thing can save Camelot. Banging with a hammer on a giant tuning fork, Shining Knight sends the Swamp Thing into his master's secret garden.
Swamp Thing wakes with an unusual sense of peace. He has taken root in a beautiful garden. However, the sound of war and death outside the castle walls jars him back into reality. Soon, voices draw his attention. The wizard Merlin brings the demon Etrigan into the garden, and introduces him to Swamp Thing as an old friend.
Despite recognizing the elemental from the past, Etrigan hungers to be out in the heat of the battle. Before he leaves, Merlin offers him a page from the Eternity Book, which he believes will help the demon remember his true identity, should he ever need to take refuge in a human soul.
Merlin introduces himself to the Swamp Thing, and explains that he knows all about him because of Shining Knight's travels to the future. He adds that what is usually mistaken for time travel is merely travel to other worlds, but in this case, a convergence of possible realities has made actual time travel more plausible.
Their conversation is disrupted by the appearance of King Arthur, who has become increasingly frustrated with Merlin and the knights' failure to fetch him the Holy Grail. Arthur has become convinced that the war outside Camelot's walls is merely a hallucination, which can only be cured by the grail. Reluctantly, Swamp Thing agrees to help resolve things.
Merlin demands that Swamp Thing destroy Morgaine le Fey's forces outside the castle, but Swamp Thing has other ideas. He reaches his roots into the castle's foundations, and lives the whole complex onto his back, walking it away. Watching from afar, Morgaine understands that Merlin has tricked an elemental into his service, and warns that she has already foreseen Camelot's destruction on this day.
Shining Knight returns to Camelot with the fabled Holy Grail, and presents it to the king. Afterward, the Shining Knight agrees to help Swamp Thing get home. However, as he looks up to share his joy with the assembled, the King pulls a chunk of amber from within the sacred chalice. Upon seeing it, Swamp Thing experiences a moment of horror before being sent back into the Timestream. Without the swamp thing to hold it up, the castle collapses, and is destroyed, as predicted.
Among the ruins, Morgaine le Fey celebrates, and sends demons in to collect trinkets for their services. One demon finds the amber, and attaches it to the neck of a giant bat. Elsewhere, Etrigan uses the page from the Eternity Book to transform into Jason Blood.
While discussing her recent discovery that the Swamp Thing is trapped in the past with her friends Chester Williams and Liz Tremayne, a very pregnant Abby Holland is surprised to be visited by the Shining Knight.
He admits that he has just come from the 6th Century, where he saw the Swamp Thing apparently destroyed. He believes that the elemental has returned to the Timestream. Desperately, Abby begs him to help find him. Despite his fatigue, Shining Knight's chivalrous nature compels him to do his best.
- Jason Blood only makes a one-panel cameo appearance, although his alter ego Etrigan, is seen throughout the issue.
- Chronologically, this issue is the final appearance of Camelot. It is destroyed when the Swamp Thing unearths himself from beneath it in order to enter the time rift.
- This story is arguably an alternate and post-Crisis perspective of the events shown in Demon Vol 1 1.
- This is the final DC Comics issue written by Rick Veitch. Veitch quit DC after a dispute involving an unpublished story slated for Swamp Thing #88. The story involved the Swamp Thing travelling back to the time of Jesus Christ and assuming the role of the cross on which Christ was crucified.
- The Hal Foster comic strip character, Prince Valiant, makes a cameo appearance in this issue.
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