"Seeder": Recently, the Seeder returned to the Sudan, where he found his work to aid the people there undone by the Swamp Thing. The people begged him to stay and repair their oasis, but with the knowledge that the avatar of The Green had claimed that h
- You made a mistake. He should not have these powers. You need to remove them. Immediately.
Synopsis for "Seeder"
Recently, the Seeder returned to the Sudan, where he found his work to aid the people there undone by the Swamp Thing. The people begged him to stay and repair their oasis, but with the knowledge that the avatar of The Green had claimed that his work was wrong, the Seeder felt it necessary to speak directly with him.
Now, the Seeder has come and gone in the Louisiana swamp, where he attacked Capucine and left a message for Alec to see: "It's Time, Professor." Fortunately, with Alec's help, Capucine will heal quickly, though she is ashamed that she was not able to fulfil her sole duty of fighting on his behalf. Alec turns his attention, then, to the message, admitting that before he was the avatar, he was a scientist. Capucine is surprised to learn that all avatars were once people, before they were chosen. She points out that if that is the case, Alec is still a scientist, and he finds the suggestion surprisingly pleasant. However, the message's deeper meaning is two-fold. First, whomever the Seeder is must be someone who used to know Alec. Second, he is coming back.
Preparing, Alec leads Capucine deeper into the swamp, showing her to the house that he once, long ago, built for Abby. She hopes that she can stay there, and he will protect her from what horrors are seeking to destroy her. Annoyed, Alec reminds that he doesn't know what has been chasing her. She responds with more annoyance that if he would stay in one place long enough, she would explain. She was born in the year 1114 by the current calendar on the isle of Mont St. Michel off the northwest coast of France. Before she can even begin to get into her story, though, Alec senses the Seeder's presence, and leaves her there.
The Seeder is in the grove, arguing with the Parliament of Trees. He believes that if they didn't want him to use his powers, they wouldn't have given them to him. Annoyed, the Parliament responds that they saw promise in him, and the power was in exchange for saving Alec's life. They have since made their choice, and that is Alec. Grinning, the Seeder responds that not all of them have chosen Alec.
Alec interrupts, with little intent to talk, so much as fight. Something within the Green commands Alec to be more violent and less forgiving. It is a struggle to fight that voice. However, once he unmasks the Seeder, he is surprised to find that he recognizes the man. It is Jason Woodrue, who did indeed save Alec's life years ago. The Parliament confirms that they did give him power, though not the same power that Alec wields. He must use seeds to manipulate the Green, and Woodrue hopes to do even more with Alec's help. Together, they could use the Green - one of the most powerful forces on the planet - to do good for the world.
Unmoved, Alec points out that using the Green to help the world by extraordinary means was the first thing he thought to do - but it wouldn't work. There is a balance that Woodrue had ignored. While he had fed thousands with one rice paddy in Bangladesh, he had starved thousands at the same time when his actions caused the death of a thousand square miles of kelp off the coast of Africa - killing the ecosystem it supported. Growing angry, Alec sternly states that it is time for Woodrue to stop. His having powers was a mistake.
Woodrue becomes angry as well, claiming that he can do more with his power than Alec knows. To demonstrate this, he flings a handful of seeds at the Swamp Thing, and in that moment, Alec feels as though all of the plants in the swamp are holding their breath, waiting to see what happens next. Alec warns that nothing can grow on him unless he allows it, but Woodrue begs to differ.
Suddenly a massive thorny flower vine grows from Alec's body, piercing through his limbs and head, tearing him apart. All he can think is why the Parliament would do nothing to stop this. Gleefully, Woodrue claims that he must be worthy. However, his victory is cut short by a violent intervention by Capucine. Coldly, she snaps his arm, and this frees Alec enough to entrap Woodrue in vines. Even still, the voice in his head prods him to kill the man. However, the vines soon fall away against Alec's will. Freed, Woodrue throws the same seeds at Capucine, but they fail to sprout. Alec hopes that this is because the Parliament has seen fit to remove his power, but it is not so.
The Parliament has actually decided that Woodrue has done well to nearly best Alec. They did not intervene because they wanted to see the outcome and side with the winner. However, they now intend to return Woodrue's gifts to him, and see who would be the better avatar - but only after both have achieved their full potential - which Alec has not.
Alec is aghast with both rage and disgust.
Appearing in "Seeder"
- Jason Woodrue's saving Alec's life is depicted in Swamp Thing Annual (Volume 5) #1.
- The cover for this issue was solicited as that of Swamp Thing Annual (Volume 5) #2, but was instead used for this issue.