"Reboot": Having finally freed the Parliament of Trees from imprisonment, Swamp Thing still faces the problem of Anton Arcane's invasion of The Green. Upon seeing them assembled former Avatars, Arcane murders one of them for a
- I need you. You are all former avatars -- some of the most powerful beings ever to walk the earth. Most of that power now resides with me, but none of you are weak. I need soldiers. That is why you are back. Come with me, up into the world, and together, we will end this.
Appearing in "Reboot"
- Abby Arcane
- Brother Jonah
- Parliament of Trees
- Seeder (Dies)
- Swamp Thing (Apparent Death)
Synopsis for "Reboot"
Having finally freed the Parliament of Trees from imprisonment, Swamp Thing still faces the problem of Anton Arcane's invasion of The Green. Upon seeing them assembled former Avatars, Arcane murders one of them for a second time, and then swims up and out of the grove pool. Angrily, the Parliament demands justice, but Alec insists that they remain behind. Arcane is only part of a larger problem. He needs their help, and it is time they remembered that they serve him - and they all serve The Green. Stepping forward, Brother Jonah apologizes for being unable to prevent Arcane's infection of the Green, and as recompense, he gives Alec some of his power, to free him of The Rot consuming his body. Capucine admits that she and Jonah had to hide from Miki of The Grey, which allowed Arcane to poison the Green. The other Avatars are confused as to how many kingdoms are attacking them, and Alec must explain that a new realm is behind it all: The Metal, led by Lady Weeds.
Alec assumes that Arcane will tell her of the return of the Parliament - which means she will surely attack soon. While the Machines are allied with the Rot and the Grey, the Green still has a potential ally in The Red, and Abigail Arcane intends to use her connection to the Black to help them. The problem of how to heal the Green of its poisoning is more pressing, though. He has the older avatars begin the slow process of cleansing it, but warns that there isn't much time available. They will have to bring the fight to the Metal. He turns to those who still have strength and asks that they join him in leaving the Green to put an end to the Metal's uprising. Many among them are reticent to join, though, knowing that death outside of the Green means a final end to their lives. Alec reminds that he is only asking, not forcing them. To his surprise, the first to volunteer is Jason Woodrue, the Seeder.
Once he has gathered a group of supporters, Alec leads them out into the world, where they soon encounter the creature that Lady Weeds birthed with the other two kingdoms from his human remains. It delivers a message - an invitation to meet her at the Gobi Desert - and follows it up with a warning of what will happen when they come, crushing his own skull in his fists.
The avatars meet each other on a battlefield in the Gobi Desert, though Alec is clearly the machines' primary target. When he is overwhelmed, he is fortunate to find that his predecessor is able to help him. Alec can feel the Green beginning to recover, thanks to the efforts of those who remained behind, but he needs a distraction to give them more time to heal the Green and increase his strength. As he flies into the air, Lady Weeds slices off his companion's head, and sends a retinue of flying machines and rotlings after him. They chase him all the way to Philadelphia, where he crashes through the windows of a library. Searching for refuge, he realizes that books are made of trees, and places his hand on the pages of an opened book.
Unexpectedly, the words on the pages change to reflect the reality that is occurring on the battlefield. Before understands what's happened, Alec's plant body is transformed into the pages of the book, and he finds himself in another place, where he is greeted by a mysterious figure. He knows this cannot be an Avatar of the Green, and his host explains that he should think bigger. He is one of many beings who represent the power of creativity, and Alec is a work in progress. The Avatars of this place had seen Alec's creativity with the Green, and anticipated that he would eventually find his way there. They decided they would provide him an offer if he ever did: he could simply stay with them, and talk about his story. Alec considers it, but turns the offer down. He has yet more to do. As Alec walks away, his host assures him that the offer will always be open.
Alec returned to the battle, where Seeder and Miki both fell to one another. Guarav's being thus freed from The Grey joined the fight, while Etrigan and his demons fulfilled a bargain they'd previously struck to help. Anton Arcane fled the battle, as Brother Jonah's allies worked to remove his poison from the Green. Finally, though, Alec himself faced the Lady Weeds. He explains that the kingdoms are led by avatars; beings of life who are part of the cycle of all things. Even the rot follows this pattern. But the Lady Weeds is not like them. She desires only death. So, he gives it to her, thrusting his fists into her electronic guts, and sending vines throughout her body, tearing it apart.
Later, Alec returns the last of the Metal's representatives - a small robotic dog - to a storage crate with electricity, promising that he will allow it the opportunity to prove itself. He points to the plug in the wall and explains that its avenue back out into the world is through there - but if it hasn't learned to play well with others before using it, he will kill it.
Afterwards, Alec returns to the swamp to share a life with Guarav and Abby, though he is still intrigued by the invitation he received from that other kingdom, residing in books.
- This book was first published on March 4, 2015.
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