The Swamp Thing

Dated May 16, 2022; last modified on Sun, 22 May 2022

The Swamp Thing. Image from dccomics.com

The Swamp Thing. Image from dccomics.com

Motifs

[Blind] Loyalty

Their master gone, the un-men pause, uncertain of what to do… They must among themselves for a moment – and, at least, a decision is reached. For all their existence, they have followed their master blindly – wherever he might lead… And there seems no good reason to change that situation now.

Ignorance

Divinity, Maine – founded circa 1648 – population: 97 good, god-fearing people – principal industry: scrambling for an existence – principal produce: ignorance and fear. The residents intend to burn a woman for being the cause of a genetic deformity that runs in one of the influential families.

Immortality

For there will come a day, Milo, when you will tire of your eternal life, and actively seek to end it – But you will seek only in vain – For only the hand of a friend can ever put you to your final rest and, Milo my love, you have no friends! Still, you will try to die – and each failure still draw you back to time’s beginning. To relive that failure – and the ones that will surely follow. And that, my darling, is the cruelest form of – hell!

Dualism

[Swamp Thing to Arcane] You were my opposite. I had my humanity taken away from me. I’ve been trying to claw it back. You started out human and threw it all away. You did it deliberately. We defined each other, didn’t we? By understanding you I came that much closer to understanding myself. And now you’re dead. Really dead. And what am I going to do now?

Utilitarianism

[Etrigan of possible casualty toll] Should innocence be mollycoddled thus? I fail to see the reason for the fuss. I am the one who comes to cage the ape. I pay no heed to youth or purity. I’ll roast each fool that aids the beast’s escape, and drink in their health tonight in purgat’ry. Innocents? Why, to hear the tales they tell… You’d think there was no guilty child in hell!

Non-Humans Over Humans

[Underwater Vampires] Why must we be destroyed? We asked for so very little. Only a home that we could call our own, some livestock to provide for food, and a safe place to raise our children.

Tulpa

Each incident had increased the general belief in the paranormal by degrees, until the whole psychic atmosphere is like a balloon ripe for bursting. Belief is power. And the Brujería intend to use that power to accomplish something monstrous.

Problem of Evil

[Great Darkness] Little thing, you are in me, and I have a great need. In this strange place is light and order and names, I have been named evil. Yet naming is not enough. I must know my nature, I must know my purpose. Tell me, little thing, what is evil? [Dr. Fate] Evil is a quagmire of ignorance that would dream is back as we climb towards the immortal light. A vile, wretched thing, to be scraped from the sandals like dromedary soul. [Great Darkness] Am so I low, then, and is he you serve so high that there can be no possibility of respect between us? Little thing, you have taught me contempt. It’s not the answer that was required.

[Great Darkness] Tell me, little thing: what is evil for? [The Spectre] Evil exists only to be avenged, so that others may see what ruin comes off opposing that great choice, and cleave more wholly to its will, fearing retribution! [Great Darkness] And what of the tortured eons I endured, unable to broach this maddening brilliance and quiet the pain it woke in me? Do they not demand retribution? Little thing, you have taught me only vengeance… Be gone, that I might savor it in solitude.

[Great Darkness] Little Thing, will you tell me the purpose of evil? [Swamp Thing] I cannot. I am not the one you seek. I have tried to make sense of that darkness, and I have failed. I have seen evil… It’s cruelty… The randomness with which it ravages… Innocent and guilty alike… I have not understood it. I asked the Parliament of Trees, whose knowledge is older, greater than mine. They seemed to insist that there was no evil. But I have seen evil, and their answer was incomprehensible to me, and yet they spoke of aphids eating leaves, bugs eating aphids, themselves finally devoured by the soul, feeding the foliage. They asked where evil dwelled within this cycle, and told me to look to the soil. The black soil is rich in foul decay, yet glorious life springs from it. But however dazzling, the flourishes is love in the end, all decays to the same black humus. Perhaps evil is the humus formed by virtue’s decay, and perhaps it is from that dark, sinister loam that virtue grows strongest? I do not know… I do not know that they meant. [Great Darkness] I see. Little thing, I sense a great and final end approaching. I would be alone. Leave freely, as you came.

Language

Your name is Linda Olsen Ridge – and your mind is a raging river this night – carrying your thoughts along a surfing stream of consciousness – sending memories crashing like waves upon some distant shore.

The night is made of fog – and shaped by shadows: kaleidoscopic patterns soul at random across the marsh – creating life where none exists… and sometimes hiding life that does.

[Floronic Man about Swamp Thing] It remembers having bones, and so it builds itself a skeleton of wood. It remembers having muscle, and constructs muscle from supple plant fiber. It remembers having lungs, and a heart, and a brain, and it does its best to duplicate them. You see, we were wrong, general. We thought The Swamp Thing was Alec Holland, somehow transformed into a plant. It wasn’t. It was a plant that thought it was Alec Holland. A plant that was trying its level best to be Alec Holland.

[Of the Justice League’s Watchtower] There is a house above the world, where the over-people gather. There is a man with wings like a bird. There is a man who can see across the planet and wring diamonds from its anthracite. There is a man who moves so fast that his life is an endless gallery of statues.

[Of Jason Blood (Etrigan’s host)] At eleven thirty-eight he gave thirteen dollars to a priest collecting for the mission fund, and then laughed for a full minute. The hotel was not the best, but it was the most atmospheric. The devil checked in at noon.

[Zatara, to Sargon who is being burnt to death] Sargon, you are upsetting my daughter. For the honor of our profession, be silent and die like a sorcerer.

References

  1. The House of Secrets. #92: Swamp Thing. Gerry Conway; Bernie Wrightson; Ben Oda. dc.fandom.com . 1971.
  2. Swamp Thing. #02: The Man Who Wanted Forever. Len Wein; Bernie Wrightson; Tatjana Wood; Gaspar Saladino. dc.fandom.com . 1972.
  3. Swamp Thing. #04: Monster on the Moors. Len Wein; Bernie Wrightson; Gaspar Saladino. dc.fandom.com . 1973.
  4. Swamp Thing. #05: The Last of the Ravenwind Witches. Len Wein; Bernie Wrightson. dc.fandom.com . 1973.
  5. Swamp Thing. #12: The Eternity Man. Len Wein; Nestor Redondo. dc.fandom.com . 1974.
  6. The Saga of the Swamp Thing. #20: Loose Ends. Alan Moore; Dan Day; John Totleben; Tom Yeates. dc.fandom.com . 1984.
  7. The Saga of the Swamp Thing. #21: The Anatomy Lesson. Alan Moore; John Totleben; Tom Yeates; Stephen Bissette; Rick Veitch. dc.fandom.com . 1984.
  8. The Saga of the Swamp Thing. #24: Roots. Alan Moore; John Totleben; Tom Yeates; Stephen Bissette. dc.fandom.com . 1984.
  9. The Saga of the Swamp Thing. #25: The Sleep of Reason. Alan Moore; John Totleben; Stephen Bissette. dc.fandom.com . 1984.
  10. The Saga of the Swamp Thing. #26: A Time of Running. Alan Moore; John Totleben; Stephen Bissette; Rick Veitch. dc.fandom.com . 1984.
  11. The Saga of the Swamp Thing. #39: Fish Story. Alan Moore; John Totleben; Stephen Bissette; Stan Woch. dc.fandom.com . 1985.
  12. The Saga of the Swamp Thing. #46: Revelations. Alan Moore; Stephen Bissette; John Totleben. dc.fandom.com . 1986.
  13. The Saga of the Swamp Thing. #50: The End. Alan Moore; Stephen Bissette; John Totleben; Rick Veitch; Tom Mandrake. dc.fandom.com . 1986.