"The Jungle Line": Clark Kent and Lana Lang attend a seminar by a Dr. Everett, who has discovered a meteorite bearing a patch of living fungus which managed to survive for years in a frigid vacuum without being destroyed. Clark wonders if perhaps
Appearing in "The Jungle Line"
- "The Bloodmorel"
- Dr. Everett
Synopsis for "The Jungle Line"
Clark Kent and Lana Lang attend a seminar by a Dr. Everett, who has discovered a meteorite bearing a patch of living fungus which managed to survive for years in a frigid vacuum without being destroyed. Clark wonders if perhaps the fungus originates from Krypton.
Thinking back, he recalls an entry in Rem-Ul's Almanac of Old Krypton which is dedicated to a fungus known as Bloodmorel, native to the Scarlet Jungle. The Bloodmorel grows and thrives within the Kryptonian bloodstream causing fever, bouts of incapacitation, hallucinations, chronic overexertion, and eventually, in 92% of cases, death.
Soon after the seminar, Clark notices that his powers are acting up. That night, he has hallucinations. Realizing that he has few options left, he returns to the Institute for Extra-terrestrial Studies as Superman, and borrows the meteorite from Dr. Everett. He uses his X-Ray vision to try to find an antidote, but that power fails him after a short time. Knowing that he has been infected, Kal-El understands that he will soon die.
He chooses to go south, to a place without indigenous super humans. He takes the meteor with him, just in case. He rents a car, and drives to Louisiana, but he falls asleep at the wheel, and the car crashes in flames. Delirious, he grabs the meteorite and wanders through the flames and swamp, hallucinating that he is in the Scarlet Jungle.
Swamp Thing comes across Clark's collapsed form. He notices the meteorite and the fungus on it, and uses his connection to The Green to try to establish contact with it. He quickly realizes that the fungus has an alien origin. He feels that the man before him has a familiar face, and after some investigation, he realizes that he has stumbled across Superman.
Superman wakes in a frenzy, and instinctively burns a hole through Swamp Thing's chest with his heat vision. Swamp Thing comes to understand that the most powerful creature on the planet has gone mad. Superman's insanity causes destruction to the swamp lands, and it becomes clear that all of the exertion will eventually kill him.
Desperately, Swamp Thing tries to make contact by linking himself to Superman via the fungus and The Green. He appears within Superman's hallucination, and at first, the man of steel is distrustful. Swamp Thing explains that Superman's fighting and overexertion are pushing his body beyond its limits. Finally, Superman realizes that he is succumbing to his illness. In order to help calm him, Swamp Thing submerges Superman within the calm of The Green, and he falls asleep.
Superman's fever breaks, and Swamp Thing leaves him. When Superman wakes, he shaves, and then takes the meteorite back to Metropolis, knowing that the fungus can no longer harm him. Superman is proud that he overcame it on his own, blissfully unaware of Swamp Thing's participation in his recovery.
- This issue is reprinted in Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow.
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