Appearing in "Threads"
- Floronic Man
- Gotham City Police Department
- Harvey Bullock
- James Gordon
- Poison Ivy
- Doctor Lucas
- Etienne Pitrie
- The Green
- The Grey
- Chester's boat
Synopsis for "Threads"
In the Louisiana swamp, Swamp Thing relishes his quiet and comfortable life with his wife Abby, and decides to explore The Green. While there, he is suddenly attacked and dragged down by a strange grey region, somewhere in the danker depths of The Green.
Unbidden, an outside voice demands that he go higher and higher, until the Swamp Thing is brought back to his physical body by his wife's urging. She noticed that he was shouting, and tried to bring him back, noting that he seems to be covered in some kind of mouldy residue.
In Gotham City, Batman investigates a bizarre murder wherein the body seems to be full of strange spores. The body breaks apart as though it is made of paper, and he takes what little remains of it to the city morgue to be autopsied. There, Commissioner Gordon enlists the help of Brenda, a coroner from another city. She determines that the fibres in his body are alive, and consumed all of his internals. She mentions that they seem to be infectious, and Batman realizes that he inhaled some of the spores, and may be affected.
Returning to the Batcave, he examines and then burns his cape and cowl, and then burns off the outer layer of his skin with a sterilization chamber. Unfortunately, his lungs cannot be saved so easily. His CRAYS indicate that the spores belong to an unclassified parasitic fungus related to a genus which attacks insects. Inexplicably, the fungus manipulates its host's nervous system with the impulse to climb higher, assuring maximum spread of spores.
Batman decides to head to Arkham Asylum to speak with the Floronic Man. There, he determines that Woodrue is not likely responsible, and checks in with Poison Ivy instead. Her interests lie exclusively with plants, however, and his visit simply angers her. Returning to Gotham City Police Headquarters, Batman decides that he must speak with the Swamp Thing.
Abby receives a visit from Chester Williams with her mail. Among the government cheques, she finds a letter from the Gotham City Police Department claiming that she needs to appear for a post-trial hearing. Abby is dismissive, but Chester tries to convince her of the risks of ignoring the government, as he collects local mushrooms in a sack.
Batman and the Commissioner go through the Swamp Thing's file, noting that he appears to be responsible for the murders of all of the men who were involved in his assassination two years before. However, the D.D.I. refuses to acknowledge the Swamp Thing's involvement.
Meanwhile, Harvey Bullock has found that reports of similar unsolved murders and deaths involving these strange fibres go back as far as the 1700s. Every 15-20 years, a few more bodies show up stuffed with mould. Bullock doesn't believe that the Swamp Thing is involved.
Suddenly, they're interrupted by reports of a jumper downtown. Batman investigates, and discovers that the man has been infected by the fungus, and is climbing higher before his inevitable death. As Batman grips the man's hand, it rips off from the rest of his body, and the man falls down onto the ground below, spreading spores after him. Again, Batman accidentally inhales some of the spores, and has a coughing fit.
In Louisiana, Swamp Thing watches as Batman searches the night for him. He decides to finally make a move, and knocks Batman into the bayou. Batman follows a trap line to the Cajun village where he begins interrogating citizens for the Swamp Thing's location. One man directs him to a boy named Etienne, who is in training with Gene LaBostrie as a medicine man. He tracks down the boy, and in his frantic, diseased state, he points a shotgun at the boy's mother. Realizing his folly, he throws the weapon down, and stumbles outside.
With the impulse to go higher getting stronger, Batman tries to climb a nearby tree, and in its branches, he falls unconscious. The tree is actually the Swamp Thing, and examining the man, he realizes that Batman came for help. He realizes that the spores growing inside him are the same ones he saw in The Green.
Entering The Green, Swamp Thing swims down to the Grey region, allowing himself to be swallowed by the white threads. In that way, he gains a sense of the free spores' locations. Understanding, he uses the flora in Batman's intestines as a vehicle to fight off the spores, saving his life. When Batman recovers, Swamp Thing explains that the spores usually die off before anybody is infected, because they can only thrive in the bodies of the physically healthy. He warns, however, that those who have been infected must be quarantined, and allowed to die comfortably without spreading the spores.
Later, Swamp Thing travels The Green in his sleep, and finds himself pursued by a dangerous fungal creature, it leaves its name with him: Matango.
Appearing in "Traiteur"
- Gene LaBostrie
- Etienne Pitrie
- Pere Charamie
Synopsis for "Traiteur"
Gene LaBostrie is a Cajun Traiteur; a medicine man. He has taken on a young apprentice in Etienne Pitrie. Labo sends Etienne on errands, collecting herbs and also secret tasks that others don't know about. As it turns out, the secret of Labo and Etienne's partnership is that they work together to help the Swamp Thing and his wife Abby.
- The Swamp Thing, Chester Williams, Liz Tremayne and Roger Huntoon all appear next in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #79.
- The Floronic Man's incarceration at Arkham Asylum is incongruous with recent appearances. At the time of publication, the Floronic Man was still an active member of the New Guardians.
- Matango is possibly named for the 1963 Ishirô Honda film, Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People. The movie centers around a group of shipwrecked castaways who encounter a race of mutants who have been transformed into mushroom people through atomic radiation.
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