"Family Reunion": In Hell, Anton Arcane is only meeting with moderate success as a demon. However, when it is announced that the devil has abdicated his position, Arcane and many other demons take the opportunity to escape. Arcane decides that it's tim
- That's great! That's bloody marvelous! Just when I was finally able to push the memory of what that sick bastard did to me out of my mind...! Why can't he die and leave me alone? Why?
- -- Abby Holland
Appearing in "Family Reunion"
- Dennis Barclay (Zombified)
- The Bogeyman (Zombified)
- Father Esau Tocsin (Zombified)
- Merle Layton (Zombified)
- Matthew Cable (Zombified)
- General Sunderland (Appears only as a corpse)
- Phantom Stranger
- Anise Arcane (Dies in flashback)
Synopsis for "Family Reunion"
In Hell, Anton Arcane is only meeting with moderate success as a demon. However, when it is announced that the devil has abdicated his position, Arcane and many other demons take the opportunity to escape. Arcane decides that it's time he paid an overdue visit to his family.
In the Louisiana swamp, Tefé Holland plays alone with her toys. Suddenly, she hears a voice calling her name. Turning, she discovers Anton Arcane watching her. He introduces himself, and explains that he has come a long way just to see her and be her friend. Fortunately, he is interrupted by the arrival of Lady Jane, and disappears before she notices him.
Outside, the Hollands receive a visit from their old friend Ya-Ya, the friendly ghost. Ya-Ya intimates to Swamp Thing that there is a great evil invading the swamp; an evil just as malignant as that of Dark Conrad. When Ya-Ya explains that the gates of Hell have been opened, Swamp Thing realizes that his family is in danger from his oldest nemesis, Arcane.
Swamp Thing takes Lady Jane aside, and informs her of the situation. He has her bring Tefé back inside, and keep the danger secret from his wife Abby, Arcane's niece. Unfortunately, as they are talking, Arcane takes the opportunity to possess Tefé's body. Arcane marvels at the girl's abilities, and is pleased to think of how it could be applied to the creation of his Un-Men.
After performing a perimeter check, Swamp Thing decides to inform Abby of her uncle's return. Abby is filled with rage, angry that she is being forced to remember what he did to her. Her upset is interrupted by Lady Jane, who rushes in to report that Tefé has gone missing.
Wandering through the swamp, Arcane possesses Tefé's little body, and uses her powers to raise many of Swamp Thing's old foes from the dead. She raises the serial murderer known as The Bogeyman; Dennis Barclay, driven mad with paranoia to the point of homicidal mania; the serial killer Father Tocsin, who killed people with poisoned communion wine; Merle Layton, a boozer who murdered his pregnant wife; Matthew Cable, Abby's ex-husband and the man whom Arcane had once possessed.
Swamp Thing, Lady Jane, and Abby search the swamps for Tefé, but see no sign. Suddenly, the elementals sense massive expenditure of elemental energy. Turning, they are horrified to see that their home has been transmuted into a disgusting relief of Anton Arcane's face. Seeing Tefé inside, Abby runs forward and embraces her, only to recoil in disgust when she realizes that Arcane has possessed her. The cadavers attack them as Abby screams for her child's safe return.
Arcane taunts her, commenting that Abby is looking more and more like her mother Anise, who was burned at the stake at Anton's urging. In the little girl's body, he slobberingly kisses Abby on the mouth, prompting her to slap the child away. Angrily, Arcane commands the corpses to hurt her.
Suddenly, Ya-Ya appears, and demands that the madness stop. He rises up to yank Arcane from the baby's body, announcing that he serves the righteous dead. Their struggle causes the release of the dead minions from Arcane's control, and they collapse, freeing Abby and the elementals. Unfortunately, Arcane is powerful, and slams Ya-Ya to the ground.
Arcane declares himself the winner, and reveals his plan to convert Tefé's body into an adult male's. Suddenly, though, an outside force prompts him to release the child, and he makes his escape as Abby rushes over to collect her freed daughter.
The family turns to see Agony and Ecstasy, the otherworldly bounty hunters. They are seeking Arcane, and sensing his stench on Tefé, they propose vivisection. Fortunately, the Phantom Stranger appears, and intervenes on the Hollands' behalves. Grumpily, the bounty hunters leave.
Elsewhere, two workers in the Sunderland Corporation Cryogenic Storage building discover the frozen body of General Sunderland himself. They are not the only ones interested to have found him, as Anton Arcane has set his eye on the body too.
- Issue dedicated to Joe C. - with love.
- Arcane raises many of Swamp Thing's old foes from the swamps. The Bogeyman was killed in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #44. Dennis Barclay was killed in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #54. Father Tocsin was killed in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #110. Merle Layton was killed in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #113. Matthew Cable died in
- Though Arcane resurrects Matthew Cable in this issue, he was previously shown to have been cremated by the hospital, and not interred in a coffin.
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Links and References
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