"Rite of Spring": Spring comes, and Abby Cable is saddened that her husband Matt hasn't come out of his coma, and shows no sign of waking. Matthew is still unconscious from him expelling Anton Arcane and saving Abby. The doctor recomme
- You are human. You need more from love than the taste of lime.
- -- Swamp Thing
Appearing in "Rite of Spring"
- Terrebonne Parish General Hospital
Synopsis for "Rite of Spring"
Spring comes, and Abby Cable is saddened that her husband Matt hasn't come out of his coma, and shows no sign of waking. Matthew is still unconscious from him expelling Anton Arcane and saving Abby. The doctor recommends that she move on with her life, and in her heart, she knows that she already has.
Abby and the Swamp Thing enjoy each other's company by a stream in the swamp, and she declares that she likes him best in spring time, with flowers blooming all over his body. Awkwardly, Abby tries to ask whether it would be alright if she moved on from Matt, given what happened. He responds that torturing herself with guilt is pointless, and that she should tell whoever she loves her feelings. Embarrassed, Abby admits that the one she loves is him, the Swamp Thing.
At first he doesn't respond, and she believes that he does not return her feelings. She feels ashamed of her feelings, and the fact that he is merely a plant makes her feel crazy. Finally, he admits that he has also loved her for years. They kiss, and she declares that he tastes like lime. Sadly, Swamp Thing reminds her that she needs more from the one she loves than the taste of lime. She understands that he is talking about sex, and assures him that she can live without it.
As a means of experiencing some kind of communion in lieu of sex, Swamp Thing offers Abby a tuber growing from his body to eat. Reluctantly, she takes a bite, and soon has a hallucinogenic experience. She sees the world as Swamp Thing sees it, experiencing a connection to The Green. She feels the connection between all things, and the connection between herself and the Swamp Thing.
Eventually, she regains full consciousness, and he helps her to her feet. Affirming their commitment to each other, they kiss again.
- As of this issue, Abby and Swamp Thing consider consider themselves to be married, regardless of the fact that their wedding is not legal. Outsiders will still refer to Abby as Mrs. Cable, but she will refer to herself as Mrs. Holland.
- The issue title and story are references to Igor Stravinsky's ballet/orchestral work The Rite of Spring. Its plot, however, is rather darker than that of this issue, concerning as it does a pagan rite in which elders make a young woman dance herself to death as a sacrifice to the god of Spring.
- The Swamp Thing's statement, "You ate...the fruit...Abby...You absorbed a little...of my consciousness... my perceptions...", recalls Genesis 3:6: "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat." (King James Version) The difference is that whereas Eve's (and, subsequently, Adam's) eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has negative consequences (shame over being naked and distancing from God), Abby's "eating of the fruit" has positive results (expanded, cosmic consciousness).
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