OH GURRRRL, looks like like Swamp Thing really stepped up to the plate this issue (check that cover--it has both a gun AND a motorcycle) and stopped being an exhausting yet promising catalog of exposition. I'm going to recap it anyway for reasons that are semi-justified but mostly self-indulgent.* Here goes.
We open in a hospital! A doctor is being condescending to a kid in a hermetically sealed bubble, telling him he needs to make more friends and have more fun. Said kid (William) is allergic to chlorophyll (SUCKS), as the doctor explains to him for what must be the thousandth time.** Doctor tries to use a metaphor as an excuse to brag about his trophies from scuba fishing because he is completely intolerable. Also he has a tiny ponytail. One of the mounted fish starts speaking to William even though it does not seem to be a Big Mouth Billy Bass.*** Terrifying.
During fun social time, it becomes clear that the reason William has no friends has everything to do with the fact that his fellow patients are sadist bullies who are constantly threatening to cut open William's bubble.****
Now we are in the woods with our ol' pal Alec Holland and the sexy white-haired lady on the motorcycle. She has, unequivocally, the nicest eyebrows I have ever seen. She threatens Alec with a gun, saying that if he doesn't prove that he's "The Real Alec Holland" (Gurl you never knew the real Alec Holland! Did you not read Issues 1 & 2 of Swamp Thing or at least my recap?!), she will shoot him in the face. Alec responds by restraining her with vines that he apparently can control in times of stress.
White-haired lady is sufficiently impressed, and introduces herself as Abigail Arcane. Abigail and Alec reminisce about how they totally dated in Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing (except Alec knows these aren't really his memories and it's weird). She's all "Come with me if you want to live" (just kidding, but not really?), and Alec jumps on her motorcycle because they are going to go save a hospitalized boy (I WONDER WHO IT WILL BE) "with the power to end the whole world."
Meanwhile at the hospital, William is instructed by the dead fish on the wall to mangle the everloving crap out of his horrible bullies, which he does, to appallingly gross effect. Then smug ponytail doctor shows up and starts coughing up blood because William what have you done now?
Back on the motorcycle in the woods, Abby informs Alec that just as he is connected to "the green," some are connected to "the black" (the rot), and that this kid is one of them. It is worth noting at this point, that if you picked up Animal Man this week, you are also aware that "the red" (fauna) are marshaling their forces against the rot. Looks like we're all going to learn the true meaning of Christmas this holiday season.
So Abby apparently has a family history of the rot, and ever since she stopped making out with Swamp Thing***** the rot has been calling to her, and it's saying "MY TEAM." It's pretty imperative that they get to this hospital to rescue this boy or else he will become the king of the rot or something, and it will be biblically catastrophic. Also he's Abby's brother. So there's that.
They arrive at the hospital and find mangled bodies and the smug doctor literally vomiting his guts out. Abigail makes the same concerned/disgusted face I made when I found out how highly rated a show NCIS is.****** Apparently it was Abby's smart idea to "keep him safe" in a hospital, because it's always a smart idea to keep a ticking time bomb of armageddon somewhere you can't keep track of him. And boy can't they! Because homeboy has made off with smug doctor's scuba gear and is off to cause destruction. (I'm going to add here that if William's chlorophyll problem were respiratory alone, he wouldn't have needed the bubble in the first place, and if Snyder doesn't address this later I am seriously going to flip my shit.)
BOOM. To be continued.
*Whoops, I described all of blogging.
**Fun dinner party game, I call it DC Exposition, wherein you and your cohorts find excuses to tell each other things you already know.
***I had a high school English teacher who had a Big Mouth Billy Bass in her classroom that she would activate every so often, to her students' horror.
****Whoops, I described all of the internet.
*****Dendrophilia seems to be having a cultural moment. See also: Rihanna's recent Esquire cover, where she is naked but for a piece of wilted lettuce on her shoulder.