The search ends here as John Constantine finally finds out Swamp Thing's dark motives and what they have to do with him!
Constantine, seeking help to protect himself from The Green, has turned to the psychic Madame Xanadu. She initially turns him down but he manages to persuade her to help him; she summons Deadman, a do-gooding ghost and uneasy acquaintance of John's, but as Constantine begins to explain the problem he's struck down by a vision. He sees a swamp hut and Boston explains that this is where Alec Holland is, not in the afterlife.
Inside the hut, the mysterious scientist shows Holland the Swamp Thing body and explains that it is an inanimate 'organic robot' that Lexcorp created using Holland's own bio-restorative formula. It says that to bring the being to life he will have to map Holland's consciousness; Lexcorp will then have a Swamp Thing of its own under its control. Holland refuses outright.
Later, John approaches the hut, thinking about how he's going to have to kill Alex Holland all over again to provide The Green with a controlling consciousness, rendering Swamp Thing (relatively) benign once more. He starts to wonder whether he'll have to regain Holland's trust - and wonders about an alien feeling of pain invading his body - just as a rifle butt comes down on the back of his head, knocking him out.
Coming to, John finds himself being tied up by a pair of Lexcorp security men who decide to take him away to a quiet spot where they can kill him. Just at that moment, Batman arrives and knocks the two guards out. John thanks him, but Batman says he's here to stop him, not help him. The pair of them make their way to the hut. Inside, Holland has awoken to find himself strapped to a table with, his mind connected to a scanning computer. The scientist says that once they can command Swamp Thing, they will have unprecedented control over the environment - something Lexcorp would find very, very useful and very, very profitable.
Just then, a commotion signals the arrival of Batman, who easily dispatches the Lexcorp security men. John feels another pang of agony, and anger, and despair, and realises that The Green is using its psychic connection to him (created when Swamp Thing infected his hand in issue one) to make its feelings known. Vines and trees come to life, punching through the house and grabbing the humans around it - including John and Batman. Things look grim until a laser blast signals the arrival of Superman.
John grabs Superman's hand and pulls him into The Green; they see Swamp Thing, but John explains this is just the nerve centre of The Green - they're just seeing it that way because their minds couldn't comprehend anything else. Superman holds the nerve centre back while John casts a spell that causes it to sleep. With The Green no longer a threat - for now - John, Supes and Bats make their way into the hut. Superman releases Alec from the machine while Batman restates that he won't let Constantine hurt him.
Alec guesses that Constantine wants to merge him with the swamp again, but before he can reply the scientist attacks them with a syringe. Batman quickly punches the man's head clean off his shoulders - causing it to sprout fingers and crawl away. John decides to let Alec choose for himself, and Alec chooses life as a human, not death and a return to the swamp. Constantine wishes him well and leaves, warning him that he'll need a lot of luck.
As he walks away, John muses that he made that offer in a snap decision, and admits that he doesn't know why, wondering whether The Green's psychic connection was affecting his mind. He walks off into the night, not noticing one last tendril of The Green, writhing on the ground behind him.
Continued in Swamp Thing volume 5 issue 1
- Deadman and Madame Xanadu are two more characters revealed to have met the DC Universe John Constantine prior to his appearance in Brightest Day; Zatanna was another.
- Constantine says that while he's lost a few friends in his travels, he's never outright killed anyone himself - which suggests that large swathes of Hellblazer never happened in the DC Universe, including Gary Lester being fed to Mnemoth and John shooting The Family Man dead.
- Though not stated explicitly, the scientist is most likely Cranius, one of the Un-men created by long-time Swamp Thing antagonist Anton Arcane. The Un-men are misshapen monsters made out of body parts of the dead; Cranius is a brain and face mounted on a hand that he uses to scuttle around. He is usually given a robot body to control when he needs to pretend to be human - as seen in this issue.
- As with every issue in the miniseries, this issue came with an alternative cover.