As Levi Kamei continues to embrace his role as the DCU’s new Swamp Thing, he finally has a team-up with John Constantine.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Swamp Thing #5, by Ram V, John McCrea, Mike Spicer and Aditya Bidikar, on sale now.
While John Constantine may have built a name for himself as one of the DC Universe’s foremost occultists and a prominent member of Justice League Dark, the chain-smoking magician was originally a supporting character for Swamp Thing. Created by Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, Steve Bissette and John Totleben in 1985’s The Saga of Swamp Thing #37, Constantine and Swamp Thing have been longstanding frenemies for some time. And while Alec Holland may no longer serve as the human imprint on the elemental superhero, Constantine has continued the two’s partnership with the new human host for the Green, Levi Kamei.
Levi became the new avatar of the Green at the start of the Infinite Frontier era, apparently bonded to the elemental force in an occult ritual gone wrong by conducted by his brother to gain the powers of the Green for himself. As Levi grew accustomed to his monstrous, new status quo, he ventured into the essence of the Green itself and conferred with an echo of Alec Holland left within the elemental force that offered some words of advice to the aspiring superhero before fading away from existence entirely, ceding the mantle to Levi with his blessing. And now having spoken with the human-associated with the legacy of Swamp Thing the most, Levi is now in for a team-up with his most famous partner.
Constantine is called back to London when a Nazi bomb left over since World War II and buried deep beneath the streets of the city. Surfacing decades later, the magically corrosive effects of the bomb have those within the bomb’s presumed blast radius transform into virulent fascists. As the neighborhood descends into violence and chaos, Constantine discovers Swamp Thing has similarly been drawn to London, sensing a disturbance in the Green that led to his arrival for further investigation. While Levi now commands the Green, he and Constantine are able to exchange pleasantries quickly and work together like old friends.
Constantine would first meet Swamp Thing shortly after the elemental superhero discovered he wasn’t actually Alec Holland but rather a sentient plant that contained Holland’s memories. Interested in Swamp Thing due to his own lifelong obsession with magic and the occult, Constantine helped the creature master their full potential while joining him to see the Parliament of Trees for himself. The two’s relationship would grow so close that the two trusted one another enough for Swamp Thing to temporarily gain control of Constantine’s body and father a son with his wife Abigail Arcane and later save the world from falling into a hellish apocalypse. Even with the revisions to reality, Swamp Thing and Constantine’s partnership would endure through both the New 52 and DC Rebirth eras.
Successful in saving London from its cursed bomb and those it affected with its dark magic, Swamp Thing and John Constantine part ways once more but the adventure shows that the two heroes work well together no matter who is serving as the avatar of the Green. Picking up like no time has passed at all, Swamp Thing and the Hellblazer remain natural allies. And with powerful forces gunning for Levi Kamei and his connection to the Green, the new Swamp Thing needs all the help he can get if he hopes to keep his superhero career from being cut short.
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