It’s not quite fitting to call this Sophisticated Suspense of an issue, filler. Although a great deal of the book is a flashback—reprinting Wrightson and Wein’s classic 8-page story from HOS 92—, Alan Moore does something really special. He cracks open the Swamp Thing folklore/lineage.
With Bissette and Totleben taking a breather since the Annual 2, Ron Randall takes over the reigns in the visuals department for this issue. Totleben takes care of the cover. Not only is it an homage to Wrightson’s House of Secrets 92 cover, it further illustrates the concepts Moore unveils in this issue; Swamp Thing and Abby are involved in a greater purpose throughout time.
In this issue, Moore uses the downtime in the story-arc to develop Swamp Thing’s rich history, pulling the curtain back on the powerful folklore behind the character. He establishes the historical relevance of Dr Alec Holland, and his role as “Earth’s Elemental Champion”.
The last we saw Abigail Cable she was being retrieved from hell by the one thing in her life that loves her, Swamp Thing. It’s been an extremely trying time for Abby.
Although Swamp Thing is able to provide her with protection, he can not provide her a warm, safe place to rest her head. Abby Cable has returned back from hell and now resides at s small apartment in Houma, Louisiana. Her husband Matt is in a coma at the local hospital. She’s still working at Elysian Fields, trying to navigate normalcy and maintain her sanity.
She enters The Dreaming.
She is greeted by Cain and Abel, the caretakers of the Houses of Mystery and Secrets. They present her with a choice…
Cain explains, “your subconscious has directed you here to learn something important”. She can see what’s in store within the House of Mystery or the House of Secrets.
Cain continues, “mysteries are wonders that you can ponder and share. Secrets are a burden to carry alone.”
Naturally, Abby chooses the House of Secrets and is ushered in by Abel.
He takes her to the basement to find her a tale that comes in the form of a bracelet. The book then reprints House of Secrets 92 in its entirety. Abby is told of Alex Olson’s fate.
Abby’s vision of Alex Olsen’s backstory ends and she comes to. Perplexed by the parallels between Alec and Alex, Abel explains further…
Abel has shown Abby the secret of Swamp Thing so that she can share it with Swampy. He warns, “when the trouble starts, it will help him understand his place in the scheme of things.”
As soon as the secret is revealed to Abby, she must flee the Dreaming. Abel hopes that Abby can wake up with the dream so that she can pass it on to Swamp a Thing.
Cain catches on and will not allow the secret to be taken from The Dreaming. Cain kills Abel (once again) in the process of stopping Abby from leaving with the secret.
Abby awakes from The Dreaming…
The secret remains and Abby can not remember her dream.
The inescapable fate of Swamp Thing and Abigail has been set in motion. They’re living and creating the history of “Earth’s Elemental Champion”. Abby crumbles her forgotten dream. It’s the shape of our familiar friend.
Next issue: “Rites of Spring”
Special Poster Gallery:
The special pin-up within issue #29 must have gone over so well because they’re back! The poster said are series regulars and greats, Bissette and Totleben.