The New Teen Titans #22 (1986)
Interlude, Part Three: Friends & Foes
Swamp Thing doesn’t appear in this book, his name not even mentioned. But, John Constantine does have a cameo and he alludes to our “mossy friend”… atop George Washington’s head.
How does this all come to be?
Exposition time: Within Swamp Thing #49 “The Summoning” (1986), Constantine awakens/enables Steve Dayton’s (Mento from Doom Patrol) powers. Constantine convinces the frazzled/unstable Dayton to put on his Mento Helmet in an attempt to make contact with the spirit realm. The two panels below, from Swamp Thing #49, give you an idea of how things went with the helmet. The two panels also give context to Steve Dayton’s mental state going into The New Teen Titans #22.
losing your mind while witnessing what could be the beginning of the end of the world is not an ideal headspace when exacting revenge.
In the third part of The New Teen Titans #22, Cyborg and Garf are bonding over their struggles with being in the Titans. Cyborg also reaffirms his feelings toward Garf’s father, forgiving him for his actions and telling Garf not to blame himself.
Meanwhile in South Dakota, Steve Dayton-now assuming the role of Mento-waits for John Constantine. Sure Mount Rushmore is an odd place to hold a meeting but that doesn’t stop Dayton, who’s still wearing his Mento helmet… with a few loose screws.
“With my Mento helmet, I can flow with the currents, I can move within the molecules that make up everything.” Dayton bides his time by torturing Cyborg, manipulating him to kill his adopted son, Garfield Logan (Beast Boy).
As I mentioned, Dayton’s got a few screws loose.
Constantine finally arrives at Mount Rushmore, blaming his tardiness on Swamp Thing!
“held up with a rather mossy friend of mine.”
The two words, “mossy friend” is why I own this, The New Teen Titans #22. It’s not a Swamp Thing appearance nor is it a name drop. This is-yet again-the fun connective tissue that helps bind Swamp Thing’s canon together. It’s fun to see John’s animosity toward Swampy carry over into other books besides Swamp Thing & Hellblazer.
Although Swampy isn’t mentioned in the story, he did make the editors note!