Swamp Thing and Rose & Thorn, Spoken of Fondly

Green Lantern #108 “Our Mother’s Names” (Volume 3) January 1999

Even though Swamp Thing is barely mentioned in this book, it seemed fitting to post it on Mother’s Day. There’s a lot of mom talk, family drama and a few really fun character mentions.

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As to not bury the lead, Swamp This is referenced on the last page of the book. His name isn’t mentioned but Wonder Woman alludes to him in saying, “There’s something called the Green that a friend from the swamps has told me of…”

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This fun issue of Green Lantern features Jennifer-Lynn Hayden (as Green Lantern), Wonder Woman and a really cool plant villain named Spore. The book also features mentions of two of my favorite characters, Swamp Thing and Rose & Thorn.

I got into the character Rose & Thorn by being a Poison Ivy completist. Poison Ivy appears in Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #115 & #116 along with Rose & Thorn. The two characters are pitted against each other in those very early ‘70s appearances and I came to appreciate the vigilante, plant based powers of the Thorn.

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This book also features an insightful recap of Rose & Thorn’s origin. For those unfamiliar with Rose & Thorn: when mild mannered Rose Canton goes to sleep, her vigilante split-personality suits up and fights crime at night. Since Rose & Thorn’s first appearance in Flash Comics #89 (November 1947), she’s evolved into a multifaceted character.

The plant villain of this story, Spore is hell bent on killing Green Lantern because Thorn (her mother) killed Spore’s father. It’s a family centric revenge story. Spore figures, if she can’t kill the already deceased Thorn, the next best think is her daughter.
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Because Spore uses similar weapons that Thorn used to use, Green Lantern initially thinks Spore is Thorn, back from the dead. Wonder Woman is present to assist, taking Green Lantern to speak with Hippolyta for guidance. Hippolyta Dealt with Thorn back in the ‘40s. In the Golden Age Flash Comics, Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman agreed to take Rose & Thorn to Paradise Island to be rehabilitated by the Amazon’s. In this book, Green Lantern also goes to speak with her father, Alan Scott, the first Green Lanten.
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Green Lantern and Wonder Woman fight a good battle against Spore, but Wonder Woman winds up summoning Gaea to intervene. It’s an entertaining story but seeing a large hand burst out of the ground to save the day was a bit anticlimactic. But, with the book having a mother theme, who better to save the day than Mother Nature herself.

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