Justice League Dark (Vol. 2)

Covering from issue #20 of the second Justice League Dark series (2020-)…

A continuation of Vol 2. of the Justice League Dark series and related Swamp Thing appearances.

Appearances that I consider to be fairly minor are indented, though I have treated as major any appearance where the JLD is a focus of the issue and Swamp Thing is a contributing member of the team. The below titles were published by DC Comics unless otherwise noted.

Justice League Dark #20
“The Parliaments Of Life Part 1”, April 2020
Ram V, James Tynion IV [w], Kyle Hotz [p], Guillem March [c]
Animal Man, Bobo and Wonder Woman try to prevent infected people from impulsively climbing up tall buildings, dying, and releasing fungal spores. Animal Man explains that all of the Parliaments are at war, and he becomes infected. At the Hall of Justice, Zatanna and Kent learn of other strange events happening throughout the world, while Nabu (in the Helmet of Fate) blames Khalid for breaking the rules of magic and allowing chaos to rule. Nabu instructs the JLD to convene the Parliaments of Life, which will involve the help of all the guardians. Constantine and Zatanna seek help from Woodrue, who is imprisoned beneath the Hall of Justice, but he demands to be released. Zatanna decides to find Abigail Arcane instead, but Constantine secretly makes a deal with Woodrue. Later, Woodrue is visited by a mysterious figure who he is covertly working with. Elsewhere, Abby appears as a young girl in a strange dreamlike place.
Swamp Thing only appears on the cover, but this issue sees the return of Abby Arcane, who had not appeared in continuity since the ‘Convergence’ event (mid-2015) and briefly in the 2016 miniseries. It also sees the return of Animal Man in his first major appearance since the end of the Justice League United series in Feb. 2016. Similar events occur in the ‘Threads’ story from Swamp Thing Annual #4 (Jan. 1989) when several people (including Batman) are infected by fungal spores and compelled to climb to great heights.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (2019) #9
May 2020
Matt Fraction [w], Steve Lieber [p]
While still on the run, Jimmy Olsen reports on Kandorland and the plight of the superhero Arm-Fall-Off-Boy and his family. The grandson of the Annihilator decides to break from family tradition and christens himself Porcadillo. Olsen takes promotional photos of Porcadillo and, grateful, the villain wants to save Jimmy from being murdered.  Jimmy encounters Lex Luthor at a party and learns that Jimmy’s brother Julian is behind the assassination plot.
Swamp Thing is seen helping fit the Fall-Off Family with harnesses to keep their bodies intact.

The Flash (2016) #750
“Flash Forward: Epilogue” (pp. 69-80), May 2020
Scott Lobdell [w], Brett Booth [p]
While flying through space atop the Mobius Chair, Wally West reminisces about his life. He witnesses events that occurred across times and universes, and notices inconsistencies in continuity, with the same events (such as the formation of the Teen Titans) occurring in the same Earth multiple times. He meets Tempus and explains that reality is broken, but Wally believes that he can fix it.
Swamp Thing appears on a panel with other superheroes as Wally considers the ‘Flashpoint’ and ‘Rebirth’ events.

Flash Forward TPB
“Flash Forward Epilogue: Generation Zero” (pp. 119-137), July 2020
Scott Lobdell [w], Brett Booth [p], [c]
After a brief discussion with Tempus, Wally again examines events from the past but notices that the Batman Who Laughs is corrupting the Multiverse.
This is an extended version of the story from Flash (2016) #750 with an additional Swamp Thing appearance within the extra 7 pages. This version was going to be released on Free Comic Book Day 2020 on May 2, 2020 as part of Generation Zero: Gods Among Us, Special Edition #1, but FCBD was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extended story is only available as part of the ‘Flash Forward‘ trade paperback.

Justice League Dark #21
“The Parliaments Of Life Part 2”, May 2020
Ram V, James Tynion IV [w], Alvaro Martinez Bueno [p], Nathan Fairbairn, Yanick Paquette [c]
Constantine and Zatanna travel to an abandoned sanatorium and locate the heart of the Rot. Constantine ingests part of a plant growing there in order to have a vision, while Zatanna fights off Rot creatures before being confronted by Anton Arcane. Abby relives the memories of her romance with Swamp Thing, and Constantine rescues her from drowning. Wonder Woman, Bobo and Animal Man continue to fight infected citizens, with Animal Man seeking out the powers of a flatworm.
One of the creatures from the Rot resembles Cranius, one of Arcane’s oldest Un-Men.

Justice League Dark #22
“The Parliaments Of Life Part 3”, July 2020
Ram V, James Tynion IV [w], Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Amancay Nahuelpan [p], Nathan Fairbairn, Yanick Paquette [c]
Khalid meets the avatars of Stone, Flame, Waves and Vapors in a cave in Tanzania and urges them to reconvene the Parliaments of Life. The Avatars refuse to bring about Order, suggesting that the state of chaos may be natural, but Khalid reminds them that they would cease to exist in a world without humans’ stories. As a flatworm, Animal Man obtains help from Parliament of the Divided who allow bacteria to fight the infection in the possessed population. Animal Man is healed and the other infected collapse. Arcane traps Zatanna at the heart of the Rot but, before she is defeated, Zatanna manages to unleash a spell that writes her name in the sky, which draws the rest of the JLD to the Rot. Constantine explains to Abby that she is caught in her dreams and he asks her to embrace the Rot in order to break free. Abby, now as the Avatar of the Rot, confronts Arcane and is supported by other members of the JLD.
Swamp Thing only appears on the cover.

‘Dark Nights: Death Metal’ crossover

A sequel to the ‘Dark Nights: Metal’ crossover of 2017, in which Swamp Thing appeared briefly.

Dark Nights: Death Metal (2020) #1
“An Anti-Crisis, Part I: It All Matters”, August 2020
Scott Snyder [w], Greg Capullo [p]
Summary coming soon.

Dark Nights: Death Metal (2020) #2
“An Anti-Crisis, Part II: Be The Fern”, September 2020
Scott Snyder [w], Greg Capullo [p, c], Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia [c]
Summary coming soon.

Dark Nights: Death Metal (2020) #3
“An Anti-Crisis, Part III: Pick Up Styx”, October 2020
Scott Snyder [w], Greg Capullo [p]
Summary coming soon.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook (2020) #1
“The Fall of Earth” (pp. 3-18); “Wonder Woman in Seeds of Hope” (pp. 32-37), October 2020
Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Vita Ayala [w], Doug Mahnke, Dan Panosian [p]
Summary coming soon.
In ‘The Fall of Earth’, Swampy can be seen fighting alongside the Justice League Dark on one page, and later as a gaoler in the prison of Themyscira. In ‘Seeds of Hope’, he is again seen in one panel at Themyscira. In the pages of Lex Luthor’s journal, which runs between the stories throughout the issue, it is mentioned that Bat-Mage destroyed the Green by keeping the Parliament of Trees imprisoned in flames (p. 31), and that Arcane’s Rot has spread out from Slaughter Swamp and taken over Blüdhaven (p. 19).

Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis (2020) #1
“Trinity Crisis”, November 2020
Scott Snyder [w], Francis Manapul [p]
Summary coming soon.

Dark Nights: Death Metal (2020) #4
“An Anti-Crisis, Part IV: Shot In The Dark”, December 2020
Scott Snyder [w], Greg Capullo [p]
Summary coming soon.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King (2020) #1
“The Robin Who Would Be King”, December 2020
Peter J. Tomasi [w], Riley Rossmo [p]
Summary coming soon.
Swamp Thing appears in a couple of panels.

Justice League (2018) #57
“Doom Metal: Finale”, January 2021
Joshua Williamson [w], Xermánico [p]
Summary coming soon.
Swamp Thing appears in a few panels, and the end shows events from Dark Nights: Death Metal #5.

Dark Nights: Death Metal (2020) #5
“An Anti-Crisis, Part V: The Man Of No Tomorrow”, January 2021
Scott Snyder [w], Greg Capullo [p]
Summary coming soon.

Justice League Dark #23
“The Parliaments Of Life Part 4”, August 2020
Ram V, James Tynion IV [w], Kyle Hotz [p]
Arcane escapes the JLD and they tend to Zatanna, with Constantine removing the Rot from her body. Constantine threatens Woodrue, knowing that he was responsible for trapping Abby in her dreams. Khalid brings together the Parliaments of Life in a ritual where the guardians must give up their power. Woodrue and Animal Man do so, but Abby destroys the Parliament of Flowers, and Constantine rescues a seed in the confusion. Constantine travels to Houma, meets Arcane, and regrows Swamp Thing using the seed. Constantine realises that Arcane was working with the Upside-Down Man, and Swampy traps Arcane in a tree. Swampy calms the Parliaments and is reunited with Abby. Meanwhile, an unconscious Zatanna dreams of the Upside-Down Man.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (2019) #11
August 2020
Matt Fraction [w], Steve Lieber [p]
To protect his wife Jix from an alien and an army of robots, Jimmy Olsen appeals to the Scrubb alien race for assistance. Olsen returns to Earth with the Scrubb and, with help from other heroes, defeats the invaders. Jimmy and his friends then decide to return to Metropolis. Porcadillo tells Detective Corrigan about Julian Olsen’s plot to kill Jimmy, but Corrigan’s colleague Jones tips off Lex Luthor. Detective Jones is then confronted by Superman. Lex meets with Julian and photographs him with a small replica of the Monarch statue.
Swamp Thing joins the fight between heroes and alien invaders and appears in two panels.

Superman (2018) #23-#24
#23: “Chaos Part One”, September 2020
#24: “Chaos Part Two”, October 2020
Brian Michael Bendis [w], Kevin Maguire, John Timms [p]
In #23, Agent Veronica Bissette of the Department of Extranormal Operations is possessed by Xanadoth (a Lord of Chaos), who was trapped inside an amulet. Veronica/Xanadoth visits Madame Xanadu and inquires about the Breastplate of Hoku. Superman and Khalid (Doctor Fate) converse in the Tower of Fate. Khalid gives Superman a mystical health checkup, and they discuss Superman’s recent life changes and family stresses that lead Superman to reveal himself to the world as Clark Kent. Xanadoth forces its way past the Justice League Dark and confronts Khalid for the Helmet of Fate.  In #24, Superman tries to prevent Xanadoth from taking the Helmet, but Xanadoth summons creatures and creates chaos on Earth. Nabu (in the Helmet of Fate) explains that Xanadoth was one of the first Lord of Chaos and its hunger for power was feared, but it was defeated when the other Lords of Chaos and Order banded together to oppose it. Now Xanadoth has gathered various magical weapons and tools and only needs the Helmet to become all-powerful. The heroes come up with a plan, and the JLD arrives to help separate Xanadoth from Veronica. The world seemingly returns to normal and Veronica lies in hospital to recover from her ordeal, but Xanadoth may still be present within her.
Swamp Thing appears in a few panels with the Justice League Dark in the Hall of Justice in both stories.

DCeased: Dead Planet miniseries

DCeased: Dead Planet is a sequel to DCeased (2019) in which the majority of the world’s population are infected by the Anti-Life Equation and become violent and uncontrollable like zombies.

DCeased: Dead Planet (2020) #1
“The Return”, September 2020
Tom Taylor [w], Trevor Hairsine [p], David Finch, Dave Stewart [c]
Summary coming soon.
Swamp Thing only appears on the cover.

DCeased: Dead Planet (2020) #2
October 2020
Tom Taylor [w], Trevor Hairsine [p]
Summary coming soon.

DCeased: Dead Planet (2020) #3
November 2020
Tom Taylor [w], Trevor Hairsine [p]
Summary coming soon.

DCeased: Dead Planet (2020) #5
January 2021
Tom Taylor [w], Trevor Hairsine [p]
Summary coming soon.

Justice League Dark #24
“As Above, So Below”, September 2020
Ram V [w], Amancay Nahuelpan [p], Nathan Fairbairn, Yanick Paquette [c]
Summary coming soon.

Batman: Gotham Nights (2020) #17
“Harvest of Fear (pp. 1-8)”, August 2020.  Digital only.
John Layman [w], Denys Cowan [p]
Batman travels to swampland outside of Gotham to investigate an ingredient used in Scarecrow’s new fear toxin. Batman is incapacitated by Scarecrow and left for dead, but is rescued by Swamp Thing. They work together and Batman confronts Scarecrow wearing a monstrous suit of plants.

Justice League Dark #25
“A Battle of Realities”, October 2020
Ram V [w], Amancay Nahuelpan [p], Nathan Fairbairn, Yanick Paquette [c]
Summary coming soon.

Detective Comics (1937) #1027
“As Always” (pp. 107-118), November 2020
Scott Snyder [w], Ivan Reis [p]
Jim Gordon stands at the Bat Signal waiting for the night to end, but learns that the Sun has disappeared. The Justice League investigate.
The JLD are shown in one panel, trying to devise a solution to replace the Sun.

Justice League Dark #26
“Belief”, November 2020
Ram V [w], Amancay Nahuelpan [p], Nathan Fairbairn, Yanick Paquette [c]
Summary coming soon.

Legend Of The Swamp Thing Halloween Spectacular (2020) #1
“At the Heart of Trees”; “Ring of Stones”; “Sleeping Giant”; “No Sign of the Enemy”; “Age of Discovery”; “At the Heart of Man”, December 2020
Ram V, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Vita Ayala, Julian Lytle, James Tynion IV [w], Domo Stanton, Emma Rios, John Timms, Christian Ward [p], Mike Perkins [p, c]
At the Heart of Trees: Police search a Virginian swamp for a missing boy (David) in the same area that the sheriff’s son went missing several years earlier. Swamp Thing finds David unconscious and held captive by a willow tree that is trying to protect the boy. Swampy finds corpses of other missing children and realises that the willow’s consciousness has been poisoned by the children’s fears. The willow lets David go, and Swamp Thing tells the tree stories of past avatars.
Ring of Stones: In 54 BCE, Julius Caesar has conquered Britannia and meets the sole survivor of a company of troops who were stationed among the Atrebates tribe. The survivor explains that the Roman leader Commius was corrupted by the culture of the Atrebates and, during a ceremony, a Guardian of the Green appeared and slaughtered all of the Romans.
Sleeping Giant: In 1948 in Puerto Rico, a young woman fears for her sister Esperanza, who has disappeared after going to work in a mill for a recently arrived Christian known as the Big Man. The woman finds human remains in the mill and, fearing the worst, summons Yúcahu to avenge her sister. Before he is killed, the Big Man reveals that Esperanza is still alive. Esperanza is freed from her dungeon and the two sisters leave the mill before it is destroyed by Yúcahu.
No Sign of the Enemy: A Japanese soldier named Joji is stationed in the South Pacific in 1945 and lives in isolation after his company is killed. His companion is Oniisan, a plant that lives in an old boot, who suggests that Joji leaves the island. Joji discovers some pamphlets that announce Japan’s surrender, but Joji doubts their veracity. Years pass and Joji loses his grip on reality, eventually dying when he blows up the jungle.
Age of Discovery: In the 15th Century, Diego recounts sailing from Europe to the New World and coming across an island made entirely of plants. The crew becomes trapped on the island and they are each killed until there is only Diego and “the great explorer” left. The explorer regrets his life of colonisation and exploitation and commits suicide. Realising that he too will soon die, Diego climbs a tree and sees the immense head of a plant elemental jutting out of the island.
At the Heart of Man: Years after being saved by Swamp Thing, David camps with his son and grandchildren in the same Virginia swamp. He is approached by an elemental and David tells the creature about his life, explaining that he has always wanted to meet Swamp Thing again and ask the purpose of his survival and existence. However, the elemental is new to his role and is confused and unable to help. David dies from a heart attack and is absorbed by the willow.

DC The Doomed And The Damned (2020) #1
“From Humble Roots” (pp. 41-48), December 2020
Amedeo Turturro [w], Max Fiumara [p]
Superman and Swamp Thing investigate Clement Lisk, who is growing and selling fruit that seems to be causing illness and deformities in a small town. When he is confronted, Lisk reveals that he is actually Clayface and has been feeding the townsfolk parts of himself. Clayface takes control of the infected villagers to attack the heroes. Swamp Thing begins to destroy Clayface, frustrated that the villain has squandered his powers in this way, but Superman convinces Swampy to give Clayface a chance to resolve the situation. Some of the surviving villagers are healed, and Swamp Thing provides the town with healthy crops.

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
October 2020
Maggie Stiefvater [w], Morgan Beem [p]
Twin high school students Alec and Walker Holland stay with their cousins in Virginia. Alec is working on an experiment to transfer consciousness between plants but he loses some of his samples in a swamp and the rest are eaten by pet dogs soon after arriving in Virginia. He later learns that the dogs have become plant-like and share the same aversion to fire as his original plant subject. Other animals in the swamp are similarly transformed. When testing the solution on himself, Alec finds he can perceive the thoughts of plants. Alec meets Abby Arcane, who is writing a local history based around an ancient tree named Fancy Sam. Fancy Sam is destroyed during a party by some local bullies, the Everett brothers, to the horror of Alec and Abby. They leave the party together, which causes conflict with Walker. Alec decides to record Fancy Sam’s memories and apply them to another plant but first he and Abby use the serum on themselves. They learn the true fate of a missing local woman, and also learn how upset Walker is. Walker tells the police what happened to Fancy Sam, so the Everetts beat him up. To prevent further attacks on his brother, Alec drinks the formula, transforms into a monstrous plant and stops the Everetts. The plant creature meets with Abby one more time before disappearing.
Swamp Thing doesn’t strictly appear but the story follows the adventures (and transformation) of a teenager named Alec Holland and a girl named Abby Arcane. Alec’s brother here is named Walker, while the comics briefly featured an Edward Holland in some stories that are now considered non-canon.

Justice League Dark #27
“The Cost Part 1”, December 2020
Ram V [w], Amancay Nahuelpan [p], Nathan Fairbairn, Yanick Paquette [c]
Summary coming soon.

Justice League Dark #28
“The Cost Part 2”, January 2021
Ram V [w], Amancay Nahuelpan [p], Kyle Hotz, Dan Brown [c]
Summary coming soon.
After being destroyed in the previous issue, Swamp Thing only appears in a couple of panels.

[w] denotes writer, [p] denotes penciller, but I have included both penciller and inker if both are credited equally as artists. [c] denotes cover artist, but I have mostly only included the last in instances where Swampy is illustrated by someone other than the inside penciller.