In the distant future of the DC Universe, one Justice Society hero could destroy everything that Swamp Thing has worked so hard to build.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Future State: Swamp Thing #1 by Ram V, Mike Perkins and June Chung, on sale now.
While the world shown in Future State: Swamp Thing is anything but idyllic, the Protector of the Green has managed to carve out a life for himself and his new “family” in a world where the age of humanity has long since passed.
While details are still somewhat sketchy, there was some kind of great war that resulted in the near-extinction of all human life. Swamp Thing, now known simply as “Green,” has made it his mission to find any survivors in this world, which has now become overgrown with plant-life due to the lack of human interference. He’s also started to create life of his own that mimics human anatomy to make his own plant-based family. Each of these their own personalities and desires, and they only need earth, water and sunlight to survive.
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But discovering a human in the snow, however, Swamp Thing learns that Obsidian, the son of the Golden Age Green Lantern, could be used for his demise.
While searching near the research base of Eureka, Nunavut in Canada, Swamp Thing discovers a solitary human in the snow. He explains that he left a place further north called “S.T.A.R Fortress” with a larger group that had all succumbed to the cold. He tells Green that they left because the people at the base, led by someone called the Undying Man, were creating something to supposedly save the world. The man’s father, however, explained the truth to him: the Undying Man, who appears to be an aged Floronic Man or Anton Arcane, was going to use the former superhero Obsidian to plunge the world into everlasting darkness.
Obsidian was created by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway and first appeared in 1983’s All-Star Squadron #25. Named Todd Rice, he was originally the child of Alan Scott, and he and his twin sister Jade both developed superpowers from a young age. He is connected to the Shadowlands, a dimension of semi-sentient darkness that grants him power over his own shadow and the shadows of others, and he also has the abilities of flight, super-strength and intangibility. In the past, he and his sister set up Infinity Inc., a superhero team primarily made up of the children and grandchildren of Justice Society heroes, but he has also been a member of both the Society itself and the Justice League.
Post-Flashpoint, Obsidian was still named Todd Rice, but he was seemingly unrelated to the Green Lantern. But after the events of Doomsday Clock and as well as the finale of Death Metal restoring all of DC’s history as one narrative, it would stand to reason that the two heroes are once again father and son. His appearance in this issue, however, could very well spell doom for Swamp Thing and his creations. When Obsidian was once corrupted by the Shadowlands, he was able to cast a shadow big enough to cover an entire city in darkness. If the Undying Man can manipulate this power and take away sunlight from the entire world, Swamp Thing and his new creations would be losing one of the few things that they require to survive.
While Obsidian himself may not wish to harm “Green” or any of his new family, his dark power may be exploited and used to destroy everything Swamp Thing has struggled so hard to build.
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