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"Final Payment"

(24 pages)
Writer: Rick Veitch
Artist(s): Tom Mandrake, Alfredo Alcala
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Asst. Editor: Art Young
Special thanks to Neil Gaiman
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson

Cover:John Totleben (signed)


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Wonder Warthog, seen in 11:4, is an underground comic character by Gilbert Shelton, whose other work ("The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers") was mentioned in issues #25 and #43.

Cover sketch
by Totleben

1 There are three pages in this issue, in which Matt Cable interacts with Eve, a supporting character from the SANDMAN series. (See Branching Out article.) Each time, Eve appears in a different aspect, in the tradition of the Hecatae/Triple Goddess motif ("The Furies") which is often used by author Neil Gaiman in his SANDMAN series. The three personality aspects are the Virgin, the Mother and the Crone. (This concept was also used in The Three Witches, who were hostesses of the early 1970s DC series THE WITCHING HOUR.) On this page, she is the Mother, as is hinted by the caption "had a couple of kids who live up on the hill". The "kids" are Cain and Abel who live in houses on hills in the realm of the Dreaming. As this dream scenario suggests, Matt was an alcoholic.
All About Eve

Eve was the hostess of the mid-1970s DC series SECRETS OF THE SINISTER HOUSE (formerly SINISTER HOUSE OF SECRET LOVE) issues #6-16. She was often accompanied by a raven named Edgar Allen, who used to be human (see SSH #15). Her character responded to fans in the book's letter column, in a humorously mean tone. In issue 11's letter column, her character suggests a romantic attraction to the Swamp Thing! She went on to join (and soon completely replace) the host named Destiny in WEIRD MYSTERY TALES #15, who was later incorporated into the supporting cast of SANDMAN. Eve later co-hosted the series PLOP! and SECRETS OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE #1-9, along with Cain and Abel. Just as it is suggested that Cain and Abel are the archetypes of the biblical Cain and Abel, Eve is described by Cain as "everybody's mother" in SANDMAN #40. Like Cain and Abel, while she resides in the Dreaming, different aspects of her exist in different planes of reality. In the Alphabet of Ben Sira and other ancient folklore, Adam is said to have have three wives. This tale is also explored in SANDMAN #40.

2-3:1 Link from page 1 "their world as random shadows"/"little more than a shadow"
We last saw Matt in issue #76.

4:3 The director collects memorabilia of the popular cartoon cat Garfield.

5:1 The United States is the only industrial, fully-developed country without universal health care.

5:3 People are celebrating Earth's victory after the alien attack which was chronicled in the INVASION! mini-series. That story crossed over into most DC Comics series, including SWAMP THING #81. The Austrailia float: Melbourne, Austrailia was a major battle location. What did Wonder Girl do in Australia? Or is that supposed to be Wonder Woman?

5:5 Adam Strange visited Abby in issue SWAMP THING #61 after he met Swampy in #57-#58. You can translate words like "Smalsh-Yegger" using my Rannian lexicon.

6:1 The yellow aliens being portrayed here are the Dominators from the INVASION! mini-series.

6:3 The word "Starlag" on the float refers to the intergalactic prison in the INVASION! mini-series. The people in the suits with the letter "K" on them are portraying the evil alien Khunds.

6:4 Abby held onto her wedding rings in issue #81. Matt "gave" her his gold ring in #76 and Swampy made the vegetable ring for her in #80.
Jet, Celsius, & Scott Fischer. R.I.P.

6:5 That looks like Clark Kent between Abby and Adam.

6:6 The people on the float are dressed as characters who gave their lives during the INVASION!. The lady with the green hair is portraying Jet, of the ill-conceived and (thankfully) short-lived NEW GUARDIANS. One is obviously portraying Swamp Thing. The blond one in the pink and white suit is portraying Scott Fischer and the one in the red (the inner torso should be colored white) is portraying Celsius (the first superhero to die in the INVASION.) Those two characters were both members of the Doom Patrol (2nd series).

7 Here Eve is in the aspect of the Crone. (See page 1) As Matt says, he had powerful pyschic powers.

8:4 Liz's boyfriend Dennis, became insanely abusive and controlling after the DDI tried to kill them in issue #20.

9:3 "Drexel Burnham" was an investment firm that got in trouble for insider trading during the 1980s. "Dick's Detectives" may be a reference to Dick Grayson (a.k.a. Nightwing, formerly Robin).

10 Although she looks like Abby, here Eve is in the aspect of the Virgin, as suggested by her words about "virtue and innocence". (See page 1) The flame-like image at the bottom right is the spirit of the next Swamp Thing (called the Sprout).

11:3 ST returned to face the Parliament of Trees in #65.

11:4 The "Swamp Knucker" was a dinosaur earth-elemental which attacked Swamp things friends in issue #74. Abby and Swampy conceived the baby in issue #76.

16:3 Matt defeated Anton Arcane in issue #31 after being possessed by him in issue #27.

17:1 Link from 16:5 "consequences"

18:1 Abby got her idea when Chester said "disconnected". Morpheus used the same word in 16:5.

22:4 "How high is a Chinaman" is an old joke. The joke is that "Hao Hai" is the Chinaman's name, so it is not a question, but a statement.

23:3 Ritchie Simpson became trapped in the computer world while helping Constantine in HELLBLAZER #7 and was carried off by Agony & Ecstacy (servants of Hell) to become a techno demon in HELLBLAZER #12 .

23:5 Matt Cable's medical benefits were cut off when the DDI, the government agency he worked for, was dissolved and deleted from all computer records in issue #79.

24:5 The shadow is that of Abby's dead evil Uncle Anton Arcane who had a cyborg insectoid body just before Alan Moore began writing the series.

Comment: Issues #82 and beyond have not yet been reprinted in a trade paperback.

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