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Nightmare Fuel / Swamp Thing

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There's a lot of Nightmare Fuel in Swamp Thing, especially after Alan Moore took over and turned it into an active horror series for the Vertigo subverse.

  • One prime example is Nukeface, introduced during Saga of the Swamp Thing #35. Very little information is given about the guy, which ultimately makes him more disturbing, but he's basically a mad, disfigured old vagrant with a gaping mouth fall of half-rotted teeth and flesh rotting off of his face, courtesy of having become addicted to drinking nuclear waste. He's so full of radiation that his presence irradiates others, his touch can kill (especially when used against Swamp Thing), and he's so crazy he's oblivious to the fact he (frequently) ends up killing people in a horrific way by either touching them, his mere presence, or offering them a swig of his own toxic "moonshine". And then there's the scene where Wallace Monroe, accidental "creator" of the nuclear vagrant, discovers his heavily pregnant, gentle and very religious wife actually found Nukeface out in the swamp and tried to keep him warm with her shared body warmth, resulting in him and the police with him backing away from the now heavily-irradiated woman, who has no idea why they're running from her and begging them to tell her what's going on...
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  • There's also the bit at the end of Moore's run on the series where a Corrupt Corporate Executive responsible for disrupting Swamp Thing's connection to the Green, effectively killing him for a while, makes the mistake of eating a sandwich with lettuce as Swamp Thing's consciousness returns to Earth.
  • The stories set in Hell is more than a little frightening. We have Anton Arcane's torment mentioned down below but beyond that, we see corpses impaled on giant hypothermic needles, nasty demons that go far beyond the more traditional descriptions, mutilations, rape, and more.
    • Meet Sethe, the new Big Bad.
    • The young victims of the Monkey King had some pretty horrific fears, even before the little shit started to make them manifest in those poor kids' bedrooms.
    • Mommie needunt no....
  • Two Swamp Thing stories stand out: The Anatomy Lesson and My Blue Heaven. Even if slasher films don't bother you, those two single issue comics will get inside your head.
  • Arcane: "How... how many years have I been here?" Swamp Thing: "Since yesterday." Arcane: "...yesterday?" That exchange, in context, remains completely horrifying.
    • What Arcane did just before finding himself in Hell. Short version: He arranged for his niece Abby's husband Matthew to be in a car accident, and offered him a Deal with the Devil: Arcane would save Matthew's life in exchange for Matthew becoming his new vessel. At first, Abby is impressed by her husband's newfound confidence and passion, until she realizes just what happened and just who she had been sleeping with. Arcane tells her every detail about what he has done and what he will do, then tears her soul out and forces it into Hell. Arcane's punishment was too good for him.
      • Abby's reaction also belongs here: after increasingly hysterical attempts to wash herself clean of Matt/Anton's touch, she tries to scrape it off with a wire brush.
      She ripped all of her clothes off, tearing them up. They were dirty. They'd touched her skin. She tried to burn them, but her hands were shaking and the matches kept going out. In truth, she was a little crazy by this time. It was the smell. She couldn't get rid of the smell. In the shower she used up all of the soap, the shampoo, the bubblebath, the perfume... the smell was still there. Have you ever burned an insect with a magnifying glass? Just once, long ago, when you were a kid and didn't know any better? There. You know it. You know the smell. When the soap wouldn't get rid of it, she went to the kitchen and fetched the wire brush that she used for scraping the potatoes... twenty minutes later she passed out. Twenty whole minutes. Even then she could still smell it. She could smell it in her dreams.
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    • Matthew!Arcane revealing to Swamp Thing who he really is.
    Swamp Thing: Arcane!
    Matthew!Arcane: AAAARCAAAANE!!
    • A later short story shows some of Arcane's punishments in Hell, now reduced to just a disembodied head being tossed around for sport by demons. Neron gives him a vision of Abby having a run-in with the dying Patchwork Man, who she realizes is her father.
    Arcane: I...hurt her? AHAHAHAAHAHAH!!!!
    • Arcanes cruelty and spite makes Neron consider him a candidate for demonhood, once his punishment is finished.
  • Abby and The Swamp Thing's baby by way of Constantine, Tefe, decomposes into the ground while mimicking her new Swamp Thing daddy entry into the Green, causing her soul to drift into Hell while her body is left behind to break apart and die in front of Abby's eyes. While Swamp Thing goes to Hell to rescue Tefe's soul, Abby is seen cradling her daughter's decomposing viscera mess of body in her arms, traumatically weeping before putting it in a bag. The sheer trauma of the event is Up to Eleven nightmare fuel for any parent with an infant.
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  • Scott Snyder has introduced all sorts of lovely things in his run on the title. Let's start with the Rot, the embodiment of all dead matter. It comes in various forms: a swarm of mosquitos that get into people's ears, force the victim's body to break its own neck, and then animate the corpse; a giant creature made from flies, dead shrubbery, rotten meat and a mammoth skeleton; or, probably its most terrifying form - William Arcane, Abby's sickly little brother who can manipulate any and all dead matter. He is, to all intents and purposes, the Rot's equivalent of Swamp Thing. Consider for a moment how many dead cells are in your body, how many skin cells you shed...and imagine what he can do with that. Nice, isn't it?

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