DC Comics Presents: Superman and Swamp Thing--"The Jungle Line!” Superman is dying and the only one who may be able to help him is the enigmatic creature of the Green known as Swamp Thing.
Burning with fever, suffering from hallucinations, Superman is driving South, to die. Clark Kent and Lana Lang were covering a story, at the Institute for Extraterrestrial Studies, regarding a patch of living fungus, clinging to a recently discovered meteor. Kent studied the fungus, with his microscopic vision, and recognized it as a variety that once grew on Krypton. A particularly deadly variety. Kent searched his memories of Krypton, recalling Rem-Ul's Almanac of Old Krypton. The fungus was more commonly known as Bloodmorel. In 92% of all reported cases, exposure to the fungus resulted in fatality. The following morning, Kent's invulnerability failed, resulting in a paper cut. It took an hour for it to return. By lunchtime, Kent's X-Ray vision and super-hearing had failed, resulting in an embarrassing encounter in a Daily Planet storeroom. Though his X-Ray vision had returned by that evening, his super-hearing had not. Fearful that his flight would go next, Kent took the subway home. At night, Kent has a nightmare where the two sides of his persona, Superman and Clark Kent, badger him regarding his likely fate. As Superman, Kent returns to the Institute for Extraterrestrial Study, and asks to borrow the Bloodmorel sample. Using his microscopic vision, Superman studies the fungus for some hint of a cure. Twenty minutes into his analysis, his microscopic vision fails. Accepting the reality of his coming death, Superman headed South, purposefully avoiding all cities patrolled by his friends in the super-human community. Superman passes out behind the wheel of his car, crashing it into tree.
As the car goes up in a ball of flame, Superman staggers out, meteor in hand. The Man of Steel stumbles a few paces, eventually collapsing at the edge of a swamp. It is here that he is found, by the Swamp Thing. Delirious, Superman hallucinates that the extinct creatures of Krypton's Scarlet Jungle have come to claim him. The Swamp Thing makes contact with the Bloodmorel and finds himself overwhelmed by images of Krypton's Scarlet Jungle, forcing him to break the link. Tending to the fallen Superman, the Swamp Thing is suddenly attacked, when Superman revives. Hallucinating madly, a ranting Superman begins sweeping the swamp with his heat vision, fending off his illusionary tormenters. In reality, he is laying the swamp asunder with all the super-powers at his command. The Swamp Thing realizes that such extreme exertions, if continued for a long enough period of time, will kill the Man of Steel in his weakened condition. Making contact with the Bloodmorel once more, the Swamp Thing uses his link with the fungus to access the spores in Superman's blood stream, to make contact with the Man of Steel himself. Swamp Thing finds himself standing in the Scarlet Jungle of Krypton, with Superman. Once more, Superman lashes out at the Swamp Thing. Pleading with the Man of Steel, the Swamp Thing is able to convince Superman to stand down. Grasping Superman's hand, the Swamp Thing soothes the Man of Steel's fevered mind, letting the Green wash over it. The Swamp Thing watches over Superman through the night. When the Man of Steel's fever breaks, the Swamp Thing returns whence he came. Superman awakens revived. His powers have returned, and no trace of the fever burns within him. The Man of Steel has survived, never knowing that it was the Swamp Thing that shepherded him back to health.