Parliament of Trees
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|Parliament of Trees|
|First appearance||Swamp Thing #47 (April 1986)|
|Place of origin||Tefé, Brazil, South America|
The Parliament of Trees is a fictional group of Plant Elementals appearing in books published by DC Comics, sometimes under its Vertigo imprint, which function as supporting characters to Swamp Thing. Created by writer Alan Moore and artist Stan Woch, the Parliament first appeared in Swamp Thing #47 (April 1986).
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In Moore's storyline, Plant Elementals have existed on Earth long before humans. Born when a being dies in flames and merges with the Earth, the Elementals became protectors of plant life throughout history. When they had done their time, they would join the Parliament of Trees, a group mind of former Elementals. Over time the membership grew with beings such as Eyam (based on the form of a trilobite), Swamp Knucker (a dinosaur-like dragon), Bog Venus (patterned on the mind of a medicine woman), Ghost Hiding in the Rushes (a sorcerer of 3rd-century China), Swamp Thing (an early 20th-century scientist), and many others. Until recently, the Parliament was stationed in a grove in Brazil, at south of the Tefé River, while their minds dwelled in the realm of the Green.
Although preaching peace, the Parliament was involved in several conflicts in the past. Once united with the Parliament of Stones, the Parliament separated from the other to set in motion an elaborate plot to someday destroy mankind. The Parliament also had to fight off the fungus-based Grey, invaders from another world that eventually became the mushroom life of this planet. Quite recently, it was revealed that the Parliament of Trees (and other Elemental Parliaments) had an agenda with Swamp Thing that included the destruction of mankind and the re-making of Earth. To prevent that from happening, the Heavenly power called The Word was sent to destroy the Parliament, but not until they had passed on all their power to the Swamp Thing, who would do their bidding. But Swamp Thing refused in the last second, giving humanity another chance. The Parliament of Trees is now eternally burning in the realm of the Green. A few of its former members have survived since they were not present during the massacre at the hands of The Word.
During the climatic moments of the 2010-2011 Brightest Day miniseries, the White Lantern reveals that "the Green has become black" and corrupted. It also states that the central tree in the Star City forest is the foundation for the Parliament of Trees.
The New 52
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, it was shown that Alan Scott, Earth 2's Green Lantern, receives his powers through an association with The Green. It was also revealed that besides the Parliament of Trees there are in fact four more Parliaments that together form the Earth's Parliament. The other four Parliaments consists of The Blue (also known as Clear) who represents the power of the oceans and is heralded by the enigmatic Parliament of Waves, The Grey (also known as Rot) who embody decay and appears to be heralded by the Parliament of Decay, The Red who stand for animal savagery and is heralded by the Parliament of Limbs, The White who stand for the power of the atmosphere which is heralded by a still unnamed Parliament. The members of this Parliament Enclave only meet when the Earth is in perilous danger such as Darkseid's invasion of Earth 2 to summon their avatars who embody the spirits to enact their will.
The Green is a mystical realm inhabited by the minds of all members of the Parliament of Trees, and it is a phenomenon that connects all forms of botanical life on earth. It is in the same category as The Red (which is connected to all animal life and run by the Parliament of Limbs), The Clear (which is associated with aquatic life and run by the Parliament of Vapors), an unnamed fire realm (which is associated with fire elementals and connected to the Parliament of Flames, which resides in the Earth's sun), The Melt (which is connected to Earth elementals and run by the Parliament of Stones), The Grey (which is connected to all fungal life), and The Black (which is associated with Death, was also called The Rot, and run by the Parliament of Decay). Various plant elementals of the DCU have been known to communicate with the Green as well and appear to have an in-tune rapport with it. These select few include the following:
- Black Orchid (Flora Black and Suzy)
- Hyathis (ruler of the planet Alstair)
- Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley)
- Swamp Thing (Alec Holland)
- The Sprout (Tefé Holland)
- Alan Scott (Earth 2)
Floronic Man went insane after attempting to connect with the Green through Swamp Thing.
- Brightest Day #23 (April 2011)
- Earth 2 #1