"You see - I lost something in that holocaust too -- something I've searched for across the face of the world -- the killer -- of the only two friends I've ever cared for -- a heartless, hideous monster -- in many different ways! Yeah --- we both lost something in that fire, Abigail! -- And God forgive me, I'm not sure who's lost more!"
"The Patchwork Man" is the story title to the third issue of the first Swamp Thing ongoing comic book series by DC Comics. The story was written by Len Wein with artwork by Bernie Wrightson, who also provided embellishment work for this issue. The cover art was penciled, inked and colored by Wrightson and colored by Wrightson and Glynis Wein, who also colored the interior pages to this issue. The story was lettered by Gaspar Saladino and edited by Joe Orlando. This issue shipped with a February-March, 1973 cover date and carried a cover price of 20 cents per copy (US).
Swamp Thing scales the cliffs leading to the ancient castle of his late nemesis, Anton Arcane. Upon reaching its peak, Swampy begins exploring Anton's laboratory, but a flagstone floor gives way beneath him threatening to drop him into some unknown abyss. A zombie-like Patchwork Man is present in the lab and tries to pull the Swamp Thing to safety. But he cannot keep his grip and Swampy falls down to the bottom of a vast cavern. The Patchwork Man then sets to destroying the lab causing the entire castle to explode.
Down in the nearby Balkan village, D.D.I. agent Matt Cable continues searching for the Swamp Thing. He blames him for the deaths of Alec and Linda Holland and wants revenge. He meets a medic at a nearby clinic named Abigail. Abigail just happens to be the niece of the mad scientist Anton Arcane. Matt and Abigail see the explosion of the castle and begin making their way towards the bridge that leads to the castle's cliff-side.
The Patchwork Man appears and Abigail faints from fright. He gingerly picks her up and begins taking her across the bridge. Swamp Thing appears (having climbed through the wreckage of the castle) and begins fighting the Patchwork Man. Abigail is about to fall from the bridge, but the Patchwork Man rescues her. As she looks into his eyes, she realizes that it is her father, Gregori Arcane – another sad experiment of her demented uncle.
Matt catches up with Abigail and the two take a sea-plane away from the Balkan village.