Swamp Thing sneaking into the covers Pt.3

Cracked Monster Party! #7 (1989)

In another installment of “sneaking into the covers”, Cracked’s Sylvester P Smythe gets the ‘ol Swamp Thing treatment on the backside.

Back cover:
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This fantastic parody of Swamp Thing has been eluding me for over 5 years. When out of town or visiting friends, I’d always take time to ask comic shops if they had any Monster Party books. The typical answer was, “no”. I’ve kept many a friend waiting an inappropriately long time, digging through old long boxes stuffed with magazines like Starlog, Mad, Cracked, Fantastic Films, Famous Monsters of Filmland, Eerie, Fangoria, etc; looking for this book. It’s a thrill to finally find it.

front cover:
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Ricansruction: Rebuilding Puerto Rico

Ricansruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico (2018)

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Not having an on-going series isn’t slowing Swamp Thing down. This week, Greg Capullo announced he has been working on Justice League Dark variant covers and he hopes to start working on a Swamp Thing book as soon as he and Scott Snyder wrap up their work on Batman. A slew of appearances are headed our way in the coming months as well! Swamp Thing will make an appearance in Justice League, Justice League Dark, Scooby-Doo Team-up, and many others! Be sure to reference the Swamp Thing Pull List for all the latest releases.
Now, on to Ricanstruction!

This beautiful comic anthology is filled with heart warming stories of team-work and perseverance, from Puerto Rico’s past and toward its future in recovery. Comic book author Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez spearheaded the anthology to help the ongoing recovery and humanitarian efforts. All proceeds benefit Puerto Rico’s rebuilding process.

Throughout the book, La Borinqueña (the featured character from Miranda-Rodriguez) teams-up with a ton of DC Superheroes to save the island of Puerto Rico after being devastated by hurricane Maria. Miranda-Rodriquez has said, “La Borinqueña was created to raise awareness of the effects of climate change and how it would affect Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.”
This thick anthology is filled with beautiful artwork and stories and includes stars such as comic author Gabby Rivera, actress Rosario Dawson, novelist Esmerelda Santiago, and MANY more. You won’t want to miss getting a copy of this!
And another little perk… Swamp Thing appears in two stories! Let’s dig in.

“Metamorphosis”
The Puerto Rican rainforest has been through a lot since hurricane Maria devastated the island’s landscape. The last thing the forest needs now is Solomon Grundy trouncing around.
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That’s where Metamorpho and La Borinqueña step in! La Borinqueña reminds Metamorpho that in battling Grundy, the fragile eco-system needs to be protected. The frogs-indigenous to only the Puerto Rican rainforest-are the source of vital medicine. Grundy must be contained while keeping the surrounding environment protected. This calls for a little ingenuity.
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Metamorpho calls on a friend to help detain Grundy… and it’s Swamp Thing!
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Continue reading “Ricansruction: Rebuilding Puerto Rico”

Swamp Thing – Italian TV

The New Adventures of Swamp Thing (1991) Italy

Swamp Thing, the live-action television series from the USA network was such a worldwide hit it made it’s way onto VHS in Italy. I’ve not seen a non-US, VHS release of the television series before and was thrilled to track this cassette down. It features four episodes from the series. A title is listed above the episodes, on the back. “The New Adventures of Swamp Thing”.
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Cover translation:
Swamp Thing
“The Monster of the Marshes
Re-emerges from the swamps to make justice.”

“Swamp Thing, the monstro of the swamps, taken from the famous series of instruments, is Dr. Alex Holland, the victim of a chemical alteration caused by the evil biologist Anton Arcane.
Swamp Thing, this horrible creature to see, possesses the brilliant mind and propensity to the good of Dr. Holland … with the addition of some magical powers.
Four new stories for a successful combination of adventure, suspense and fantasy.”
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The New Adventures of Swamp Thing
1. Birth Marks
2. The Watchers
3. Tremors of the Heart
4. Walk a Mile in My Shoes
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Swamp Thing 33 – Lineage Launched

It’s not quite fitting to call this Sophisticated Suspense of an issue, filler. Although a great deal of the book is a flashback—reprinting Wrightson and Wein’s classic 8-page story from HOS 92—, Alan Moore does something really special. He cracks open the Swamp Thing folklore/lineage.

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With Bissette and Totleben taking a breather since the Annual 2, Ron Randall takes over the reigns in the visuals department for this issue. Totleben takes care of the cover. Not only is it an homage to Wrightson’s House of Secrets 92 cover, it further illustrates the concepts Moore unveils in this issue; Swamp Thing and Abby are involved in a greater purpose throughout time.

In this issue, Moore uses the downtime in the story-arc to develop Swamp Thing’s rich history, pulling the curtain back on the powerful folklore behind the character. He establishes the historical relevance of Dr Alec Holland, and his role as “Earth’s Elemental Champion”.
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The story…
The last we saw Abigail Cable she was being retrieved from hell by the one thing in her life that loves her, Swamp Thing. It’s been an extremely trying time for Abby.
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Although Swamp Thing is able to provide her with protection, he can not provide her a warm, safe place to rest her head. Abby Cable has returned back from hell and now resides at s small apartment in Houma, Louisiana. Her husband Matt is in a coma at the local hospital. She’s still working at Elysian Fields, trying to navigate normalcy and maintain her sanity.

She enters The Dreaming.
She is greeted by Cain and Abel, the caretakers of the Houses of Mystery and Secrets. They present her with a choice…
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Cain explains, “your subconscious has directed you here to learn something important”. She can see what’s in store within the House of Mystery or the House of Secrets.
Continue reading “Swamp Thing 33 – Lineage Launched”

Swamp Thing 32

Swamp Thing 32 (1986)
“Pog”

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After the intensity of the Swamp Thing Annual #2, Moore and the story-arc tapped the breaks for a couple issues (ST 32 & 33). It’s been said that Bissette and Totleben had been falling behind on the series schedule; due to the extensive craft & detail they’d put into each book, and perhaps other professional commitments. But, it’s also not abnormal for a few filler issues between story arcs.
Editor, Karen Berger confirms this within the letters page.
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This issue was illustrated by Shawn McManus while Bissette and Totleben took care of the cover.
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Location: Louisiana swamp, 1 3/4 miles from Baton Rogue…
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Moore creates a seemingly cute, whimsical scenario focused on a group of small space travelers who’ve been on a tireless journey to find a new “Lady” (home planet/Mother Earth). The scenario-and their new familiar looking Lady (Earth)-is not what it seems and what once felt like salvation becomes a nightmare.
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The terrain seems to be suitable. The little alien crew members are restless and eager to explore what looks like an ideal environment.

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It’s interesting and fun to read this issue after the barrage of chaos that occurred in the preceding Swamp Thing Annual, and issues following up to. It’d be justifiable if confused as if you’d missed an issue after Abby returned home. Swamp Thing was able to escape Hell but he’s being detained by… cute little alien creatures.
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Initially, Moore’s use of Walt Kelley’s Pogo-like characters seems as random as it gets. But, Moore crafts an amazing, tender homage through the little, nature-loving creatures.

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Swamp Thing and the alien, Pog are kindred spirits. Words do not need to define yearning for a sense of home or belonging; something Swamp Thing will forever struggle with. Throughout the story, Moore brilliantly reverses the translation talk bubbles. We now know what the aliens are saying and Moore has given us such a world that we understand what Swamp Thing is conveying.

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Much of the story is a byproduct of the terrible realization that Earth is no home at all for the Pog and his crew. Earth is brutal like the Lady they left behind. The crudity of the humans is much like the primates they fled from. Through this seemingly brutal landscape, Moore depicts inescapable cruelty as well as environmental issues; man’s impact on the environment.
Continue reading “Swamp Thing 32”

DC Heroes Role-Playing Game Starring Swamp Thing

DC Heroes Role-Playing Game – Second Edition (1989)
by Mayfair Games

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Sometimes Swamp Thing can be found in the strangest of places. Sometimes Swamp Thing pops-up in a game, and you have the game not to play but because it features a Swamp Thing character card that you just have to have. Sometimes being a completest can be a pain in the wallet. I kid but it is a substantial sized game set just for a really cool Swamp Thing card and a few mentions within the game manuals.

Swamp Thing character card
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I can’t find info on the artist responsible for the character cards. If anyone out there knows who illustrated the cards, please drop me a line.

Backside of character card
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All of Swamp Thing’s attributes and powers seem to check out on the back of the card, give or take a few variations in what we are accustomed to. His drawbacks include marriage and looking strange.

The game isn’t terribly difficult to find online but I did notice that the price has risen considerably, coming in at around $100.

The DC HEROES Role-Playing Game includes
* Read This First! booklet, with a Batman solitaire adventure
* The Rules Manual
* The Character Handbook
* The Background/Roster Book, including game statistics for over 250 characters and featuring essays by Robert Greenberger, Jack Kirby, Robert Kanigher, Neil Gaiman, Dan Jurgens, and Roger Stern
* Full-length JLI Adventure: Exposed.
* Action Wheel * Full-color Gamemaster’s Screen
* 75 Illustrated Character Cards, featuring Justice League America, Justice League Europe, the New Titans, the Suicide Squad, Watchmen, and more!

I shuffled through the 75 cards and pulled some of my favorites. The deck features a number of great Vertigo and DC characters, new and old.

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Below are a couple excerpts relating to Swamp Thing, from the game manuals. Much of the information from the character card is repeated within the profile excerpt, below.

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Below is an excerpt focused on The Parliament of Trees. The information helps to give players some context to Swamp Thing and his connection to the Earth.
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Swamp Thing sneaking into the covers Pt.2

Cracked Monster Party 12 (1991)

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On a recent trip to Minneapolis, MN, I visited some of the comic shops looking for Swamp Thing appearances. I’m always on the look out for Cracked Monster Party books-and find them extremely difficult to find- as well as comic industry magazines that might feature an article related to Swamp Thing.
I found this issue of Monster Party within a short-box full of Starlog Magazines. Before purchasing the book, I skimmed through it the best I could and noticed it was chock-full-of famous monsters from film and literature. I was sure Swamp Thing was hidden within the pages somewhere.

Well, he wasn’t. He was hiding on the cover the entire time. King Kong sweeps the election and tramples Swamp Thing in the process. Swampy doesn’t know what hit him.
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