From Bayou to Abyss: Examining John Constantine, Hellblazer is now available! A Hellblazer anthology was released on Tuesday and I’m thrilled to have been involved in such a fun book. The 364-page anthology examines the… More
Guy Gardner: Warrior #29 (1995)
It’s My Party and I’ll Fight If I Want To
Guy Gardner’s Warrior’s Bar is having its grand opening and it appears that ALL of DC showed up. To emphasize/celebrate the over the top event, this book is outfitted with a cover that opens up to the impending party. Guy’s Warrior’s Bar is open for business! Step right in…
The gathering is so large, even Darkseid heard about the shindig.
You’d think with the vast cast of characters present that Beau Smith (writer) & Phil Jimenez (pencils) were trying to set a record for most superheroes in a single issue. And amongst this enormous cast of characters lies an extremely small Swamp Thing appearance.
Did you miss it? Maybe I should have been more clear. This is less of a Swamp Thing appearance and more of a forearm cameo. In the above panel, on the left side, that’s Swampy’s arm. You could say the panel is an early Justice League Dark outing with Zatanna, Constantine and Swamp Thing making an appearance at Guy’s grand opening event. Below, I’ve included a detail taken from the digital version of this book for clarity purposes.
The party is short lived as various disturbances arise. Guy Gardner starts a fight with Captain Atom, Lobo crashes the party and a number of characters within the book sense a disturbance within the universe (or perhaps it’s the arrival of Dementor). The issue ends with a cliffhanger but continues in Action Comics #709.
Along with the never ending list of comic characters at Guy’s grand opening, Hollywood stars were also in attendance. Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone dropped by the opening to assess the professional competition. It appears that Warrior’s Bar is Planet Hollywood for Superheroes.
Wizard #62 – 1996
Flashback to 1996! Wizard Magazine is five years old and another Swamp Thing series comes to an end. October of 1996 saw the final issue of Swamp Thing series 2 with, #171 “Trial by Fire”. But that’s not why this book is Swamp Thing gold. Wizard #62 is special because it features a Swamp Thing parody image along with an article related to the NES game
Within the magazine is a fold-out calendar and poster, Wizard’s 1996 “Spooky Calendar” to be exact. Swamp Thing and Batman start October strong, featured as the 1st day of the month. Highlighted in this parody panel is Alan Moore’s notable story, “The Garden of Earthly Delights” from Swamp Thing #53. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to write about that issue-and its surrounding story arc-but it’s one of the greatest Swampy arcs. It holds a special place in Swamp Thing fans’ hearts. It features one of many defining moments in Abigail & Swampy’s relationship. Swamp Thing also brings Gotham City to its knees and battles Batman.
“It’s a jungle out there! Alec visits Gotham City in Swamp Thing #53, October 1986” Swamp Thing looks on, unhappy while Batman begrudgingly cleans up Gotham City-post issue #53. Note: although the cover of Swamp Thing #53 reads October 1986, it was published on July 17, 1986.
The back of the Wizard “Spooky Calendar” features a poster of the Fantastic 4 by Jim Lee.
On page 42, the staff of Wizard magazine casts Kingdom Come with acting greats. “Since Alex Ross painted these heroes to look like regular folks, it’d be a cinch to cast, so we did.” Quite a few of their pairings are dead on. I’ve included a couple of the pages below.
In the Drawing Board section of the book, Gill Sanchez won grand prize for his killer rendition of John Constantine. I searched for Gill on the internet and found that he illustrated the cover of The Elvis Files #1 in 2017. It’s great to see he is still working on comics.
The Second piece of Swamp Thing goodness within this issue of Wizard is on page 193. In this segment of Junk Drawer Video Games, “DC Comics: A video Game Guide” features a blurb about the Swamp Thing video game.
It’s mentioned that an SNES and Genesis release may have been possible but the Swamp Thing video game was only available on the NES and Gameboy platforms. A version of the game was in development for Genesis but it never saw the light of day. You can play it though and as I wrote in a previous post, it’s much more fun than Nintendo’s versions.
If you have played the Swamp Thing video game, nothing you’ll read below is a surprise.
Harley Quinn and Batman TPB – 2019
When I purchased the trade paperback, Batman and Harley Quinn in March of 2019 I was thrilled to see Swamp Thing, Poison Ivy and Floronic Man in one book. But, I was surprised in realizing that I’d never read the chapter in the book titled, “Floronic Man: The Judgment of the Green.” It’s the only chapter in the book to feature Swamp Thing and I was not familiar with it. I just assumed this book was a collected edition, comprised of previously published comics. So why couldn’t I find, “Floronic Man: The Judgment of the Green” as a single issue within my collection? I’m usually aware of upcoming Swamp Thing releases, acquiring any and all Swampy appearances as soon as they are released. This story had me buzzing with excitement to track it down!
A Swamp Thing story that may have flown below your radar (as it did mine) was released in a trade paperback in March of 2019. It might have gone unnoticed because-prior to the TPB-the story was only available in digital format and was originally released in November of 2017. I have quite the blind spot when it comes to digital comics. I prefer physical comics and as a completist, I’m usually focused on the physical format which lead me to completely space on this Swamp Thing story.
Batman and Harley Quinn: the 136-page trade paperback collects chapters 1-5 of the digital comic series, “Harley Quinn and Batman“ and chapters 1-7 of the digital series, ”Batman and Harley Quinn” (November 2017). The digital series was created by Ty Templeton and Rick Burchett to act as a continuation to the Batman and Harley Quinn animated film from August 2017. The film featured a small Swamp Thing cameo making his appearance in this continued story arc even more exciting.
Floronic Man: “The Judgment of the Green”, part 3 of 7 of Batman and Harley, is written by Matthew Dow Smith with art by Sandy Jarrell. In the story, Floronic Man has been summoned by the Parliament of Trees to be held accountable for his crimes against nature and humanity. Mistakenly, Woodrue thinks he has been brought before the Parliament to be commended for his acts against humans and for defending nature. Woodrue has upset the balance of the planet and the Parliament wish to restore it by eliminating Jason Woodrue.
Woodrue eludes the Parliament but is quickly confronted by Swamp Thing whose been tasked with returning him.
In typical fashion, Woodrue thinks he knows what is best for the Green. He gets so wrapped up in thinking he is Earth’s #1 candidate for avatar of the Green that he forgets who is actually in control of the Green.
The Parliament reclaims Jason Woodrue and judgement is served.
The dedication, “For Len” at the end of the story couldn’t be more fitting. The great, Len Wein passed in September of 2017. This digital comic was originally released 2 months later, in November. Len and Bernie are greatly missed. Enjoying and sharing Swamp Thing tales like this helps to remind and educate others of their greatness.
DC Comics Co-op Advertising Program Binder – 1991
Friend and purveyor of all things comic books, John Nordstrom swung by the house (social distancing was indeed applied) to give me this fine DC marketing/advertising program. Since the virus is doing its damnedest across the globe, Nordstrom had time to root through some of his items in storage. He was pleased as punch to find a little bit of Swamp Thing within the DC Advertising Program. I was even more pleased to take it off his hands! Although I had never seen the DC Program binder before, I was familiar with the Swamp Thing appearance within it.
Front cover of binder
The program came with 2 DC Co-op Pre-Authorization Forms, the business card of then DC Marketing Representative, Christine Maturo and 22 pages of advertising information. Sure the ad info isn’t all that entertaining but the artwork involved in the layouts is pretty cool! I’ve included photos of various pages from the program, below.
The binder is broken-up into 4 sections: The “Dear Retailer” letter, “General Information”, “Ad Slicks” and “Yellow Pages”. All but the “Dear Retailer” letter feature special binder tabs. My favorite portion of this binder is the Yellow Pages. That’s where the Swamp Thing lies.
Within the various Yellow Pages ad examples, Swamp Thing can be found on the right, interior page.
Four years ago I stumbled upon the same Yellow Pages insert page from the binder. I thought it was a one and done item. I wrote about it here with more detailed photos. Four years later I now know where the inert belongs, pages 19-22 of the DC Comics Co-op Advertising Program binder!
Back binder cover
Matt from Foreign Comic Collectors Magazine (FCC) contacted me this past weekend to ask if he could use images from my website for his latest episode of Global Comic Safari. Having a hefty collection of non-US Swamp Thing books, I was happy to oblige. In their new episode, Matt and Jon Z (of CBSI) look at international comics featuring Bernie Wrightson & Len Wein’s classic, Swamp Thing #1. The comics feature some beautiful variations from Mexico, France and beyond. Matt also discusses the different styles and sizes that publisher, Navaro (Mexico) used in publishing the comics.
Jon Z is a member of the Tales from the Flipside Podcast team as well as a contributor to comicbookinvest.com
Matt is a foreign comic fanatic and a founder of the Foreign Comic Collector Magazine. You can join the Here
The publication is Comics Buyer’s Guide. The date is March 13, 1992. Financial magazine, Barron’s influences Marvel stock prices, The Shadow of the Bat is the talked about ongoing series, and Peter David is in search of heroes. In March of 1992, Nancy Collins’ intriguing and fun Swamp Thing #117 “The Lord of Misrule” (Series 2) is released. Yet, noticeably on the Editorial page of this CBG is a satirical cartoon knocking DC comics, referencing Rick Veitch’s unpublished, “Morning of the Magician” from 1988. DC’s controversial decision in not releasing the story still circulates in conversations today.
Veitch, Christ and DC’s inability to handle “mature” subject matter are on the table thanks to cartoonist, David Goehner. 3 years after Veitch left Swamp Thing and DC due to the mishandling/treatment of his story, “Morning of the Magician”, Swamp Thing #88. Fans still talk of its release. Perhaps one day a finished copy will make its way into our hands. In the meantime you can read the script and see the rough pages by Michael Zulli over on 20th Century Danny Boy’s website, here.
It’s that time of year again!
Another issue of Holland Files is nearly complete and I’m taking pre-orders. If you’d like to secure your copy, email me at HollandFilesZine@gmail.com. Books are $10 with free shipping in the US during pre-order only. Issue 4 is packed with in-depth Swamp Thing info along with an interview with Macon Blair (Phantom Stranger from the recent Swamp Thing series/Blue Ruin/Green Room), art by Stephen R Bissette, along with art and articles by 48, talented Swamp Thing fans from around the world. Share in the love for Swamp Thing and order Holland Files today.
Holland Files 4 is expected to be in the mail by mid November. If you missed out on previous issues, 1-3, now’s your chance to order while back-issues are available. Thank you all for your support in celebrating such a great character.