The Saga of the Swamp Thing 18 (1983)
The Man Who Would Not Die
This issue is 95% flashback and 5% flying, killer brains. “Flashback” is giving the story a bit too much credit. The majority of Swamp Thing #10 (series 1) is reprinted in this book to serve as an explanation for Arcane. I find this to be a very odd choice in advancing the story. At the end of the book, the narrator mentions that Arcade’s explanation may have been told with some bias. It would’ve been much more compelling and creative to represent Arcane’s biased account of issue #10 (series 1) rather than simply reprinting it. A short article featured in Comics Journal #82 may shed some light on why issue #10 was reprinted in this story.
Scheduling on the Ropes:
“The scheduling on DC’s titles is going further and further astray. Now comes the announcement that two of DC’s titles, including the best-selling Teen Titans, will actually skip a month, resulting in only 11 issues that year. Teen Titans #36 and Saga of the Swamp Thing #18, both scheduled for June release, have both been pushed back to a July release date.”
This filler page (found in the back of the book) would have acted as a good intro to this issue.
Swamp Thing, Abby and Cable are still being attacked by flying, killer brains and eyeballs since last we saw them in issue 17. The monsters are a physical manifestation of Matt Cable’s psychosis, paranoia, trauma and alcohol abuse.
It’s kind of a bummer to see Swamp Thing being man-handled by a couple of flying brains. Is the brain truly mightier than the mightiest muck-encrusted mockery of a man? I’d like to think not.
Swamp Thing has a great dental plan
Arcane still has Helmut Kripptmann (Dr Harry Kay) held in captivity, aboard his creepy dragonfly helicopter from hell. Arcane wouldn’t be a true antagonist if he didn’t provide a back-story and an evil plan to match.
Cue the “flashback”…
The flashback/Issue #10 comes to and end, bringing us back to Swampy, Abby and Cable battling the flying monsters. Realizing he doesn’t want to die, Matt Cable vanquishes his demons that have now rendered Swampy and Abby unconscious.
As I mentioned before, It would have been really fun to see/read Arcane’s skewed perspective of his encounter with Swamp Thing and Black Jubal.