Swamp Thing 24 “Roots”

Swamp Thing 24 (1984)
Roots

“Enter: The Justice League of America!”
 photo 69E96269-34DC-45FB-A6DE-F08BE65CC2C4.jpg

I love the way this book starts. I’ve been looking forward to writing about the issue for a little while now. Let’s jump in!
 photo 213EA3EA-1B09-4D8B-97D0-52DDC3CF4D4E.jpg

Not only does Moore, Totleben and Bissette deliver an awesome story, they provide some humorous moments and a heaping pile of super heroes.
 photo E4A913C9-AEA1-4911-86AC-1B3E6B37CCE1.jpg
The JLA reviews Woodrue’s warning of global destruction. He’s hellbent on killing mankind to allow plant life/The Green to reign supreme. He has decimated Lacriox, Louisiana and it seems that he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

Moore continues to develop the idea of The Green; the sentient realm of organic/plant-based life. Moore also starts to add humor into Swampy stories. Where his first few books were quite dramatic, this issue is peppered with humorous moments. The book is truly thrilling while touching upon on a number of themes including mental illness, idealism, loyalty, responsibility and love.

The panel below always makes me chuckle. While figuring out what to do, the JLA always upholds the code of manners. “shhhh.”
 photo AF26AB30-415A-40E9-A88C-6C96C5D90D6E.jpg
One of Woodrue’s plans is to increase the output of oxygen by plants, making the earth’s air highly flammable. This device is reused in future Swamp Thing books years later.
 photo 8B037735-EA36-43B3-ABE7-A788A2246431.jpg
After hearing just about enough, Green Lantern ends Woodrue’s transmission.
 photo DE2FBD9B-DC92-48A8-8F3C-01B3003F95DE.jpg

 photo EBFE51C2-D5C2-42F3-AC36-E37821DF5F66.jpg

I’m not sure how Moore feels about Firestorm but he certainly puts him in some funny conversations at the beginning of the book. It’s as if the JLA’s hothead can’t get any respect…
 photo 03C0B0C6-2FEF-42FA-B77F-A782D30833F9.jpg

“… yeah, well, don’t bother” Firestorm: The Fire-Redheaded Stepchild
 photo CDCEB79A-EE3A-42FC-97C3-47B80C0D3C5E.jpg
 photo F5C78593-D89E-4CCC-A069-347E4B4A3125.jpg

The JLA worries that their efforts have been focused elsewhere, on notable cities with large populations. “But who was watching out for Lacroix?”. Green Arrow’s question is answered soon enough. As you can see, some of DC’s greatest superheroes finally make it into the pages of Swamp Thing. It’s quite an exciting moment as some of them learn of Swamp Thing for the first time. If my memory serves me right, Superman is the only JLA member, represented in this book, to have previously encountered Swamp Thing. (Batman does not make an appearance in this book but is also a JLA member who has also encountered Swampy).
 photo 7D5390A9-8A2E-4589-BD07-7F98DF2320D0.jpg

Last issue, Swamp Thing was in a deep, contemplative sleep pondering his existence and purpose. Here, he has finally awoken from his slumber to try and restore some balance to the green. Woodrue is about to be in a world of hurt.
 photo 3F6CAD09-DE96-4A3C-BAC3-D8B822D8E80E.jpg
Above is another beautiful splash page by the creative team. The framing -with Swamp Thing’s arm coming into frame- reminds me of his very small appearance in Guy Gardner #29 “It’s My Party, and I’ll Fight If I Want To” (1995).

Below, you can see Swampy’s arm on the edge of the comic panel similar to title page.
 photo B6E64C56-704A-49D0-8DCB-1E5ECD32ED63.jpg

Surprised to see Swamp Thing, Woodrue thinks he has returned to join his side, in union, finishing off humanity. Unfortunately for Woodrue that’s not the case.
 photo 5B58A8EC-00AA-4E40-8B01-CF3559D9FC3A.jpg

After hearing just about enough, Swamp Thing ends Woodrue’s transmission.
 photo 3FF78484-63D4-4FD7-95F7-D8093E014033.jpg

The no-look punch by Swamp Thing is quite humorous. After a long rant by Woodrue, Swamp Thing nonchalantly punches him out of panel.
 photo 2FFF377C-CD9C-45DC-B311-6C47E7E09694.jpg

Woodrue doesn’t take kindly to the gesture and uses vines to restrain the muck-monster. The dialogue in this issue is really great. Moore continues to develop Swamp Thing’s identity while Woodrue and Swampy discuss the scenario they find themselves in. Both characters are in a transitional period, learning who/what they are along with what they are capable of.
 photo 73B12507-D5F9-42C5-A999-516FFDAE0097.jpg
 photo 97E7C51F-D499-427E-9530-3890B059F1F5.jpg

“That’s Woodrue?”, He’s “uglier than death backin’ outta the outhouse…”. One resident of Lacrioix, LA is no longer going to put up with Woodrue’s torment. During a fun exchange with Abby, the man humorously describes Woodrue, telling her he “ain’t runnin'”. He then proceeds to run off… to retrieve his Evangeline.
 photo FAF6274B-3572-4632-B187-3993B689F0D3.jpg

“I ain’t runnin’… I’m gonna be right back!”
 photo 75A9BC18-E828-4D42-81AA-89F42E147B75.jpg
The old man, sure enough, comes back with Evangeline ready to cut Woodrue down to size.
 photo FA74513C-1106-4D8A-AED6-0060E7C7F0EA.jpg

“I sure know a candy-butt when I see one.”
 photo 40456986-B8F0-46FC-9DCD-1A3E2CB19F89.jpg

Unfortunately it doesn’t end well for the ol’ timer. Woodrue dispenses of him and goes after Abby. “close your eyes, Mrs. Cable. Close your eyes and shout “timber.”
 photo 22418F03-089D-4333-AD68-68A7E976E0CE.jpg

I love the panel of Woodrue jumping toward Abby. His silhouette is very menacing and all you can really see are his creepy, yellow eyes.
 photo 0B4DE08E-239F-4FDF-9AD7-A67F7E1FD206.jpg

Swampy escapes Woodrue’s restraints and confronts him once again, advising him of his misinterpretation of the green. He has used his powers for evil. He will pay a price for his recklessness
 photo 44221ED8-EFD9-4495-863E-7048E6B16B3F.jpg
 photo 4408DC0A-F8BD-4280-B0A9-09A7B9582C88.jpg

In trying to rid the world of humans, Woodrue failed to account for the delicate balance both plant and animal play within the eco-system. Destroying one would surely compromise both. With the help of Swampy, Woodrue realizes his error and descends deeper into madness and no longer one with the green.
 photo ADE54CB0-3D9B-4BFC-9A7B-F53296DFC189.jpg
 photo 938CF44C-D66B-4126-98B5-BD5852AA6C30.jpg

Moore, Totleben and Bissette beautifully depict Woodrue’s fall. He is shattered, inconsolable, alone. For his reckless behavior, the green turns its back on him. Villains don’t necessarily think they are the antagonist. From their perspective they think they’re doing what others are afraid to, for the betterment of their cause.
 photo B04A221E-7BB5-48BD-812B-945D3B210589.jpg
 photo 0A75C587-9131-4B92-96CA-7D6FF05A9587.jpg

His plans thwarted and rejected by the plant world, Woodrue retreats to his camp in the bayou. He applies his skin makeup. He awaits the Justice League’s arrival.
 photo BF339A9B-E9ED-4D74-B1D0-8957A375CFF2.jpg
 photo E42EA217-814C-4F8C-8B8A-DD1B7E8F291D.jpg
 photo DC3C7AFD-26C6-4608-B817-F66707CA2DC6.jpg
Dispite his destructive behavior, Woodrue clearly needs help. the JLA take him in and away to Arkham.
 photo 94861090-C0AE-4D9B-A521-E5D1752ED198.jpg

After the dust settles, Abby and Swamp Thing address the state he’s in. Alec is no more. Moore ushers in a new era. From this point forward, the character is never the same. Abby is never the same. Matt Cable is never the same. Swamp Thing is developed further, solidifying his role as one of comics greatest characters.
 photo E193DB52-748D-4E20-9040-E9E45D14123B.jpg
 photo D4C8C03F-C26B-457F-9129-1AE2EA1FE630.jpg
 photo 00ACCFCD-41F0-4492-A7C9-00C60D24C408.jpg
 photo 13CEC837-2DA4-4BBC-8B34-4BB4FA262E4D.jpg
 photo 0AE0CB75-FA59-42F3-9FE0-BD53C264CE78.jpg
 photo EB7EF119-3C0F-4B82-A770-A2559F384972.jpg

The final panel with the JLA is interesting. Woodrue’s notes, scattered on the ground depict sketches and notes relating to Swamp Thing; notes from The Holland Report that Woodrue worked under Sunderland.
 photo 89DE7EB7-8710-4B0B-B163-554506F457E3.jpg
“facial structures of Alec Holland”
 photo 82643AE7-3153-4033-B82B-3CA15171E714.jpg
 photo FAE28C50-7914-4670-883F-0CC7289A49E5.jpg
One of the crumpled pieces of paper bears the name of French post-impressionist painter, “Henri Rousseau” along with what appears to be one of his paintings. Like Dr Jason Woodrue, Rousseau was ridiculed during his lifetime; “His ingenuousness was extreme, and he always aspired, in vain, to conventional acceptance.” –ref
 photo 8AAB23FB-B724-4BDD-B64C-11ABF643D0A2.jpg

The JLA is grateful for Swampy’s efforts. Superman doesn’t tell the rest of the group about Swamp Thing. He says below that he doesn’t know what happened and I’m not completely sure he is alluding to Swampy, specifically when says, “be grateful that there’s something watching out…” This being said, 5 years after Swampy and Superman’s encounter in DC Comics Presents 8, The Sixty Deats of Solomon Grundy.
 photo 2AE3A1CD-D23C-4489-84C9-6771AB7F67D3.jpg
 photo 6804E456-4C8B-4A8A-894C-A2FBB6FF92DC.jpg

In typical fashion, Swamp Thing lumbers off into the swamp, alone. But this book differs in that it ends with this amazing, celebratorial pose.
 photo 4BBB1536-73CB-4A09-ACE2-297482E965CA.jpg

Ads:
the spectacular artwork doesn’t seem to stop in this issue.  The back features a preview image for issue 25.
 photo 1245BC33-E3F1-4210-A281-7DD27F0FA408.jpg

Advertisements

One thought on “Swamp Thing 24 “Roots”

  1. hey bud
    I’m sure you already know this, but just in case…
    Swampy’s legs appear on pg 15 of that Guy Gardner issue 29.
    be funny if an appearance was hiding in your collection. it’s happened to me and they are the most fun to find.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s