The Saga of the Swamp Thing 25 (1984)
“The Sleep of Reason…”
Swamp Thing isn’t the only one who’s settling back into Houma. Jason Blood has arrived via Greyhound, Abby is looking for employment and Matt Cable sinks deeper into his psychosis; living nightmare. The Monkey King is introduced, wreaking havoc within the realm of the dark arts and conveniently enough John Constantine makes an appearance; albeit, a small one. This Constantine sighting is a full year before his official first appearance in Swamp Thing 37 (June 1985). He can also be seen in DC Sampler #3 (November 1984), released 8months prior to ST 37. The creative team did a good job of planning the series out well in advance.
Enter: Harold Price…
Before we know of his intentions down in Louisiana, Blood uses most of his time to inform random people of their impending doom. …at least he warned them, I suppose.
Jason Blood settles in.
Meanwhile, Abby and Swamp Thing spend an afternoon together in the swamp. Since reanimating and waking from his slumber, Swamp Thing and Abby get reacquainted. They appear to be closer than ever, catching up on the riverbank.
Abby informs Swamp Thing that she has been searching for a job. A lead she found involves working with autistic children at a local hospital. Working a challenging job that she is not accustomed to may be just what she needs to destract her from how crazy her personal life has become.
Yesterday: During Abby’s interview and prospective job walk-through, Abby meets one of the patients, Paul…
Paul has an uncomfortable intensity and not much of a filter.
Although intimidated by the job, Abby is intrigued. She knows the pain and struggle Paul has gone through. She’s no stranger to death and tragedy.
Back in the bayou, Abby and Swampy wrap up their visit. She must get back to Matt before traveling to Baton Rogue.
An example of Moore developing Swamp Thing’s characteristics. Most writers prior to Moore never explored the capabilities of Swamp Thing’s body structure; it’s floral makeup, ability to adapt with indigenous plant life, travel, etc. Below, Autumn is around the corner and effecting Swampy’s lush coat.
Autumn is coming
Abby returns to Matt at the Briar Wood Motor Inn.
there have been multiple warning signs and examples that Matt Cable has been heading off the rails for some time now. His encounters with Abby occur less and less, rife with verbal abuse, alcoholism, and manipulation. It’s hardly something that would be recognized as a relationship anymore.
Once Abby leaves, Matt makes her clothes perform for his twisted pleasure. The monsters surrounding him are a nice foreshadowing for what is to come.
Jason Blood… still making his way through Houma, spreading foreboding news. This scene where he tells another resident of his impending doom is really great.
Swamp Thing reflects upon his transition from being Alec Holland
Remember Harry, from before?
Jason was right on all accounts. The tragic incident unfolds at the end of the story.
Probably not a coincidence that Jason Blood finds Abby near the scene of the accident. Also at the scene, strangely enough, John Constantine.
John “Sting” Constantine certainly notices Abby.
Bloood makes his presence known. He’s got business with Abigail Arcane.
I love how Moore weaves the multiple plot strands together. Amongst other things, Swampy is dealing with no longer being a human, Abby is strue going at life with Matt along with her new job, the Monkey King is going around killing people and Jason Blood cruises into town. Nowadays comics barely introduce a storyline in a single issue. Moore’s single issues feel complete. He presents multiple levels but with clarity, all while juggling multiple story arcs.
Earlier we met Paul, an autistic child currently living in the hospital that Abby will be working at. It is mentioned that his parents were brutally killed but the murders were never solved. In a flashback, we see that it was… THE MONKEY KING! well, the Ouija board maybe didn’t help either.
There is a connection between Paul and the Monkey King. How Moore depicts Matt Cable, able to conjure demons and with telepathically powers, the books delves deeper into the dark arts making it a likely scenario that Paul is conjuring the Monkey King.