DC Through the 80’s – The Experiments: A Storied Survey of the Decade that Changed Comics Forever
This installment of DC Through the 80’s was released last month and I was eager to get my hands on the 504 page hardcover. I love editions that collect various DC stories (see DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest circa 1980), and this book includes fun insight into the stories and what was happening at DC Comics at the time of their release. DC Through the 80’s sheds light on the creative choices, business decisions, and industry environment of the era. DC was allowing artists and writers to make bold choices in their craft/trade and the results provided some of the best comics ever created. From the cover alone, you know you are in for a treat. This book is the follow up to, DC Through the 80s: The End of Eras which was released in 2020. You can find a copy here.
Swamp Thing appears in two stories within this edition. He kicks off the Vertigo section of the book with, Swamp Thing #40 “The Curse” from 1985. The Moore, Bissette, Totleben story was part of the wildly engaging and inspired story arc, An American Gothic.
In his book, Writing for Comics (2003) Alan Moore discussed Swamp Thing issue #40: “This story was about the difficulties endured by women in masculine societies, using the common taboo of menstruation as the central motif. The plot concerned a young married woman moving into a new home built upon the site of an old Indian lodge and finding herself possessed by the dominating spirit that still resided there, turning her into a werewolf.” Even though issue #40 of Swamp Thing is overlooked/underrated by many, it’s an excellent example of the inspired level of thought going into the comics being made. These were not run of the mill stories involving caped crusaders, but rich tales with themes involving cultural history, relationships, and what it means to be human.
The second story within DC Through the 80’s – The Experiments to feature Swamp Thing is Wolfman & Perez’s, “History of the DC Universe – Book Two.” Swamp Thing is featured on the cover within the word, “the” as well as within the story.
The cover image can be found within the story, below.
Backing up to the beginning of, DC Through the 80’s – The Experiments, Levitz provides the intro, below. Paul Levitz spearheaded the DC Through the 80’s edition series and was Editor.
This book features over 20 stories along with essays from creators and industry professionals from the time. Below is the table of contents.
From the table of contents above, you can tell you’re getting a hefty collection of great books with this edition. I’m thrilled to add it to my shelves next to the huge Swamp Thing omnibuses that have come out in the past few years. Below are some photos I snapped of my favorite stories within DC Through the 80’s – The Experiments.