DC kicks the code

Saga of the Swamp Thing 29 (1984)
Love and Death

There are a number of reasons why this book is great but it’s special in that DC released it without the Comics Code approval. With this issue, Swamp Thing takes another significant step in leaving his mark in comic book history. Moving forward, DC decided to stop submitting the book for Comics Code approval. This further allowed the creative team to explore taboo subject matter and the nightmarish situations within Swamp Thing’s world.
I can recall the progression of most Swamp books but I tend to forget the pacing of the stories. Rereading the chronology revitalizes my excitement for the story telling and craftsmanship. This issue is a great example. It’s terrifying what Abby goes through and Moore tells the terrifying experience all too well. So well that it would  eventually make him the subject of intense debate on how he depicts and perceives women.

I’ve read this book numerous times and it still seems to kick my brain around. This is the seemingly cursed, nightmare life of the Arcane family. None of them get out unscathed…
Continue reading “DC kicks the code”

Swamp Thing 27 (series 2)

Saga of the Swamp Thing 27 (1984)
By Demons Driven

Gone, gone the form of man. Oh, look it’s Etrigan… breaking through another window. The tale involving the Monkey King carries on as Etrigan takes invasive maneuvers at Elysium Lawns.

The evidence is there. Jason Blood’s Morning After Window Repair biz could be a lucrative venture. His arial entrance is repeated on the cover of John Byrne’s Wonder Woman 107 (1996).

Pandemonium’s broken out at the children’s hospital. Two demons and a vegetable monster duke it out while Abby and the kids of the Elysium Lawns hospital find a safe place away from the chaos.

It’s clear that Etrigan is here to destroy the Monkey King but at what cost?!

Abby’s new job is proving to be extremely stressful. Swamp Thing joins the fight so that she can get Paul to a safe place. Etrigan realizing the Monkey King is a manifestation, influenced by Paul, has no problem taking on the collateral damage. If he can’t beat the monkey, he’ll have to destroy Paul. Continue reading “Swamp Thing 27 (series 2)”

Saga of the Swamp Thing 26

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 26 (1984)
…A Time of Running


Swamp Fact:
This issue, along with the previous issue 25, are the only books that deviate from the series two Swamp Thing logo until issue 57, where a question mark was added.

This swamp fact is brought to you by the informative fellas at the
Wednesday Comics Podcast.
I don’t always have time to read the books I want every week which is why the Wednesday Comics Podcast is such a great resource for reviews and to catch up on what’s new. I appreciate good comics podcasts when I find them and I’ve recently teamed up with the Wednesday Comics Podcast to help spread the word regarding rootsoftheswampthing.com. Now… onto issue 26!

The book starts out with a frantic foot race to Elysium Lawns; Abby’s new place of employment. Swamp Thing pulls Abby through the marsh, hoping to stop the Monkey King before it’s too late.

amazing layouts and beautiful splash pages…

“It began with blood.”
Picking up where issue 25 left off: immediately after the marlin skewering of Harry Price, Jason Blood and Abigail Cable visit coffee. Continue reading “Saga of the Swamp Thing 26”

Saga of the Swamp Thing 25

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, Sting (who eventually becomes John Constantine) makes an appearance; albeit, a small one. This Sting sighting is a full year before his official first Constantine appearance in Swamp Thing 37 (June 1985). It’s known that Totleben and Bissette were pushing to work in a character that looked like musician, Sting.

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.
Continue reading “Saga of the Swamp Thing 25”

Swamp Thing 24 “Roots”

Swamp Thing 24 (1984)

“Enter: The Justice League of America!”

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!

Not only does Moore, Totleben and Bissette deliver an awesome story, they provide some humorous moments and a heaping pile of super heroes.
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.”
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.
After hearing just about enough, Green Lantern ends Woodrue’s transmission.
Continue reading “Swamp Thing 24 “Roots””

Saga of the Swamp Thing 23

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 23 (1984)
Another Green World


Swamp Thing’s still in a deep sleep, his consciousness traveling the currents of the green, exploring and questioning the depths of his being. Moore establishes Swamp Thing in the world of the green, redefining it as well as the red; plants vs animals.

This issue ushered in the era of Bissette and Tottleben’s gorgeous splash pages. Their dramatic title pages and splash pages have been repurposed/used on trades, shirts, posters, ads, etc. The amazing artwork certainly helped to draw me in as a fan when I first discovered Swampy.

“somewhere quiet… somewhere green and timeless…”

Meanwhile: Woodrue, insane with power is misappropriating his recently obtained power and knowledge of the green for evil; very dark, dark stuff…
Continue reading “Saga of the Swamp Thing 23”

Saga of the Swamp Thing 22 (series 2)

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 22 (1986)

As the cover indicates, the book has it all. It features many of Swamp Thing’s old adversaries. It also exemplifies the amazing turn that the title takes with Moore, Totleben and Bissette at the helm. This is a book with a lot to see and digest. It’s a story that feels much larger than a single issue. Bissette and Totleben put on a clinic with their beautifully crafted panels while Moore constructs two worlds -psychological and physical, both depicting the depths of despair- tightly woven together. The book gives us a heaping helping of Alan Moore’s rambling descriptions that sometimes may not enhance the story but are greatly appreciated.

This era of Swamp Thing tends to warrant a closer look. As I previously mentioned, the book has it all.

Refresher: last we saw Swamp Thing in issue 21, he learned that he is no longer human but merely a sentient vegetable. Upon learning the news, he kills General Sunderland and escapes Sunderland Corp HQ with the help of Dr Woodrue. Swamp Thing hightails it from Virginia down to Houma, Louisiana where this whole mess started. Swamp Thing returns home to try and put the pieces together. Abby and Matt Cable have been looking for Swamp Thing ever since he went missing after the shooting.

In an interview with Amazing Heroes 39 (1984) Moore says, “…we’re taking him a lot, lot further. We have him stay in the same place for probably a month, he doesn’t even move”.  Moore builds an extremely compelling story even though the lead character is incapacitated.

Swamp Thing has returned to Houma, severed ties with humanity and resides in a rooted, sedentary state; painfully deep in reflection.
849EB464-95A1-47CC-9339-57DA7EACB816 Continue reading “Saga of the Swamp Thing 22 (series 2)”