Swamp Thing’s Spring, So Far

This Spring has been fun for Swamp Thing fans. The current, The Swamp Thing series reintroduced Tefé Holland in this month’s issue. And-as Im sure you’ve already heard-Perkins and Ram V’s series was extended to 16 issues. I greatly anticipate the delayed Swamp Thing Green Hell #2 (rescheduled to release May 17th), but having Tefé back in the title is helping me forget all about it. The Swamp Thing #11 is beautifully drawn. Below is the cover to this month’s issue #11.

Above: The Swamp Thing #11 covers – 2 variants

Speaking of the recent Swampy series: I received this beautiful Mike Perkins page last week. It’s page #9 from The Swamp Thing #9 (2022). And it features numerous instances of Swamp Thing.

Some of the images on the various monitors look inspired by past Swamp Thing books.

Monitors – Image Detail 1
Monitors – Image Detail 2
Continue reading “Swamp Thing’s Spring, So Far”

Grundy’s Voices Leaving Breadcrumbs

Swamp Thing and Solomon Grundy have a long history going back to April of 1979, within DC Comics Presents #8. Their paths have crossed in various comics since ‘79 but I was recently reminded of Grundy’s appearances during Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing run. In Rick Veitch’s transformative “Infernal Triangles” story arc (Swamp Thing #77-#81) a new plant elemental was ushered into the world to replace Swamp Thing. The story arc featured numerous DC characters, involved crossover appearances, as well as various mentions/references. The covers/comics pictured below do not feature Grundy but they helped launch the ”Infernal Triangles” story arc.

Hellblazer #9, Swamp Thing #77 & Hellblazer #10

Recently, fellow Swamp Thing fan Alex Galer let me know that Veitch’s arc and Grundy provided more references than I was aware of. As I mentioned at the beginning, ”Infernal Triangles” involved ushering a new plant elemental into the world. Solomon Grundy was an intended host (albeit unwilling and unknowing) to receive the new plant elemental sporling. I’m sure you’re aware by now that the plan didn’t work out with Grundy and the new plant elemental. But, the failed attempt created repercussions that can be found within numerous comics including: Infinity Inc #39 (1987), Infinity Inc #46 (1988), Starman #48 (1998), Starman #49 (1999) and a handful of Swamp Thing books, primarily Swamp Thing #67 “The Wisdom of Solomon” (Series 2) from December 1987. Two books you can add to that list are below.

Infinity Inc #44 & #47

Alex was rereading the Infinity Inc. series when he discovered the references. They can be found within Infinity Inc. #44 “In the Midst of Death” (Nov 1987) and Infinity Inc. #47 “Outback and Back in Beverly Hills” (Feb 1988). Both references relate to Solomon Grundy’s connection to Rick Veitch’s ”Infernal Triangles” story arc. Within Infinity Inc. #44, Solomon Grundy turned green. He was also summoned by voices. The voices tried to guide him to the new Earth Elemental. Grundy was not happy being green. As we all know, it’s not easy…

Infinity Inc #44 – 1987
Infinity Inc #44 – 1987

In Infinity Inc #44, Grundy can be seen leaving town, in search of the voices in his head. Questions are answered within Swamp Thing #67 “The Wisdom of Solomon.” The cover, seen below, may give the impression that Swamp Thing battled the Hulk. But, its Grundy. In Infinity Inc. #44, Grundy’s skin turned green in preparation for his merger with the Green and the Earth Elemental sprout.

Grundy didn’t make for a good host for either of the Elementals. He delivered a large serving of suffering for our friend Swampy.

Continue reading “Grundy’s Voices Leaving Breadcrumbs”

It’s a Mi Gran Aventura Sunday

It felt like a great day to pull out some of my Mexican, Mi Gran Adventura pocket books… so I did! These little beauties measure 14cm x 19.37cm, and were published by National Periodical Publications, Inc. The logo, EN can be seen in the corner of each book cover. It stands for Editorial Navaro, the imprint. 

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Above are issues #153, 155 and 158 of the Aguila series. “Aguila”, is an indicator of the size of the book. If I recall, Navaro released Mi Gran Aventura books in a couple different sizes.

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I’m not a Mexican comics wiz/know-it-all, but the kind folks over at the Global Comic Safari are. Check out this link where they break down some of the Mexican Navaro formats.

Mi Gran Aventura #2-153, Serie Águila (June 1977)

This copy of #153 has seen better days but I’m thrilled just to have a copy in my collection. The book reprints, Swamp Thing #9 The Stalker From Beyond (April 1974) along with a backup story. The Stalker From Beyond was written by Len Wein. Bernie Wrightson handled the artwork.

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Continue reading “It’s a Mi Gran Aventura Sunday”

The Swamp Thing 1-4 Review

The Swamp Thing – 2021

I held off on reading this new Swamp Thing series because I wanted to enjoy reading the first four issues in one sitting. I also expected the first few books to be light in content, stringing me along with one vague cliffhanger after another. I was absolutely wrong in having that opinion/preconception. I loved the first book so much that I paused reading so that I could jot down some initial thoughts regarding how great it is. Mike Perkins illustrates an amazing world for Swamp Thing.

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Ram V’s writing feels much smarter and smoother than most stories being written today. I’m really enjoying his pacing. His story telling isn’t heavy with exposition. He drops you into an intense, mysterious scenario that you unravel along with the characters, Swamp Thing/Levi Kamei. Perhaps it’s how the characters are written, or Ram V’s timing, but the story feels like a classic episode of the Twilight Zone. I was effortlessly drawn into this new Swamp Thing world.
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Ram V does a fantastic job of introducing various plot threads. Whether through dreams, flashbacks or while Swampy spontaneously regenerates, Ram V keeps the story moving by presenting multiple vignettes. This style of storytelling makes the reader feel as if they are getting a rich, multifaceted story within each single issue. Rich storytelling is why I enjoy the Alan Moore series so much. It feels like you’re getting more per issue, like Mike Perkins and Ram V’s series. Continue reading “The Swamp Thing 1-4 Review”

Swamp Thing’s in Hell Again, Merlin Recalls

The Demon #51 “Sons and Lovers” September 1994

Swamp Thing appears in a flashback in this Demon book. While Merlin (the not so magical magician) reminisces about the good ol’ days in Hell, a very small Swamp Thing can be seen. Merlin was a fly on the wall when Swampy, Deadman, Constantine, Spectre, Etrigan, Phantom Stranger, etc. battled the Great Darkness/Shadow in Swamp Thing #50 “The End” (July 1986).

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In this Demon story arc, Etrigan is trying to bring his child into the Earthly plain and it could cause destruction for mankind. Merlin and Jason blood are heavily featured in this book and they discuss how to handle the situation. Jason Blood’s ex-girlfriend is expecting the child in six weeks. As you can imagine the plot certainly thickens. 
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Merlin tells Jason Blood and Thing-That-Cannot-Die his perilous venture through Hell. The two think it’s hilarious that Merlin no longer has his powers.

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Merlin references the grand showdown in hell involving Swamp Thing and his team (see Swamp Thing #50). If you’re familiar with Alan Moore’s “American Gothic” story arc you’re well aware of the fun involved with that story coming to a head in Hell.

I’ve enlarged and rotated the image of Swamp Thing, below. As you can see from the panel his appearance isn’t very big but he looks great.

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I love the way Chris Alexander (penciler) and Rick Bryant (inker) depict Shadow’s arm within the book. I wonder if they inspired Nick Gazin’s Run The Jewels’ artwork (below). They’ve got great matching nails… wishful thinking.

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Lucifer’s Guardian of the Green Says Goodbye

Lucifer #49 “The Widow: Wire, Briar, Limber Lock II” (June 2004)

This issue of Lucifer features the Guardian of the Green. He’s little, with plenty of fight in him and looks a lot like Swamp Thing.

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The book primarily focuses on Elaine Belloc (daughter of Michael Demiurgos, and the successor to Heaven’s throne) and Mazikeen (demon and the companion to Lucifer Morningstar) finalizing their campaign to evict all immortals from Lucifer’s Cosmos. “We were told to weed out those who do not die.” Lucifer made it law that all immortals must be evicted or they would be killed.

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While venturing though Lucifer’s Cosmos, Elaine and Mazikeen meet up with their “team.” Mazikeen senses that the forest is attacking them and takes action. Elaine merges with the Green to investigate why the forest is attacking. It turns out, The Green’s Guardian is one of the last two immortals that must be expelled or killed.
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Elaine realizes that she is encountering one of the last immortals in Lucifer’s Cosmos. She refers to the little green guy as, “The Guardian of the Green.” The plant elemental, although not called Swamp Thing, looks a lot like him. I don’t think this counts as a true Swamp Thing appearance but the similarities warrant it being listed in my appearance list. I like to think of the Swampy lookalike as an extension of Swamp Thing.

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Continue reading “Lucifer’s Guardian of the Green Says Goodbye”

Swamp Thing Awaits A New Reality in 1963

1963, Book 6 – The Tomorrow Syndicate “From Here to Alternity!” (October 1993)

1963 is another fun Alan Moore series where he presents a parallel universe of previously established comic book superheroes—think Watchmen but far more playful. Rick Veitch & Don Simpson are in on the fun as pencilers. Dave Gibbons provides the inks. With a creative team so familiar with Swamp Thing, you know he made his way into this book. Moore & Veitch of course worked on the Swamp Thing series. Don Simpson drew Swamp Thing back in ‘87 for the Comics Journal #117 cover. He also referenced Swamp Thing in his Megaton Man series in 1985. Here are links to Megaton Man #5 & Megaton Man #6. To round things out, in the early 80s Dave Gibbons submitted artwork to DC to audition as a Swamp Thing artist. The submitted work was later published in Watching the Watchmen, here.

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This book pays homage to Silver Age superheroes. The Tomorrow Syndicate is a team similar to the Avengers. The more familiar looking characters are USA (Captain America), N-Man (Hulk), and Horus the Lord of Light (Thor). In the book, the Tomorrow Syndicate is looking for another superhero group, Mystery Incorporated. They search for the missing team in New York City after picking up a suspicious radiation source.

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Underneath New York City, the Tomorrow Syndicate discovers a technological labyrinth leading to Alternity, “a sort of clearing house between realities.” Within Alternity’s busy corridors, two familiar superheroes can be found. Below, within two different lines, you can spot Swamp Thing and Superman.

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Superman can be seen holding his Death Certificate, on the left. Swamp Thing is on the right, and a little harder to make out because he’s colored dark green. I messed with the contrast of my photo to make Swampy a little more noticeable, below. Swamp Thing and Superman, like many other travelers, are making their way through Alternity to reach their desired realities. Since this book was published in 1993, I’m assuming Veitch is referencing Swamp Thing’s many adventures throughout time and space.

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Continue reading “Swamp Thing Awaits A New Reality in 1963”

Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Swamp Thing Say, “Relax”

Wonder Woman (Vol 3) #19 – June 2008

This issue of Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman features a special and very small Swamp Thing reference. It’s the culmination of a passé pop culture reference & our favorite muck-encrusted mockery of a man. 
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How did a Swamp Thing/Frankie Goes to Hollywood t-shirt make its way to the planet Khundia? The book takes place on Khundia and the majority of it centers around Wonder Woman fighting the Green Lantern, Procanon Kaa. Amidst the fighting and chaos, Wonder Woman’s new friend, Kho Kharhi shows up in the super cool t-shirt!
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Khundia doesn’t have a lot going for it. It’s a dark world, forever eclipsed by its own moon. It’s massively overpopulated and militant, but at least the inhabitants understand the power of a fun t-shirt and fandom. They also enjoy their MTV (see Wonder Woman #18 – May 2008). Continue reading “Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Swamp Thing Say, “Relax””

Swamp Thing, the Smear on Rip Hunter’s Time Sphere

Time Masters #5 “Good Times… Bad Times” June 1990

Before getting into this really fun Swamp Thing appearance/reference, I want to circle back to Swamp Thing’s birthday. I don’t think DC plans to celebrate Swampy’s 50th the way Marvel has with Man-Thing. So in honor of our favorite swamp monster’s birthday, I’ve decided to take action and hold a virtual birthday party. Last week, I reached out to Swamp Thing creators & fans to participate in the fun and I’ve received amazing responses. The party will be live on youtube, May 25th at 9pm CST. The evening will include birthday wishes from some of Swamp Thing’s oldest and familiar friends. We’ll be discussing great moments in Swamp Thing history and sharing personal stories of how Swampy has become a part of our lives. There will also be Swamp Thing giveaways and so much more. The wonderful podcast, The Grail Keepers will be hosting the birthday party with me on their YouTube channel. I encourage you to join in the fun and the live conversations. As the date gets closer I’ll be sharing even more information, along with familiar faces. Below is a teaser image I’ve been sharing on social media.

50th Bday Hype (1)

Now, onto the book!
I’ve been posting more Swamp Thing cameos than Swampy books lately. But, the cameos are the fun sightings that tie everything together. This issue of Time Masters is a great example of continuity and crossovers.

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Most readers recall Swampy’s adventures through time while Rick Veitch was the writer on Swamp Thing. It was around the time of DC Comic’s Invasion event. Swampy’s time travel troubles began in Swamp Thing #80, “The Longest Day.” In the book, Swamp Thing was lured out of his body and sent hurdling through time. It was the master plan put forth by Dominators, to get Swamp Thing out of the picture. The events were very disorienting for Swampy. Each book placed him in a different, significant time in Earth’s history. During his time travels, Swamp Thing bumped into many notable, historic figures, but in this post I’m focusing on the time Swamp Thing bumped into Rip Hunter. 

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The image above is from Time Masters #5, published in June 1990. The image below is from Swamp Thing #86, published in May 1989. One year after Rick Veitch included Time Masters, Rip Hunter & Jeff Smith into Swampy #86, the two characters continued the story continuity in Time Masters #5.

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In Swamp Thing #86, while traveling through the time stream, Swampy collided with Rip Hunter’s Time Sphere. The collision resulted in Swamp Thing being knocked off course as you can see above. The collision sent Swamp Thing back to 1780. For Rip Hunter and the Time Masters, the consequences were less severe. The Time Sphere required minor repairs and a good scrubbing. As you can see from the panels above, Swamp Thing inadvertently left a bit of himself on the Time Sphere. Continue reading “Swamp Thing, the Smear on Rip Hunter’s Time Sphere”

Swamp Thing Helps The Hssfsstss

Martian Manhunter #11 “Pilgrims” (Volume 2) October 1999

Throughout his history, Swamp Thing has been known to leave his mark in space. Outside of the Swamp Thing title series, there have been a handful of space based appearances that I really enjoy. Adam Strange Book #2 (April 1990) is a good one. Time Masters #5 (June 1990)-which I will write about soon-has a really fun, Swampy appearance in it. This Martian Manhunter book provides a wonderful glimpse into Swamp Thing taking the time to inspire and empower a race of plants.

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It’s the 853rd Century. Hssfsstss are a race of sentient plants. They travel throughout space in cool, little pods. They put their roots down on alien worlds and help heal plant-based illness. They are also storytellers. They tell their history and of their admiration for the “two green men… one of our creation, one of our salvation.” In this book, we learn of the two green men who helped develop the Hssfsstss race.

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Before the Hssfsstss became nomadic, healing heads of cabbage, they were a grouping of telepathic plants on their home planet. Before the great, green men arrived, they were rather unremarkable. The Hssfsstss’ sentience was taught to them by Swamp Thing. The space travel came from J’onn J’onzz.

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It sounds like there is a lot to unpack here but it’s pretty simple. This book takes place in the 853rd Century. The Hssfsstss recall its origin story which occurred in the 20th century, circa 1987. It plays out as a flashback within the comic. Most Swamp Thing fans have fond memories of Swampy’s space travels in 1987, especially in issue #56 “My Blue Heaven.” Continue reading “Swamp Thing Helps The Hssfsstss”

Swamp Thing is Back, Scaring Kids at the Carnival

House of Mystery #304 – May 1982
I… Vampire! “The Night Has Eyes”

Swamp Thing is back at it, making an appearance at a carnival, scaring children. You probably remember when Swampy was giving Clark Kent & Lana Lang a fright in, Superboy 198 (1973) “The Fatal Five Who Twisted Time.” In House of Mystery 304 (May 1982), Swamp Thing is an attraction in the Fun House! I just found out about this appearance thanks to a fellow Swamp Thing fan on Instagram. Thank you Theodore!

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In this story, Mary Queen of Blood has a plan to kidnap J. Brown Wooley’s granddaughter. Who’s Wooley? See below
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Andrew Bennet stands in the way of Mary’s plans, so she drives a stake into his chest. She has her henchmen display Bennett’s body in a coffin as a carnival Fun House attraction. Not far from Bennett’s coffin, a wax statue of Swamp Thing appears next to the Wolf Man.

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The Swamp Thing statue looks stylized with elongated ears and fangs. The carnival ride looks more like a haunted house than a fun house. In regards to Swamp Thing continuity, House of Mystery 304 was released the same month as, The Saga of the Swamp Thing 1 “What Peace There May Be in Silence” (Series 2) May 1982. Continue reading “Swamp Thing is Back, Scaring Kids at the Carnival”

The Eaglemoss Collections

We were fortunate to see numerous trade paperbacks and omnibus released in the past few years. If you’re a completist like me, they no doubt put a kink in your cash flow. I don’t regret purchasing them but I do overthink the situation while paying for a story I already own.

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My favorite recently released Swamp Thing collection was the Nancy Collins omnibus, released last year. Nancy wrote some of my favorite Swamp Thing books and they are the stories I revisit most often. Nancy’s omnibus is slated to be reprinted, so if you missed out the first time around be sure to grab a copy. The other recent trade paperbacks that I absolutely love were released by Eaglemoss in 2018. They just arrived in the mail last week and I wish they were more widely available. The UK editions were part of a subscription based service, much like the one linked here. Because of this, they were a little harder to track down. Part 1 was easier to come by than Part 2.

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These two UK Eaglemoss editions are the perfect jumping on point for those interested in getting to know who Swamp Thing is. The two books feature some of the greatest Swampy stories by Alan Moore. Both books feature biographies of the talent that crafted the stories. Both books feature a page of backstory so you know what you’re jumping into. Part 1 features House of Secrets #92, while Part 2 features Swamp Thing #1. Having the two books together provides a well rounded start to a great character (the greatest). 

I took some photos of the key portions of the books. Below is Part 1.

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The cover features the artwork of Michael Zulli. This awesome depiction of Swampy has been featured on trade paperbacks, playing cards, a poster, and inspired 2 statues & 2 action figures. It was also featured in an Alice Cooper comic! Continue reading “The Eaglemoss Collections”

Swamp Thing is 50 & a Christmas Tree

Swamp Thing is 50 this year. House of Secrets 92 was in stores in/around April of 1971. July is on the cover. Whether you celebrated this month or wait until July, it’s fun to recognize the greatest swamp monster in comics. I’ve been thinking quite a bit  about how to celebrate. Not like me sitting across from a Swampy Statue, similar to the end of 16 candles, but with fellow Swamp Thing fans. Something interactive would be fun. Well, I’m hatching a plan and will have more info soon. Here’s a teaser image I’ve shared on social media 1, 2. 

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Speaking of celebrating (and obscure appearances), if a Christmas tree shows up in a comic book, Swamp Thing is a terrific candidate to play the role. He does just that in, Guy Gardner: Warrior #39 “Merriment, Mistletoe, and… Mayhem” (Volume 1) February 1996

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Guy Gardner is hosting a Christmas Party and many DC Comics heroes are in attendance. Guy has the blues and is slow in joining the party, but Swamp Thing jumped right in. Zatanna, Atom and Deadman help in getting Swamp Thing looking like the glorious Christmas tree he deserves to be.
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Below is page 11, which features Swamp Thing. Guy finally came downstairs to join the party. Clark Kent can be seen in the bottom right corner of the page.

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Regarding Swamp Thing continuity, the cameo is meant only to serve this holiday themed issue. It does not continue the narrative from Swamp Thing issues #163 & 164. Guy Gardner: Warrior #39 Was released the same month as Swamp Thing 163. Around this time in his ongoing title (January 1996), Swamp Thing is being written by Mark Millar and drawn by Phil Hester. His storyline at the time focuses on Swampy dipping his toes in the waters of the Parliament of Waves.