What seems to be a significant development in the DCU, the new Walmart Exclusive Swamp Thing #4 revealed the full name of Swamp Thing’s current associate… Briar Woodrue! As you may know, Woodrue is the surname of Floronic Man, AKA Jason Woodrue/Plant Man/Floro/Plant Master/Seeder. This revelation creates extremely fun plot opportunities to explore.
Jason Woodrue has a rich history within the DC Universe as a B-list, plant wielding villian, first appearing in The Atom #1 (1962). Prior to adopting the name “Floronic Man” (-see The Flash #245, 1976), Woodrue went toe-to-toe with classic DC characters such as, Wonder Woman, The Atom & the Justice League. Along with being involved in the Atom’s origin story, Woodrue played an integral role in the creation of Poison Ivy. While working as a college professor in the Pacific Northwest in the ’60s, Woodrue seduced and experimented on one of his young students, Pamela Isley. These torturous experiments gave birth to one of DC’s most notable villains. Now, it seems that Woodrue’s experiments have extended his family tree.
Note: The Poison Ivy origin I am referencing is post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, not the Earth-One version.
Throughout the series, hints and allusions are made regarding Briar Woodrue’s family/origin. In Swamp Thing #1 (Walmart Exclusive, 2019), Swamp Thing explains,
“she says she’d defended herself, telling the FBI agents that her mother’s ravenous and demanding rhododendron had directed the crime. The flowers had spoken to her all her life. That mistake, she says, leads her to understand why the man we’re hunting would want to escape the psychiatric ward he was held in until very recently.”
Swamp Thing’s narration in issue #1 paired with the reveal of Briar’s full name in issue #4 leads me to believe, Jason Woodrue and Poison Ivy have a child. The methods in which the two villains created the child, I’m sure, are as sordid as it gets and hopefully more backstory comes to light. Knowing Ivy and Woodrue’s past, the two would seem more likely to throw one another under a bus before collaborating.
Continue reading “Poison Ivy & Jason Woodrue have a child?”
The DC Universe by Len Wein – 2019
The DC Universe by Len Wein was released last month and I had to get a hold of it to see what great Swamp Thing goodness is inside. The book collects 23 of Len’s greatest stories including the last Swamp Thing book he wrote, Swamp Thing Winter Special #1. As you’re aware, Len created Swamp Thing along with Bernie Wrightson and Joe Orlando in 1971. In December of 2017, Len’s last Swamp Thing story was published following his sudden passing on September 10 of 2017.
The book collects Len’s stories throughout his career, from 1968 to one of the last stories he wrote. The book includes, Teen Titans #18, Phantom Stranger #20-24, Justice League of America #100-102, Action Comics #419-420, 422-423, 425-426, 429, 432, DC Comics Presents #27-29, Justice League of America 80-Page Giant #2, DC Retroactive: Green Lantern—The ‘80s: Big Betrayal #1 and Swamp Thing Winter Special #1.
Below are a few pages from within the book.
Continue reading “The DC Universe by Len Wein”
Harley Quinn 50
Harley Quinn Destroys DC Continuity
Swamp Thing has been popping up in various titles lately but Harley Quinn’s “Extra-Sized Anniversary Issue”, 50 has been the zaniest of them all. Swampy appears two separate times within the book, drawn by John Timms and John McRea, respectively.
It’s all hands on deck as Harley’s mixed up in a continuity kerfuffle. The book, written by Sam Humphries, features 15 artists teamed-up to tell a topsy turvy tale rooted in fandom. Sam Humphries does a great job poking fun at the DC continuity issues of late. Oh, and Harley is out to find her mother as well.
Swamp Thing appears in the title page spread along with a slew of other DC characters, emerging from a melting pot of Elseworlds. John Timms draws a great Swampy!
Timms also does a killer Swamp Thing shoulder. Within one of the panels on the title page, Harley passes Swampy and I believe she may be calling him a “jerkweed”. We can only hope.
Later in the issue, Harley angrily stomps across the deck of a pirate ship. She comes upon a melee at sea as she fights her way through a backdrop of ever-changing Elseworlds/continuity shifts. Swamp Thing arrives on the scene to do battle! John McRea creates some great features, blending Swamp Thing with the pirate ship.
Scooby-Doo Team-Up 40 (2018)
It’s a team-up and reunion of epic proportions for Swamp Thing and his friends. Swampy fans will enjoy revisiting some old friends…
Sholly Fisch kicks the book off with a tip of the hat to Alan Moore and it is wonderful. The elaborate, poetic description works as a fun flashback for Swamp Thing fans, as if revisiting the era of issue 34. I was truly elated opening to the first page to see the writing style.
Fisch provides a number of glorious Swamp Thing moments in this book. He makes my year by creating a fun connection between the Swamp Thing and Scooby-Doo Universes. Below, Shaggy mentions that Chester Williams is his uncle. I nearly fell out of my chair in excitement; such a fun pairing between the two hippies. For those not familiar, Chester is an old friend of Swamp Thing and Abby, since he first appeared in Swamp Thing 43 (1985). He’s one of my favorite characters and am so happy to see him back, sharing pages with Swamp Thing.
Scooby and the crew are down in Louisiana looking to solve the mystery of rumored zombies within the swamp. They’re quickly alerted to a group of brainwashed workers held captive by a Voodoo Queen. It’s a typical, entertaining Scooby-Doo plot filled with numerous special guests. The Swamp Thing themed scenario is a walk down memory lane for fans of Alan Moore era Swampy.
The book has more twists than a pig’s tail. Eluding the zombies, Scooby and crew look for help from an old swamp friend but Solomon Grundy is on the scene as well. Continue reading “An All-time Swamp Thing Reunion via Scooby-Doo”
Swamp Thing 35 (1985)
“The Nuke-Face Papers: Part 1 of 2”
“Everybody left Blossomville in the end…” but some folks, like Bob, take a piece of the town with them wherever they go.
This seemingly simple, part 1 of 2, is a relevant character development point for Swamp Thing. Sure he’s been a helpful hand in the past but in this issue, he feels compelled to be proactive toward the nature related disaster lurking around the corner. Tapped into the earth/Green, Swamp Thing dreams he’s in Blossomville, PA. He asses the damage and weeps at the amount of destruction. This more eco-friendly/in-tune character trait is something that Moore (and others down the line) develop and nurture. In this issue, Swamp Thing is called to action and his connection to the earth, as being second nature, begins to blossom.
Continue reading “Nuke-Face pt.1”
Swamp Thing 34 (1985)
“Rite of Spring”
This issue is amongst my favorites, solidifing my love for introspective, character-building Swamp Thing stories that take place in Houma. It paints a wonderful picture of what life could be like for the lumbering plant monster. Could a muck-man find a partner and live a normal life? Moore, Totleben, Bissette (and the rest) deliver a world where such a scenario exists; if only for a moment.
The book begins at Terrebonne Parish General Hospital. We’re caught up on Matt Cable’s condition alongside Abby. Perhaps she was expecting it. His body was broken after the accident, then held together by Arcane’s forces. Moore writes the most beautiful words…
What happened to Cable is tragic but he put Abby through Hell and back. Abby wants a try at a normal life. She returns to the swamp to be with Alec.
Continue reading “Love in the time of tubers”
Hellblazer 22 (2018)
I was pleasantly surprised to see a Swamp Thing appearance in Hellblazer earlier this month. Although it was a flashback panel, Swamp Thing is seen in all his glory fighting against the Brujería. It’s quite an Indiana Jones moment for all involved.
See ST 48 cover for similar imagery.
This flashback comes by way of Negral the demon, who is-yet again-seeking revenge on John Constantine. He explains John’s past influence on demon related encounters.
John works in the dirtiest and most divisive scenarios he can find and a clean, cartoonish Hellblazer book doesn’t quite feel at home, or right by the characters involved. It’s like the aesthetic downplays the dire situation of John and the cast of hellish characters. It’s only one of the various reasons why I’ve stopped reading the current Hellblazer series. It’s had its lumps and plot twists, but not for the better. I hope the title will once again hold the weight it used to. I’ve been pondering the current Hellblazer series in relation to Swamp Thing not having an on-going series. I’m entertained in thinking that Swamp Thing is more relevant and gaining more momentum in not having his own series. When we see Swamp Thing pop-up in books he’s the saving grace to such characters as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman (ref. New 52–current day). Swamp Thing is acting as a guiding force and go-to for catastrophic as well as internal/personal struggles. You can’t beat that. And I understand that Hellblazer/Constantine was never intended to be that kind of a book/character but he would perhaps have a more poignant existence if not in an on-going series.
The plot threads that seemed exciting within this series have fallen away, unresolved and the plot that remains leaves Constantine sidestepping antagonists (like demonic mob-families), one after another. It’s as if Constantine is in a fight simulator, and rather than the character being developed, he’s just rolling with the punches. I really hope for more for the character. He’s extremely fun, versatile and a strength to the DCU.