Two fantastic books were released recently and I’ve been waiting on the Archie book to arrive in the mail before sharing them. House of Secrets 92, the book that started it all for our favorite character, Swamp Thing is represented through parody and reproduction!
House of Secrets Facsimile Edition – 2019
It’s wonderful to see House of Secrets 92 (1971) reprinted once again. The book is excellent exposure for Swamp Thing and for fans to finally get their hands on a copy… without the hefty price tag of an original. Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson’s masterpiece lives on in this fresh release. The book was in stores August, 28 and I’d guess they’re readily available at most local comic shops.
The reproduction includes ads and all. I suppose it should be noted that the five stories within (“Snipe Hunt”, “Swamp Thing”, “After I Die”, “It’s Better to Give” and “Trick or Treat”) have been recolored.
The back cover
Archie vs Predator II – 2019 (Marco D’Alfonso cover)
As soon as I saw this book last month, I had to have it. Although limited to a print run of 300 copies, it was easy to obtain on-where else but-eBay. There’s also a virgin version of this variant cover, also limited to 300 copies.
Marco D’Alfonso crafted this amazing homage to the cover of Swampy’s first appearance. This whimsical take on HOS 92 includes the same subtle textures Bernie Wrightson used on the original; note the items in the foreground, on the vanity.
I’ve not read an Archie comic since Afterlife with Archie began (2013) so I’ve got some catching up to do but the setup of this first issue is fun and dark.
A fella named Dilton purchased a mask off of eBay. What he’d hoped to be a costume for dance night becomes a beacon… for Predators.
I got a kick out of seeing Predators messing with Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover.
And with the original
Harley Quinn 64 (2019)
Even though Swamp Thing and the Justice League Dark are busy battling forces of evil in their own title, they’ve found time to make an appearance in the new Harley Quinn 64.
The quirky and beautifully written story focuses on Harley Quinn reading to her mother who is in intensive care, battling cancer. In the imaginative story, Harley eludes Lex Luthor as he tries to convince her to join his villainous cause. Unfortunately, Lex has an offer Harley can’t refuse.
Lex is wrapped up in his Year of the Villain mission. In keeping her distance, Harley jumps from story to story, trying to focus on reading to her sick mother. While story jumping, Harley pops-in on The Justice League Dark who are in the midst of their own adventure.
While visiting Rocky Point Beach, Swamp Thing and the JLD investigate the case of Captain Cutler’s Ghost! The team is depicted as various members of the Scooby-Doo crew. This parody provides a fun connection to when we found out that Shaggy was Chester Williams’ nephew.
It’s a brief, zany, one-page cameo for the JLD.
Zatanna plays the part of Daphne, Wonder Woman is Velma, Man-Bat is Fred, Detective Chimp plays the part of Scooby, and Swamp Thing is Shaggy.
I’m excited to see how this plot turns out for Harley in future issues. The subject matter and what’s at stake for Harley and her mother is quite intriguing.
Poison Ivy fans will be excited to hear that Ivy make an appearance in this issue as well!
Wild Animals 1 (1982)
I stumbled upon this book a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to find a Swamp Thing parody within it. It’s also interesting that the illustration that features the Swamp Thing parody was originally printed in The Buyer’s Guide for Comic Fandom #184 in May, 27 1977.
Clark the Collector is celebrating the popularity of Funny Animal books when he hears a No-Luck Duck sobbing. When asked why he is crying, the duck goes on to tell them about his failed career in comics. One of those failed attempts was Barnyard Bog!
Based on No-Luck Duck’s account, “Barnyard Bog lasted 5 issues before cancellation” and it is not spoken of again within the Clark the Collector and the No-Luck Duck comic strip.
Normalman 7 (1985)
Who Killed Sgt. Fluffy This Time?
Jim Valentino‘s creator-owned super-hero parody chronicles the trials and tribulations of, normalman, a normal man living in a wacky world of superheroes.
“Meanwhile, in the toidy-toid century…” role is being called.
This series is full of parody superhero and comic strip characters from all over (DC, Marvel, Vertigo, Aardvark, your local newspaper, etc.). Of the 12 issues in the normalman series, Swamp Thing made the roster in only one. If you read quickly you might even miss him.
This comic is ideal for those moments when you’re pondering, “did Swamp Thing ever appear in/with ?”
…Charlie Brown, Kermit the Frog, Popeye, Beatle Bailey, Alfred E Neuman, Spider-Man, Darth… the list of characters in this book is endless. It’s an honor to see our favorite muck-monster.
Spook House 2 #1 (2018)
Halloween is quickly approaching and it’s nice to have great stories to heighten the season. With all the spooky books that have been coming out, it’s clear that Kyle Hotz has been taking the Swamp Thing flag and running with it. Earlier this month, Hotz teamed up with Tim Seeley to deliver “The Spread”, a terrifying short story within Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1. In this issue of the second volume of Spook House, Eric Powell & Kyle Hotz pay homage to Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson in the form of “The Crud Kid”!
“Dedicated with respect and admiration to the memories of Bernie Wrightson and Len Wein”
“The Crud Kid” is a short story exploring the origins of a Swamp Thing parody character. Tom always daydreams of his favorite place in the world and every second of the day, he wants to return to the swamp.
Through a series of unfortunate events, Tom finds himself running through the swamp to save his hide. He comes upon an old cabin inhabited by a witch. Trying to find safety, Tom breaks through the witches door. The witch puts a curse on him.
Like Alec Holland, Tom seeks to find relief from the pain, running to the waters of the murky swamp. And, much like Alec Holland, Tom emerges from the swamp…
a muck encrusted mockery of a… child.
But unlike Alec, Tom couldn’t be happier.
I’d like to think he lives happily ever after.
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.
Dad is a Super Hero (2018)
Swamp Thing popped up in the Father’s Day book, “Dad is a Super Hero” from Hallmark Gift Books earlier this year. Swamp Thing appears alongside various DC superheroes like Batman, Flash, Superman, Aquaman, etc.
I snapped a few photos of my favorite pages, below.
… it’s an 80-page Father’s Day card.
To order the book, visit Hallmark here.