Saga of the Swamp Thing #21-64 discussion [Alan Moore] [spoilers]

Friday

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So has anyone else read Swamp Thing? And I don't just mean Alan Moore's run on the title. We've had good to great runs by Rick Veitch, Mark Millar, Andy Diggle, and one really bad one by Brian K Vaughn.

I've been itching to re-read my collection of TPBs and Singles lately, unfortunatly my copy of volume 1 was lent out well over a year ago and hasn't made its way home yet. I just checked Amazon to look into a new copy and looie at what I found HERE.

I must get it. Unfortunately it looks like all it'll be is a hardcover collection of the trades I already have. And its six months away. Still, I might have to pick them up as they come out.

So has anyone else read these? I think E has. Its probably my favorite Alan Moore work. Between this and Sandman I don't know why the horror comics today are so... lifeless. These were spectacular. Now we get some good Hellblazer every so often and thats it. The Anatomy Lesson is still probably the best single issue I've read.

Other thoughts?
 

E

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Re: Swamp Thing General Discussion

So has anyone else read Swamp Thing? And I don't just mean Alan Moore's run on the title. We've had good to great runs by Rick Veitch, Mark Millar, Andy Diggle, and one really bad one by Brian K Vaughn.

I've been itching to re-read my collection of TPBs and Singles lately, unfortunatly my copy of volume 1 was lent out well over a year ago and hasn't made its way home yet. I just checked Amazon to look into a new copy and looie at what I found HERE.

I must get it. Unfortunately it looks like all it'll be is a hardcover collection of the trades I already have. And its six months away. Still, I might have to pick them up as they come out.

So has anyone else read these? I think E has. Its probably my favorite Alan Moore work. Between this and Sandman I don't know why the horror comics today are so... lifeless. These were spectacular. Now we get some good Hellblazer every so often and thats it. The Anatomy Lesson is still probably the best single issue I've read.

Other thoughts?

I read the first trade collection from Alan Moore and loved it - not quite as good as Miracleman but right up there, and the same type of story. It reads similarly. I have the rest of his run (or most of it) but haven't read it yet.
 

Ninja4peace

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Re: Swamp Thing General Discussion

yeah this is my favourite moore thing. it's pretty much the reason vertigo exists. i voted for it in the poll we had a few months back and talked about why i love it there.
 

E

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Re: Swamp Thing General Discussion

I changed this from general series discussion to discussion of the Alan Moore run.

I pulled Vol. 1 of Alan Moore's run and started re-reading it yesterday. Baxter is right about Anatomy Lesson - that seriously might be one of the greatest individual comic issues ever made.

It's an awesome horror comic while not really having any of the blood and guts shock type of elements that horror comics try to have. It's scary stuff.

And not only that, but when Abby calls after him and says "Alec..." and he turns away and says "No. Not Alec." - how depressing. Poor guy.
 

moonmaster

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I tried to read the first Swamp Thing trade but I was so disappointed with it.

I don't know why, but it just bored me to death. The only Moore book that's ever done that for me. It's still one of the few trades I own that I haven't actually finished reading, just because I was too bored to finish.
 

Friday

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I tried to read the first Swamp Thing trade but I was so disappointed with it.

I don't know why, but it just bored me to death. The only Moore book that's ever done that for me. It's still one of the few trades I own that I haven't actually finished reading, just because I was too bored to finish.

I can sort of see that. Its a very slow burn series. I think it might pick up for you with Arcane in the second volume, or Constantine later on.

I'm eagerly awaiting my second copy of V1 from amazon so I can re-read from the start. I tried just starting with V2 but I already felt like I had missed too much o the story.
 

moonmaster

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I just remember finding it all a little too "literary", which I think is one of the few problems with some of Moore's early work.

He hadn't realized yet that you don't have to pack a comic with heady narration and lots of big words for people to take it seriously.
 
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Friday

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I just remember finding it all a little too "literary", which I think is one of the few problems with some of Moore's early work.

He hadn't realized yet that you don't have to pack a comic with heady narration and lots of big words for people to take it seriously.

Well I think part of that might be the style of writing comics then too. They were still very much into huge exposition filled text boxes. At this point in his career he'd come off some small work for British publishers and Miracleman. You've got to give him time to completely reinvent the format.
 

ProjectX2

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I want to read this but my library only has one of the middle TPBs and it's really confusing. And the art puts me off. One day.
 

Friday

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I want to read this but my library only has one of the middle TPBs and it's really confusing. And the art puts me off. One day.

I think the coloring huts it a lot. Too many muddled shades of green and brown. For a while Vertigo reprinted the series in Black and White in single issues and it looked amazing. The line work was incredibly crisp. It was supposed to be the way that it was printed in the UK and I'd love to get a hold of a set of trades in Black and White.
 

Ninja4peace

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Well I think part of that might be the style of writing comics then too. They were still very much into huge exposition filled text boxes. At this point in his career he'd come off some small work for British publishers and Miracleman. You've got to give him time to completely reinvent the format.

I LOVE the huge exposition. It's what makes it that much more poetic.

I love the way Moore describes the atmosphere so well. Here's a couple of my fave quotes.

#56 - At sunset the shadows are almost purple, bruising the landscape but not drawing blood

#22 - The rains have stopped. Clouds like bloodied plugs of cotton wool dab ineffectually at the slashed wrists of the sky.


That's just flippin' awsome. Also "saxaphones at dusk" is an awsome title for one of the issues.
 

E

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I'm almost through Love & Death where Swamp Thing goes to retrieve Abby from Hell. Couple of interesting ideas that were done well, like meeting up with Alec Holland in the realm of the just-dead, and how Alec thanks Swamp Thing for setting him free.

Once he's in Hell and he's told about the Ectoplasm...I recognized that immediately from Alan Moore's issue of Spawn...wasn't it later revealed that Spawn's costume was made of Ectoplasm? I always thought that was stupid but it's interesting that he got that from one of his old Swamp Thing stories.

It's also interesting to see Spectre showing up as a sort of gatekeeper to Hell.
 

E

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OK. So I just finished the 2nd volume of Alan Moore's run, titled "Love and Death". And while as a whole it wasn't quite as good as Vol. 1, it contains one of the most bizarre (disturbing?) yet brilliant comics I've ever read.

The book in question is #34, wherein Abby is told that Matt will probably never awake from his coma. Not-so-strangely this doesn't bother her much, because she is in love with Swamp Thing (whom she, interestingly, continues to refer to as Alec even though he a) is not Alec and b) has told her not to do). He is surprised by this and tells her that he has loved her for a long time. She wants to kiss - he is resistant because he is worried that it will gross her out. But they do, and she doesn't puke or anything.

They wonder how they would progress things further physically, and Abby says that part of it isn't as important as knowing she's wanted and needed. But Swamp Thing manages to produce this weird fruit from his chest and gives it to her to eat - it contains a part of his essence, and by eating it she can see things like he does. She sees all kinds of beauty in nature - even in the insects that inhabit Swamp Thing. The whole story is told in a completely different layout and using psychedelic colors. It's very odd.

The way the dialogue goes, it really makes you realize how weird it would be to have a relationship with a plant. 'Cuz, you know, most people don't think about stuff like that.
 

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I just saw this on Amazon in re: to issue #34 that I talked about above:

the absolute strength in Vol. 2 is found in its final chapter - "The Rite of Spring.' Published originally in 1985 as issue #34 of, 'The Swamp Thing,' this episode from start to finish deals with the physical/metaphysical consummation of love between the Swamp Thing and Abigail that will blow your mind. Forget all that you've heard that this episode is nothing but 'sex with a vegetable.' At its base, 'The Rite of Spring,' recreates the swooning emotions of love and passion in comic book form more effectively then 99.99% of every page of published prose out there on that matter. At its original time of publishing it was a watershed moment in comics history and reading that chapter some 20 years later it still retains every bit of its artistic strength.
 

Dancanread

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This run, which I read as it came out, was the first time I was blown away by a comic book; the first instance where I realized that the medium could transcend itself and had more potential than many realized. I still have them boxed in a closet in my mom's apartment. I gotta go back and check them out again.
 

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Just read the issue where Swamp Thing is killed by the poison radiation guy and has to regrow himself. Awesome. Loved the parts where Abby was spraying him with insecticide and watering him.

And...John Constantine. Pretty cool.
 

E

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I've finished the 3rd volume, "The Curse." It is awesome.

As I mentioned, Swamp Thing discovers he can "die" and regrow himself. It takes about a week or so. But John Constantine shows up and gets him to take care of a few problems, promising to help Swamp Thing learn some things about himself. Turns out he can regenerate much faster - in just a few minutes.

There's a "vampire town" that was submerged underwater when a river was dammed. Swamp Thing integrated himself with the vegetation in the entire area and forced the lake to drain back to the main water supply, exposing the town and killing the vampires. There's a cool depiction of him controlling the land.
 

thee great one

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I've finished the 3rd volume, "The Curse." It is awesome.

As I mentioned, Swamp Thing discovers he can "die" and regrow himself. It takes about a week or so. But John Constantine shows up and gets him to take care of a few problems, promising to help Swamp Thing learn some things about himself. Turns out he can regenerate much faster - in just a few minutes.

There's a "vampire town" that was submerged underwater when a river was dammed. Swamp Thing integrated himself with the vegetation in the entire area and forced the lake to drain back to the main water supply, exposing the town and killing the vampires. There's a cool depiction of him controlling the land.

I picked up the 3rd volume in WWC. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two. I need to read the rest. Constantine is awesome as always.
 

Friday

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Just read the issue where Swamp Thing is killed by the poison radiation guy and has to regrow himself. Awesome. Loved the parts where Abby was spraying him with insecticide and watering him.

And...John Constantine. Pretty cool.

Now I didn't like The Nukeface Papers very much. I think it was an interesting way to show Swampy's full range of abilities, and as you said the parts where he was regrowing himself were golden, but the rest of those two issues fell very flat with me. It was a little too anti-nuclear power for me. I guess it was more a product of the time with Chernobyl and Three Mile Island so fresh in everyones memory. As for the other issues of The Curse, I love them. All the two issue horro stories, it gives them plenty of room to breath but still puts a timetable on the end so it doesn't get too overdone. The Plantation issues were especially powerful. And have a great ending. :wink:

I'm re-reading all of mine as we go. Unfortunately I just hit the Post-Crisis issues which seem a bit directionless. But they did give us My Blue Heaven, so its not all bad.
 

Ninja4peace

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I'm re-reading all of mine as we go. Unfortunately I just hit the Post-Crisis issues which seem a bit directionless. .

The post crisis issues like (is it?) the "gothic horror?" storyline. That's pretty much the centrepiece to the whole run. Moore said he wasn't that happy with how it was a bit over-ambitious and then it was like
A fingernail haha
. I really liked it. and the batman and gotham bit....and the blue heaven too. There's that wierd issue where he encounters some spaceship and it's all arty. didn't quite 'get' that one.
 

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