We have reached June and my goal to reach 100 books read has fallen behind the 8 ball, there is only one thing to be done, to read more comic books, of course I left most of them behind when I moved down here, so that should be fun.
I started reading Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing, because I’ve heard only good things about it, how it pushed the boundaries of comic books in the eighties and what could be done with the medium with regards to language, plot, sex and I thought, “Really? Swamp Thing?” So I wanted to know how this was done.
My Swamp Thing background is fairly limited; I watched the show when I was little. I also watched The Flash and Adam West’s Batman, it is funny to me to think of how predominate DC’s heroes were on TV versus Marvel, and I’ve always preferred Marvel.
My Alan Moore background is only slightly more well rounded. I’ve read The Watchmen and The Killing Joke, really enjoying both of those. These first two volumes focus on reintroducing the character and delivering the revelation that The Swamp Thing was not a transformation of Alex Holland, it was just a manifestation of the earth that absorbed Holland’s consciousness, so the first few issues are about the Swamp Thing reconciling itself with this. The support character of Abby Cable and her husband are introduced. The husband serves almost no purpose to the story. He is alcoholic, selfish and feels inferior when compared to his wife.
He exists only so that the villain of the story can use his weakness. Which brings us to the golden rule of heroes, that a hero is only as compelling as his villain. Moore uses Arcane, who even I remember by reputation from my childhood as a bad guy, plus the fellow’s name is Arcane, which has the hint of threat and mysteriousness to it anyway.
There is a really cool interlude story where some reptile creatures come to earth in a turtle looking to find a new home since some monkey creatures used theirs and unsettled the natural balance of nature. Swamp Thing showed them that it was the same here. It was kind of cartoony and it could just as easily been an Earth Day special, but I liked it, it had Pathos.
When these volumes end we have burgeoning relationship between Abby and Swamp Thing, which leads me to believe that the subsequent volumes are going to shed some light on the sex that was promised in the introduction. If my experience with Moore is to be trusted, that should be pretty messed up and strangely beautiful.