Four Letter Nerd

Saturday Morning Review: Swamp Thing #21



Book: Swamp Thing #21
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Stephen Bisette
Colorist: John Totleben

Summary from comixology: “In a standalone issue titled “The Anatomy Lesson,” writer Alan Moore delivers a haunting origin story that reshapes the SWAMP THING mythology. Terrifying revelations are made about the nature of Swamp Thing, kicking off a journey of discovery that takes the character across the Earth–and beyond.”

So, I have been wanting to get into Swamp Thing for a while now. I read the first five issues of the Scott Snyder New 52 story arc, and I loved that. But, I figured that I should dive into the full character. I was standing in my LCS on Wednesday looking at the shelf full of Swamp Thing books and I was deciding between Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and Brian K Vaughan’s run. After talking to the owner of my shop, I decided to go with Alan Moore because that is the definitive run on the character.  As I said, I got Vol. 1 on Wednesday and I am already halfway done with the book.

The Good:
From the very first line of this book, I was captivated. ” It’s raining in Washington tonight. Plump, warm summer rain that covers the sidewalks with leopard spots…” With just a few words I knew instantly that I would love this book. I really enjoyed the fact that most of the book wasn’t staring Swamp Thing, but rather the focus was on Dr. Woodrue and the Old Man that is hiring the Doctor to find out more about Swamp Thing who is in a freezer unit. My absolute favorite part the book was Swamp Thing coming back to life in the end of the book and just brutally murdering the Old Man. Swamp Thing goes on this rampage due to the fact that he has realized that he has lost his humanity, and will more then likely never gain his humanity back. I also really enjoyed the art in the book. It was very dated (since the comic was from 1984), but it also really matched the entire style of the book.

The Bad:
I can completely see why this is considered a classic comic book. I can’t see anything wrong with it. It has exactly what you could want in a standalone comic. I really have nothing that I can negatively critique about this book. Alan Moore is a genius and he deserves all the glory he gets.

The Final Say:
The book is weird. And I love it for that. Alan Moore is the Stephen King of comic books and I can understand why he is held in such high regards. The art was very well done and it added to the horror/suspense that the book is trying to achieve. I enjoyed how much Swamp Thing is portrayed as a monster and how much suspense is built up until the final few pages. This book gets a solid 4 out of 4 and you need to read the book. If you have an extra $100 or so, you should really go find this comic, but if you are on a budget like I am, you’ll be just as happy with Saga of the Swamp Thing Book One for $20 and it has the first 7 issues of Alan Moore’s iconic run. Let us know what you think of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing in the comments below.

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Bill Clark

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