In this collection of stories we see Moore using the modern gothic horror setting he’s been building up in previous volumes to make political statements. Turning Swamp Thing into a force for the good of the environment is a logical step. After all, what better environmentalist than a human mind stuck in the body of a walking vegetable? But Moore doesn’t stop there, mixing werewolves, vampires and zombies with racism, nuclear power and gender issues.
As the Swamp Thing is shambling about his business though, Moore also treats us to a little character development. This is aided by the mysterious introduction of John Constantine, the cockney magician who will go on to star in his own title Hellblazer.
Moore’s plots and scripts are tight and focused, intertwining the horror with the political messages without losing track of either. The artwork is up to Bissette and Totleben’s usual standards, though as with the other volumes, the technology used to colour the pages at the time when this was originally printed leaves something to be desired by modern standards.
The book stands the test of time well though. Moore’s political statements are as relevant today as they were when they were written. Using such traditional horror motifs as vampires and werewolves, with a dash of typical Moore-ish updating, provides the stories with a timeless quality that helps ensure their longevity. Because when it comes down to it, it’s mankind itself that commits the real evil running throughout these stories.
Other titles in the Swamp Thing series: