Alan Moore is best known as a creator of comics. However, one of his first jobs writing for American comic company DC Comics was to take over a character waning in popularity and give it an overhaul.
And quite frankly, this is awesome work. Swamp Thing was previously about the ghost of a man refusing to leave behind the real world and creating himself a body made of plants, through which he could shamble about the swamp and interact with the humans from his past. In this book Moore exorcises the ghost, leaving the Swamp Thing with the understanding that he isn’t human any more, but has become a monster – nothing more than a conscious, walking vegetable.
Moore’s deft plot and dialogue shift the Swamp Thing into a new paradigm without tarnishing the continuity of the series. That we’re allowed along for the ride is pure privilege. The artwork is also superb, with Bissette and Totleben creating a classic vision of the swamp, even if the colour is a little lacking due to the simplistic technology used when the book was first published.
Reading this brought a warm glow to our hearts – not something you necessarily expect from what is essentially a horror comic. But the characters live and breath, with rounded if often disturbed personalities.
If you like your comics intelligent and spooky pick this up – this first book in the collection is an absolute joy. This edition marks the start of a third reprinting of the series and previous editions have been known to fall out of print, so Moore fans who haven’t yet sampled the delights of Swamp Thing should consider catching this sturdy hardback while they can.
Other titles in the Swamp Thing series:
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