The Brightest Day #23 Spoiler and Why it’s Important

Spoilers ahead! If you have somehow accidentally ended up on this page and you don't want to know the big reveal in Brightest Day #23 then close your browser now! Begone! Run! This is your last warning!
 



So that happened.

Throughout the course of Brightest Day we have learned that the Earth is infected with an evil presence that has been referred to as the Dark Avatar. We have also learned that those who were brought back to life in Blackest Night — Aquaman, J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Maxwell Lord, Professor Zoom, Jade, Hawk, Captain Boomerang, Osiris, and Deadman — had some part to play in protecting the Earth from this evil.

In Brightest Day #23 a lot of things happened very quickly and it's a lot to digest but there is one very important thing:

Swamp Thing is back and in the DC Universe.

In the issue we learn that some of the reborn heroes have ben converted by the White Lantern into Earth elementals: Aquaman is the water elemental, Firestorm is the fire elemental, the Hawks are the air elementals, and in a bit of a stretch, J'onn J'onzz is the earth elemental. They were converted to protect the Parliament of Trees, and by extension, the Green (all living plant life on Earth), from the Dark Avatar. In the past, the job of protecting the Parliament of Trees would have fallen to Swamp Thing.

Problem one: Swamp Thing is dead.

Problem two: Swamp Thing has been resurrected, in Black Lantern fashion, as the Dark Avatar.

Problem three: Swamp Thing has been a Vertigo character for years.

And here's where it gets interesting and why what happened this week is so important. When DC Comics editorial was shaken up last year, Dan Didio was given purview of not only DC Universe books but of Vertigo as well. It was said that they were going to look to reintegrate DCU and Vertigo characters. You see, in the past, before there was a Vertigo imprint, characters like Swamp Thing and John Constantine were fully integrated in the DCU. I've been making my way through the Alan Moore Swamp Thing hardcovers (they're awesome) and it's been interesting to see the rare interactions that those characters have with mainstream DCU. But when Vertigo came into play, a wall was placed between the DCU and Vertigo, storywise, and there wasn't a lot of interaction. It was said that DCU books took place in the DCU and Vertigo books didn't.

This was, of course, not a hard and fast rule. Daniel showed up in Grant Morrison's JLA, and Animal Man had his own Vertigo book for a while and then returned to the DCU. But for the most part, DCU stayed on one side of the wall and Vertigo on the other.

Does Swamp Thing's return, both to life and to the DCU, in Brightest Day #23 signal a crumbling of the wall, and a Germany style reunification?

We'll find out. In the meantime, if you're a new reader you might be asking yourself, what's he big deal with Swamp Thing?

Swamp Thing was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson way back in 1971, in House of Secrets #92, and began his own series the next year. In that version he was Alex Holland, scientist, but like so many other characters in the DCU, a tragic accident transformed him into the half man/half plant being we know so well.

Swamp Thing regenerated another series in 1982, to coincide with the release of Wes Craven’s Swamp Thing film. With Karen Berger, later the founder, and still head of Vertigo, editing, Alan Moore took the reigns at issue #20, and blessed us with his now legendary run. That era posited that Swamp Thing was not actually Alec Holland, but rather a Swamp Elemental being who took on Holland’s memory and some of his emotions instead. That volume brought on many writers after Moore left with issue #64, including Grant Morrison with Mark Millar co-writing, and he eventually took over with #144. Yet the series was canceled soon after.

Then in 2001, a young Brian K. Vaughan tried a third volume, this time through Vertigo, outside of the main DC Universe, featuring Swamp Thing’s daughter Tefe Holland. The series featured art by Guisseppe Camuncoli, and lasted 20 issues.

Vertigo gave it one more shot in 2004, lasting 29 issues and written by Andy Diggle, Will Pfeifer, and Joshua Dysart, focusing back on Swamp Thing himself, a plant based elemental, but was canceled for low sales.

On their blog, DC asks the following question: "With the ability to regenerate by turning any matter into his own body mass, Swamp Thing is a creature of monumental power and is quintessential to the DC Universe. After having been absent for so many years, what does his return signify?"

What indeed.

Comments

  1. it’s all John Constantine fault – he’s b*llockest it up

  2. Interesting.  I can’t wait to read this series.  Pls tell me I don’t need to read blackest night.

  3. Alan Moore wont like this lol

  4. I’m pretty pysched for this. The Moore run was awesome, it’s the one I know best.  Interesting character, and a cool twist to Brightest Day.

  5. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    I’m rather curious if this will be a continuation of the character’s last few series (acknowledging his daughter, etc) or a reboot, perhaps touching upon Moore’s run but not much else. This is a tricky zone for Johns and the editors to be playing with. Here’s hoping it turns out okay and coherent unlike, say, some of the various reintegrations of the Doom Patrol into the DCU.

  6. Eh, I would rather have gotten the China Mieville Swamp Thing series.

    Also, the Death in cameo in Action seemed to be totally pointless. 

  7. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Could be a lot of fun. Gotta say though, I’d be even more excited if it were a new Vertigo series. Not that it couldn’t be like that. Xombi is DCU proper, but feels like Vertigo. 

  8. hmm….

  9. Well Death’s cameo in Action was a the first sign. If they do a new Swamp Thing, Paul Cornell is their guy.

  10. im wondering if it doesnt signify the end of Vertigo as an imprint. Not an end to any of the books or to DC doing mature readers books. Maybe they will all be under the DC brand as they once were. V for Vendetta is Vertigo now but it was a DC (not DCU) book. as was Ronin, Slash Maraud, Narhaniel Dusk and a ton of other non-superhero, non-DCU books. Maybe DC entertainment wants to focus on building a single brand that is all DC. the integration of Wildstorm and Milestone could be seen as the first part of this. The public knows the Name DC comics. Vertigo is a medical condition and a movie, not a comic book publisher

  11. I sort of don’t want swamp thing to be involved in brightest day. It’s one of my favourite comics ever, and i’m not sure i trust anyone else to write it properly. I’m sure there are writers that could do it justice, but i’m also pretty sure Johns isn’t that person. hmm. I’m not sure i like all this white lantern stuff either, it’s quite heavily overtoned with evangelical christian metaphor. hmm. hmm indeed.

  12. There’ve been rumors of Swamp Thing coming back for a while — interesting to see it work out as part of Brightest Day.

    But what was really more interesting to me is that DC seems to be bringing back the concept of the Elementals. After Moore established the concept, there was a flurry of “elementalizing” of DC characters: Red Tornado became an air elemental. Firestorm a Fire elemental. John Ostrander even did a run where Captain Atom became a Quantum Elemental.

    Useless DC trivia, part one – if I recall correctly, Peter David was planning on having Aquaman become a water elemental as part of his Aquaman run. I believe that led to him leaving the book.

    Useless DC trivia, part two – Steve Seagle had a book spin out of Zero Hour called Primal Force. It was originally supposed to be all the elementals, but then it was altered.

    So based on the cover of today’s Brightest Day issue, I wonder if Johns is finally solidifying that whole Elemental concept as a part of the DCU. Could be cool, though I’m not sure characters like Aquaman or the Hawks really need that whole added layer of pseudo-mysticism, honestly.

  13. Footnote: I can’t believe I finally got to apply some of that useless DC lore rattling around in the geek-brain. That felt… well, totally nerdy, but whatever.

  14. John Ostrander should have a go at a new Swamp Thing series/story. He devloped Firestorm as the fire elemental, created Naiad as the water elemental and had Red Tornado and Swamp Thing appear in his Firestorm run. His Spectre series also showed that he could do a DCU book with a Vertigo sensibility.

  15. Bump.

  16. As someone who is still fairly new to DC comics, and the fact that Swamp Thing hasn’t been a part of the DCU for years, I thought the twist in Brightest Day was just plain stupid. There has been no mention of Swamp Thing at all in this story and now, all of a sudden, he’s the Dark Avatar and the White Lantern’s champion. What a load of deus ex machina garbage. I’ve invested too much time and money on this series to drop it with only a few issues left to go, but that was a really cheap twist.

  17. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @RandoCalrissian  Sorry you felt that way. It’s the latest chapter in the ongoing tale of the DCU. Very much a continuity story. So I think the reveal is fair. Were this an OGN, more setup to pave the way for this development would have been needed. Here, it’s fair game. 

  18. Johns loves taking Alan Moore stuff and continuing it, parliment of trees thing was a nice touch.

  19. @PaulMontgomery  Fair point, I bought a maxi-series about super-heroes that spun out of a company-wide event. Buyer beware. I didn’t think it would be about continuity and the DCU in general, but a story about the resurrected heroes/villains and the mystery of the white lantern’s champion, since that’s what its been marketed as since day one. Instead there’s been no mention of Jade or Max Lord since the beginning (I have no clue if they’ve even completed they’re missions), and the champion is someone who never appeared previously in the story. I had to google Alec Holland. Maybe I’m being too harsh, I guess I’m just griping about cape comics in general and how you have to know about events and characters from years ago to even get what’s going on.

  20. INteresting. Definitely a surprise. I turned that page and thought “That looks a little too much like … oh … it IS Swamp Thing!”

    I think it’s cool. A lot of people complain about Johns being “predictable”. I’d like to see how many of them called this one. My Swamp Thing knowledge is rather limited, but I’m looking forward to see how he fits in to the DCU.

    Also, congrats on the ad in the back of the issue, iFanboys. Nice and classy.

  21. Don’t know much about the character, but I’m down.  I doubt ill read a new ongoing featuring mr. green and moist, but we’ll see how it all turns out in 2 weeks…. I just want Digger to throw that DAMN boomerang!

  22. Did NOT see that coming. I was all, “oh, hey, the Dark Avatar looks like Swamp Thing. Neat.” And then, “Oh holy sh*t, it IS Swamp Thing!” Very cool.

    Also, I can feel the rage emanating from Alan Moore already… “How DARE they retcon a character that wasn’t originally mine and I already retconned!!!” 

  23. If anyone can make me care about Swamp Thing it’s Geoff Johns. We will see…we will see.

  24. el bump!

  25. If Swamp Thing stays in Star City, I can’t wait to see him team up with Green Arrow.  I’m sure they’d get along given their affinity for the color green.

  26. I have to admit, I kind of squeeled when Swamp Thing popped up. I’m relatively new to DC stuff, only reading as far back as Blackest Night, but I have been reading Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run. I’m really excited to see the character come back and now I’m a little curious to see what they do with him.

    I also kind of like the fact that the biggest point of Brightest Day was to bring back Swamp Thing. What a twist! 

  27. Good article. I just noticed DC referenced your article on fb.

  28. This series will have cost me $75.00 when all is said and done, and honestly I feel ripped off. Nothing against swamp thing but he’s not a character I know and I also feel cheated at how totally random that was. I understand it being a surprise but that didn’t seem creative to me at all. I still as was said don’t even know what happened to some characters, is the final issue double sized? Overall I felt Brightest Day was just an okay series, my biggest problem being I spent $75 on something I felt let down by….at least so far.

  29. Johns and company should have to smoke a fat turd for that reveal.

  30. What @tomistommy said. Word for word.

  31. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Not sure what the detractors want. Did you just want the character reveal to be someone you know and have seen a lot in more recent books? Help me figure out why this is a “cheap move.” I’m curious. 

  32. The relationship between DCU/Vertigo has always been a little weird. Certain books, like Sandman, had real ties to the DCU. Other books, like Preacher, certainly did NOT take place in the DCU. Whenever I re-read Sandman, I am always surprised at how much DCU tie-in there was in the beginning. Wesley Dodds shows up in the first issue, Martian Manhunter and Mr. miracle are in it, the silver age Sandman makes an appearance, Dr. Destiny kick’s Dream’s ass, Etrigan is in Hell. Then it’s like there is a break and the DCU characters stop interacting with Sandman characters…..and then right at the end, Batman and Superman are at the funeral, and I remember we are still in the DCU.

  33. @Paul well I felt it was cheap because it came totally out of no where. It felt more like DC exploiting the series to just cash in on reintroducing characters. Yes their a business but that doesn’t mean I like it anymore. I would have like to have seen a character I atleast somewhat knew before or had seen mentioned. With 25 issues to tell a tale I felt it dragged many issues which they could have used to better set up this result. That’s simply how I feel if the rest of you are excited then good for you really, I wish I were too, and maybe I will be. I personally don’t understand the appeal of elemental figures if someone can explain? I promise I’m being genuine although I may sound like a dick. And does anyone know if the final issue is double in length?

  34. Okay, so I’ve only been reading this series here and there, so I’m not a Brightest Day scholar or anything… but what I dislike about this reveal is that it’s more about the unveiling of a publishing decision than a twist in a story.  The weight in this reveal doesn’t come from the story, it comes from everyone’s collective knowledge in the importantce of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, and the founding of Vertigo as a publishing line. 

    It feels like once again DC has made the decision to find it’s storyies by traveling further and further up their own history.   And as someone who wasn’t around during the silver age or even the pre-crisis DCU… everytime I see another example of this it feels like everyone at DC shouting at me “You’re not part fo our special club!  Go away!”  Which is a shame because I’d love to read some good DCU stories… but everytime I try I feel like DC doesn’t want me as a reader. 

  35. @PaulMontgomery  I don’t that I would fall in the calling it cheap camp, but Elemental Guardians, on top of the different color guardians, that seems like it’s being pushed a bit too far already, even it’s a temporary thing. I’m willing to ride it out though. By the way, I thought the art on the elementals was great. 

  36. *know

  37. @Paul  What I wanted was an actual story. There’s a whole mystery of who the white lantern’s new champion will be. It’s Deadman’s mission to look for said person, going to Ressurection Man (was that his name? I forgot), Batman, and there’s even the possibility that it could be Boston Brand himself. After a dozen or so issues here we are, almost to the conclusion and it turns out the chosen one is someone who has not appeared in Brightest Day.

    Its like reading a murder mystery where the only characters/suspects are a wealthy socialite, an ex-cop and convicted felon. But it turns out the butler did it! But there was never any butler mentioned before

  38. Couple of thoughts…

    – I can see where people might be upset.  If you were reading a murder mystery and followed the detective around has he interviewed all the suspects and then got to the end and the murderer turned out to be someone who had not appeared in the book at all till that point, you’d feel like it kinda came from left field and took away any hope you might have had of figuring it out yourself, which for a lot of people is part of the fun.  So I can see where this might seem kinda random.

    – I haven’t followed Swamp Thing for years, but given that SW was actually a plant who thought he was Alec Holland, could this champion be the actual, long-dead real Alec Holland?

  39. Also, not trying to ruin this for anyone who enjoyed the reveal. Just trying to get my point across.

  40. How has there been this much discussion, and not a Captain Planet joke?

  41. OK, what’s the deal with the “Bump’s”.  Unless I’m missing something stories are listed in chronological order of posting, not comment, correct?  Are you guys developing something new, that ties more heavily into the comments?

  42. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @JohnNevets  It’s to keep any spoilers off the “recent comments” section of the main page. 

  43. Ahhh… Thanks Paul, I should have been a bit more observant of when they were occurring. 

  44. WOW! that was great! honestly i’d been losing interest in this series every week. A nice little twist to bring me back into it.

    I’m really amused by everyone saying this was cheap. Guys, this entire series is about REBIRTH. Bringing back formerly great characters who had fallen away but are very important to the DCU. I think integrating Swamp Thing back into the DCU is a really great idea. I’d love to see the wall come down and have the rest of the Vertigo characters come over as well. He’s such an important character who seemed like he lived in limbo. There has been so many elemental, earth-centric themes in this story so far….a character like Swamp Thing is a very good fit. 

    ALSO, you guys are complaining about a mainstream comic *event* (i know technically its not but still) having a surprising twist!!! in this day of previews ruining every story 3 months in advance, true surprises are few and far between. And if it was Bruce Wayne like so many of you guys thought, you would have complained that it was too obvious. 

    BTW, if you don’t think Swamp Thing is important, Check out Taschen’s DC 75th Book. His mug is on the spine along with the 6 other heavy hitters in the DCU…

  45. I promise this is my last post, and I will keep it short. I feel being 22 years old and having spent so much time and money on this series I should not have to know of a character long gone from the DC universe. 23 issues of stalling just for this, and the feeling is as @joshrector said “You’re not part fo our special club!  Go away!”

  46. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    You all raise some excellent points. I can understand why this is a polarizing reveal, depending on how you view this story and what level of experience you bring to it. It’s either an unexpected development in the latest chapter of a long running soap opera, or–if you’re newer to the game–it’s a shallow underhand pass to the old guys. For me, I’m somewhere in the middle. I smiled. So they succeeded on that front. But i’m coming to understand that it’s not my smile they really need. It’s the newer readers. If editorial or the creative team has alienated you, that’s a problem. 

    It comes down to this. I think it’s a totally fair play, and something a lot of readers will appreciate. Is it the best choice for satisfying new readers who just started with this story line? Probably not. Then again, Blackest Night did very well, but wasn’t the cleanest start for new readers either. It’s like this page times 100. 

  47. @PaulMontgomery  –excellent points. I can see a bit of where people like @halik is coming from and the old vs new argument.

    on the other hand….its an opportunity to get to know a very cool new old character. Thats fun for me. 

    @halik  –its not like Deadman or a lot of the other central characters have been that important in recent years. Thats what this series is all about. 

  48. I saw this on another website earlier today, sorry to admit that but it’s true, and I was so excited to hear about this. No idea what DC is doing but it definitely sounds ‘Geoff Johns’-ish to revive a character back from the dead/Veritgo line (same thing really). This elemental thing does sound a bit of a fap though, not sure if it’ll lead to anything. I do admit, just from reading these comments and in no opinion on reading the series, that it sounds like Johns/Tomasi just brought this up on the fly and had no lead up to it. The first trade I read certainly had nothing to suggest Swamp Thing and/or Alec Holland was coming back. So maybe that’s why the series got bumped down two issues and it seems this out of the blue.

  49. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @TheNextChampion  “a bit of a fap”?

  50. @Paul: Sorry I’ve been watching a lot of Top Gear lately and they say that a lot…

  51. I enjoyed the reveal because I have read one of the Alan Moore hardcovers and I know his importance in the DCU. I get the feeling that the next issue will help those who are the most confused. There must be some exposition.

  52. The full page Swamp Thing reveal was pretty fucking sweet.

    It is, in my humble, a little lame for the big mystery character to have never appeared in the story, or even be hinted at.

    In the end, however, I don’t care, because it made sense for the character and the story. Also, it was totally rad.

  53. @TheNextChampion  –so what would be your preferred alternative? an entirely obvious reveal that everyone saw coming since isse #0? I know lots of people were calling it for Bruce Wayne, did you want something that easy? Kinda curious because you’re so opposed to it. 

  54. @Wally: I don’t think anyone is calling for anything obvious. But it sounds like this really came out of no where with only one issue to go. Maybe just a bit of set up or teasing would’ve not made the majority of opinion feel it was a bit random.

  55. @halik – If you’re paying full price, you’re paying too much. Make a deal w/your LCS or get a service.

    …And in other news: If the creative team delivers a brand new, fleshed-out character, some fans will complain and rack their brains to recall where they’ve seen it before. If they pull out a long forgotten character, they say shenanigans.

    I’m just sayin’.

  56. What I’m wondering is who’s going to take the rains for the ongoing. I would say that it’s between Lemiere, Cornel, and (possibly) Snyder. My money is on Lemiere, Johns seems to see a lot of promise in him since he keeps giving him characters he’s just finished working on. Plus this is right up his alley.

  57. As a long-time DC reader, I loved the ST reveal and would welcome the integration of some of the Vertigo characters back into the DCU.  At the same time, I can understand how people would miss the punchline, so to speak, and feel left out.

    Continuity is a harsh mistress. Sometimes, a story is written so anyone can read it, with no real continuity restraints. Or, anyone can read and enjoy, but people who know the continuity will get more out of the story. And finally there’s the case where you need the background for the story to make sense. I would say this is in the middle, but not knowing the ST continuity really makes this seem out of left field. I can totally understand that. I’ve felt this on some Marvel books, which I am generally out of the loop on. Heck, I’ve felt this way on some DC books too – Morrison sometimes leaves me scratching my head with the Silver Age things he recycles.

    I think Johns and Tomasi could have lessened the negative responses by doing a little foreshadowing, giving some very vague clues. Of course, you can’t please everyone. Too much info would ruin the surprise, and as others have noted, nobody online had spoilers on this before it came out. I was excited to see ST and the elementals. And I didn’t think MM was a stretch – earlier in the series, he clearly chose Earth as his home, despite his close, renewed ties to his home planet. So he became tied to the Earth instead, and is an appropriate choice as the earth elemental.

    Now, there’s part of me that did think the ST reveal might tie into company/marketing decisions. You know, a writer is told, “Kill off so-and-so, I don’t care how you do it” and then they have to write the story so that happens. Could be the same case here. “Hey Geoff, reintegrate Vertigo into the main DCU somehow.” Remember poor Ron Marz, how he became the most hated man of the 90s for what he had to do to Green Lantern?

  58. I liked the reveal, but I didn’t think it was the big a deal.  Swamp Thing hasn’t had a successful Vertigo series for almost a generation, so he can hardly be considered an essential Vertigo character anymore.  If SHADE the Changing Man and Animal Man can be reintegrated due to the Vertigo Statute of Limitations, then surely Swampy can, as well.  Add to that that Vertigo was created to get around the CCA, and comics no longer carry the CCA, and it seems like less and less of a big deal.  

    As for it seeming sudden, it definitely did, and I love that it did.  If they had said one word in the last year about Alec Holland or Swamp Thing, everyone with half a brain would have seen it coming.  Instead, they build a forest and talked a lot about black and green.  There was no way to foreshadow this without giving the game away.  The success of the venture rests on the writers making us care about Alec Holland now, and not expecting it to be carried by fan’s fondness for a character who hasn’t appeared since before their teenaged children were born.

  59. Man, I wish I could edit my comments.  I’d fix some of the spelling and bury that first line a little.

  60. Swamp Thing = Sentry. 

  61. ohhh bump

  62. @paulmontgomery “ Is it the best choice for satisfying new readers who just started with this story line? Probably not.”

    @kennyg “Continuity is a harsh mistress. Sometimes, a story is written so anyone can read it, with no real continuity restraints.”

    Both of these things are definitely true, but I think there’s a larger problem inherent to DC’s continuity obsession.  It’s that the stories are so consumed with DC history, that they fail to be about anything else on a thematic level. 

    While I may not have been around for Pre-Crisis DC, I’ve been a DC reader since Grant Morrison’s JLA run in 1996 fifteen years ago.  So I’m very aware of the history and storylines that Brightest Day is working off of.  I’ve read all of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, I’ve read all of Green Lantern, Blackest Night and everything that has tied into Brightest Day… so it’s not an issue of being lost in plot complications.   I understand all the moving parts of Brightest Day’s mystery story.  But as it stands right now Brightest Day wasn’t about anything.   There were head fakes towards a few things.  Life, love, rebirth etc… but I wouldn’t say the story was about any of them.  

    Ultimately it seems like Brightest Day was an exercise in getting certain characters to certain places to enact a new status quo in the DCU publishing line.  That’s it.   So why am I supposed to care?  It doesn’t matter if I know the history of Aquaman, or the Hawks or Swamp Thing going into this story… I need a reason to care.  And that’s where so many of DC’s stories these days fail for me.  They’re written as if I already care about all of these characters.   I know almost everything about Aquaman’s history… but Brightest Day failed to give me a reason to care whether or not he lives, dies or gets what he wants.  What are the stakes in a story like this?  Sure the world might end, but that’s an abstract concept.  If I don’t care about anyone in this world, why do I care if it ends?   If these stories are just about mythology building without any relation to larger themes in real life… what do I actually get out of reading them?  

    I mean, Chinatown was a plot heavy mystery story.  But it gave me reasons to care about J.J Gites and Evelyn.  The plot is about a mystery but the story is about the breadth of corruption in our world.  

    This is all basic elements of narrative stuff.  And if a story doesn’t have these things it doesn’t matter how thorough a recap page is.  Knowledge of continuity does not make up for lack of heart. 

  63. If I hadn’t read and enjoyed Moore’s Swamp Thing, I think I would like this reveal even less.

  64. This reminds of the reveals in Hush and Guardian Daredevil.

  65. the main reason i loved the reveal was becasue i had no idea it was comming

  66. @oldmanlogan88  Yup. I was all… that looks kind of looks like swamp thing… WAIT THAT IS SWAMP THING.

    The Black Bantern logo looked pretty tacky on him though I have to say. The core evil force in the universe loves paradigm shifts and branding. Swamp Thing’s publicist probably had to tweet about it. He had to update his facebook staus also from Vertigo/It’s Complicated -> BOOKS THAT MATTER

  67. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Joshrector  Very well said. 

  68. For a story that has been almost entirely about underused, “dead” characters bringing back Swamp Thing absolutely makes sense.  Deadman was barely used until Blackest Night. Aquaman, Hawk and Dove have been dead for a while. Hell, Barry Allen has been dead for AGES and he recently came back and people were excited. Swamp Thing makes PERFECT sense in the context, people were even talking about Swamp Thing ever since the forest appeared in Star City.  It’s not at all out of the blue.

  69. Also, how about we let Geoff Johns finish the story and see how everyone plays into the DCU by the end?  I for one am super excited to see how the Elementals (including Swamp Thing) fit into things.  The 4 new elementals and ST all have potential to be fantastic characters and I’m excited to see them get a chance to run with the ball.

  70. I definitely agree with @Joshrector that DC too often worries about getting characters to certain places instead of making stories that make us care about them. That being said overall I enjoyed Brightest Day but I do not see myself trying out another of these twice monthly “events.” I didn’t have a problem with the reveal I had a problem with the beginning of the story where apparently the Earth is fighting back against the people on it. With 23 issues already in the can that should have been set up a lot better instead of jamming it into the beginning of this one issue. Kind of smacks of last minute decision making which is not what I expect from this creative team.

    A few things though since I know very little about Swamp Thing other than Alan Moore apparently wrote some great stories about the character many years ago. So, my questions:

    If Swamp Thing is running around as the Dark Avatar how was Alec Holland resurrected by the White Lantern? I am assuming the two, Swamp Thing and Alec Holland, are one in the same. Or was the Dark Avatar defeated that quickly by the Elementals which allowed Holland to be brought back? Also if the whole point of the White Lantern was to get to this moment I fail to see how the resurrection of many of the twelve characters are related back to this at all which kind of makes the whole long thing pretty unnecessary in retrospect, right? Kind of rambling sorry, maybe I didn’t enjoy Brightest Day as much as I thought.

  71. .
    .
    .

    Just to be clear, the green elemental (swamp thing) and the possible future white lantern are not the same thing as of yet. We’ve still got one more issue, and knowing Johns, its gonna put a few things on their head. 

  72. I liked the reveal and can’t wait to see where we go next.

  73. I just finished the issue.  The surprise got spoiled for me in the shop, but I don’t think it would have had a major impact on me.  When I heard about it, I thought, “Hmm…that’s interesting.  Wonder what they’ll do with that.”  It’s interesting to see such analysis from everyone else.

    Personally, I don’t think this is the marriage of Vertigo and DCU that Conor refers to.  It sound like the editorial and creators found something interesting to do with the charactera and decided to use him because has been a character of two “universes.”  I think it will be interesting to see how he’s used, and if he and the elementals concept becomes heavily used.

    I think of this like the Spectre.  Basically, DC has set Swamp Thing up as an all powerful character, and it’s going to be up to creators to use him wisely.  The Spectre has never seemed to work for me because I haven’t read a story where a creator has used the all powerful character well.  Only time will tell if this spawns minis, on-goings, or cameos.  I trust they have a plan.

  74. There’s also the flip side to the point some people are making about Swamp Thing being an old character that they don’t care about. I’ve been out of comics for 20 years and only recently have got back into them. So for me the Swamp Thing reveal was really neat, an old character I was familiar with but had completely forgotten about. If the reveal turned out to be someone more modern then the people who complained about Swamp Thing would have been excited and enjoyed it and I would have been confused and feeling let down. Either way it’s a reintroduction to the character for all of us and that’s not a bad thing. If you hate it then you hate it and can stop reading, but maybe it intirgues you enough to check out the older stuff with the character. Not a bad thing really.
    And also, when I was a kid last reading DC comics Swamp Thing was in the DCU proper, there was no Vertigo line. It’s silly to think that characters can only have stories told in one imprint or another, if it’s a good story it’s a  good story, simple as that.

  75. I think also the problem with this is that:

    A) This got cut 2 issues.
    B) DC has cut their pages from 22 to 20.

    So this series is an unfortanate victim of slashing down page counts and (for some reason) cutting down on issues. Which is weird, in regards to the now 20pg count, none of the other DC books (that I see so far) have suffered from it. 

  76. YES!!!! Swamp Thing is one of my favorite characters!! He’s right up there with Captain Britian.  No joke.  Bring it on.

  77. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    I’ve taken it upon myself to bump.

  78. @Joshrector  I agree that sometimes stories function to get a character where the powers-that-be think that character should be. This could definitely be an example of that. We’re quick to damn the editors/publishers/powers that be in a lot of cases, due to their perceived meddling and whatnot, but I want to let Johns finish the story before I pass judgment.

    As far as caring goes, does this story make you care as much about its characters as Justice League: Generation Lost does? Maybe not, at least not consistently. But JL:GL is a different story with a more focused narrative (the cast is pretty much all together in all the issues) and it’s a more character driven story. But there are several characters (MM, Aquaman, the Hawks) I cared about before I even read this, which carried over into me caring about what happened to them in BD. I heard the collective gasp/moan when the Hawks were “killed” a few issues back. Heck, I shouted “Noooo!” when I read that. To me, that’s caring. It got a reaction. There were a number of touching moments, too – Deadman with his grandfather, Martian Manhunter on Mars and all that went with that… Those got reactions from me because I cared about the characters. And I came to care about others, like Firestorm, over the course of the story.

    And I don’t think you need to be a slave to continuity or history to get the reaction if the writing is good. If you structure the story in a way that builds off previous events, you have to consider it. If you want consistency in a universe or in a character’s, err, character, you have to respect it. Continuity can be helpful, but it can also be a stifling convoluted oppressive mess.

    No art garners the same reaction from every viewer. I didn’t find a lack of heart in BD – I found a number of very poignant moments. Maybe it wasn’t what you wanted it to be, or expected it to be. Sorry you’re kind of “meh” on the whole thing. I hope, with one issue left, I don’t wind up feeling the same way.

  79. I don’t ever remember anyone at DC saying the the new White Lantern would be one of the ones that came back at the end of Blackest Night. Quite the opposite…when the twelve got their directions midway through the series, I thought it was pretty obvious that they were there to lay the groundwork for one more big return. There were ponderings that maybe it was one of the twelve…but it was always followed up with something of “…but maybe not…” That being said…I wasnt really surprised by the reveal. Since the rumors of his return started last year, I suspected this was where they were going. I’d like to say I posted my theory in a comment at some point, but if I did it was quite sometime ago. I still enjoyed the twist…I was never a fan of his but like some of the other changes that have come around Im looking forward to seeing how his return is treated!

  80. Having read every Swamp Thing book, I gotta say, I’m psyched about this.  Also, the new Paralaiment of Trees thing is awesome.  I’ve been waiting for something like that to happen since that Red Spectre guy burned the original (what was his name again?).  All in all, loved it.

  81. Best reveal ever. I had two friends text me and tell me to immediately get this. Awesome job and Awesome job on history of swampie

  82. @Evangelion11 
    Yeah, didn’t Moore get pissed off at Johns and use Blackest Night (an idea nicked from Moore’s green lantern tale) as an example of the industry’s imagination deficiency…?

  83. @mrmister   “I am assuming the two, Swamp Thing and Alec Holland, are one in the same.”
    There you’ve hit upon the crux of Moore’s run. Go and read the Anatomy Lesson, the first issue in Moore’s first story arc…

  84. I did read it and think they’re just out to wind Uncle Alan up. But I doubt he really cares very much.
    The thing that really took me by surprise was the iFanboy ad at the back; nice work.

  85.  I don’t ever remember anyone at DC saying the the new White Lantern would be one of the ones that came back at the end of Blackest Night. Quite the opposite…when the twelve got their directions midway through the mbt kvinners series, I thought it was pretty obvious that they were there to lay the groundwork for one more big return. There mbt online were ponderings that maybe it was one of the twelve…but it was always followed up with something of “…but maybe not…” That being said…I wasnt really surprised by the reveal. Since the thomas sabo necklaces rumors of his return started last year, I suspected this was where they were going. I’d like to say I posted my theory in a comment at some point, but if I did it was quite mbt shoes sometime ago. I still enjoyed the twist…I was never a fan of his but like some of the other changes that have come around Im looking forward to mbt butikk seeing how his return is treated!