Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 5.2
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Size: pages
Price: 24.99

It’s amazing how after 25+ years that one writer can basically be the same.

Now Swamp Thing isnt Alan Moore’s first hit in comics, rather it’s the first American hit comic he ever produced. Miracleman, V for Vendetta, Halo Jones, and his Captain Britian run was well before the start of this classic run.

Truth be told I am not a fan of Swamp Thing in general. He’s a cool concept but overall if you put a picture of the character up against Marvel’s Man-Thing I couldnt tell you much of a difference. But once I put down the first volume of Moore’s 43 issue run on the character, it made me want two things out of DC. 1) Let’s try another ongoing with the character and 2) Alan Moore can make any mainstream character the best character in the history of anything.

If you could’ve told me Moore made Swamp Thing a freak of nature turned hero into something more philosophical I would’ve rolled my eyes til they fell out. But that’s exactely what you get in this fabulously written first volume. I wont spoil the revelation you get in the second chapter here but it’s shockingly original and the way Moore takes this revelation makes Swamp Thing all the more interesting. Again this is 1983 Alan Moore; way before the venom spitting, anarchistic, 2nd job as pornographer; but it generally feels like the same man. All the exposition feels like reading a novel and once we get into the minds of either ST or the villain Floronic Man it reads like your reading the works of Dumas or something.

I generally liked the story overall, it’s a shame DC doesnt try out more horror/fantasy titles but I guess that’s where Vertigo comes in. What also helps this marvelous first trade is the shockingly good art for the time. It envokes the horror mode perfectly and although I hear the later issues get more frightening some of the pages in this comic is practically pant wetting. Floronic Man is a creepy villain as they come to beging with but then you should a panel with his face half melted then you practically got me with the lights on sleeping tonight.

Overall I liked Swamp Thing, even though I have praised it threw out it’s not Moore’s best work ever. But even when it’s not the best thing I have ever read from the man that doesnt make it all the more of an incredible read. You got a great creative team on board, a generally terrifying horror comic, and incredible use of a practical D list character. I for one cannot wait for the second volume but I do advise for one thing. If your gonna get into a series that can generally give you nightmares you might want to read a books about puppies afterwords.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. Interesting review, but you’ve got to acknowledge what else was going on in comics at the time. This was groundbreaking, seminal, life-altering. He had to throw out the "Approved by the Comics Code Authority" in order to write a real horror story, and one else had the balls to do that until then. It’s not lauded just because this is a great run of a book, but also because he broke all sorts of rules which enabled a lot of incredible stuff to happen thereafter.

  2. @sonia: Oh no doubt I agree with what your saying. But with this volume, it’s just the beginning of something. I hear his run gets more incredible and more ground breaking as they come. But this volume is just basically setting up on what Moore would do later on in the series. So once we get more of the issues collected again I’ll praise on how groundbreaking the run really is.

    I mean this is just setting up the revelation Swamp Thing reads in the second issue. So, it is just exposition if anything else for this volume. Still good, not gonna say it isnt.

  3. I hate the dust jacket this came with. Which is just a small complaint for an otherwise fantastic read. I’m really happy I picked this up.

  4. @Cadgers: Did you get the jacket where it felt grimy and like it’s been in a swamp? Me and my co-workers thought we got bad copies or something. lol

  5. This was the first significant ret-con that ever drew me in.  Is that the right use of the word?  I guess I don’t exactly know what the definition is.  The first significant deconstruction that ever drew me in.

  6. @TNC: Yea that’s the one. I guess they were going for the swamp feel but to me it just felt like it was not finished drying after getting varnished or something.

  7. Funny, I actually loved the dust jacket on this one. Had such a nice texture to it. I hate glossy dust jackets, though. Great book and Sonia is spot-on — this run, while not Moore’s best work, is incredibly important because it not only brought back horror in a big way, but also a literary quality that comics were lacking. If Frank Miller opened the gateway to bring noir and hard-boiled crime back into comics in the 80’s, Moore opened the gateway to bringing the "literature" back into comics.

  8. I really wish they would have included the next storyarc in this as well. That made the difference in my not buying it: I already have a trade that includes all these issues (minus #20) and have some of the single issues as well. I wanted a more deluxe, all-out version of this run, which is possibly my favorite comic run ever.

  9. Just picked up this trade as well, definitely lived up to my expectations. Truthfully I prefer this to what they are doing with the character now. I dropped the new one a while ago.

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