Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 10

I didn't grow up near a comic shop, but the grocery store had a spinner rack. That rack never had Swamp Thing. I been following Detective Comics, Spectacular SpiderMan, The Punisher, and Daredevil, but I knew there was a whole world I was missing out on.
But there was a magical trip to Knoxville (the biggish city 45 minutes from my hometown) that finally put me next to a comic shop. I don't remember why we at that strip mall, but next door to where we were going was a comic shop and my parents dumped me there while they did whatever the hell they were doing.
I started digging through the long boxes, desperately searching for all those cool titles I'd only heard of, Swamp Thing was at the top of my list. This cover to the left was the first issue I pulled out of the box and the first of four I bought that day.
Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson created Swamp Thing who made his debut in 1971 in House of Secrets. His series debuted in '72 and was a successful and popular run, but sales began to dwindle towards the end. It was brought back ahead of the Wes Craven film adaptation. Writing duties were turned over to Alan Moore and the book became the first comic to abandon the Comics Code, becoming an adults only title. Moore's run is also notable for the great artists who worked on the book (Rick Veitch and Steve Bissette) and for the introduction of John Constantine, Hellblazer.
 Though sales dropped in the 90's and the book was cancelled, the character remained a fan favorite. There was a new Vertigo series in 2004 written by Andy Diggle. That series kicked off with Swamp Thing as the antagonist and his daughter Tefe trying to stop him. Swamp Thing's old nemesis Anton Arcane returned in a bloody story arc and horror comic legend Richard Corben contributed to some issues, but unfortunately low sales doomed that series, but fans would get a treat when Swamp Thing returned in Geof Johns' Brightest Day series.
Now the new series is set to crossover with another character that started off in the regular DC universe and crossed over to the adults only Vertigo, Animal Man (another favorite of mine, and currently one of the best books on the shelf).
I don't see much point in talking about the two movies, although the first isn't the worst thing ever and has some interesting moments. The tv series from USA network that ran nearly 100 episodes is much better and is now collected on DVD in three volumes.
 A search on Youtube will get you to the animated series I'm sure, but you don't want to go there...The theme song alone, ugh (shudders).
Hopefully this new Swamp Thing series will be around for a long run, Not one issue has been a disappointment.

Keep watching the sky, nerds!

No comments:

Post a Comment