You made it through the holidays intact and your back is no worse for wear, what with carrying all of those heavy Absolute and Omnibus editions of various comic book compilations and graphic novels. Congratulations!
That brings us to the first Wednesday of the New Year – and our first Wednesday run to the local comic book to pick up something new and interesting.
It may be a new year, but today’s pick is a decades old throwback – from an entirely new perspective naturally. Follow me after the jump for the muck-encrusted low down on the new Swamp Thing #1!
Swamp Thing #1
Written by: Len Wein
Illustrated by: Kelley Jones
Published by: DC Comics
Created by comic book legends, Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson within the pages of House of Secrets #92 in 1971 and then in his own, award-winning monthly horror-tinged comic book in 1972, the Swamp Thing character actually got larger, award-winning traction, under the pen of British writer Alan Moore and artists Steve Bissette and John Totleben in the mid 1980’s. Here was a long form, suspenseful, horror-driven series filled with villains, monsters, other-worldly powers and a distinct emphasis on humanity that racked up Best Writer, Best Artist, Best Single Issue and Best Continuing Series Jack Kirby awards for a number of years. The success of Saga of the Swamp Thing, as the comic was called at the time, laid the groundwork for DC Comics’ more mature publications and the founding of their Vertigo Comics imprint. It also launched the career of Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) in North America and around the world.
Over the last few decades, under the pen of various renowned writers and artists, Swamp Thing has come in gone in several attempts at revival, never really finding the footing or the success the character had during his heyday of the mid 1980’s. Now, DC Comics has gone back to the well-source, employing the muck-monsters original creator, Len Wein, as the writer of a new monthly series. Joining him is horror artist extraordinaire Kelley Jones, whose exaggerated figures and mastery of light and shadow seem a perfect complement to the dreaded atmosphere that is the Louisiana swamp, the setting for every great Swamp Thing tale!
In the first issue, Swamp Thing receives a dark warning that portends black magic and a powerful evil. As the series progresses, look for many of DC’s dark stable of magical characters to guest-star, including Zatanna. Could John Constantine, the Hellblazer, be far behind?
It’s an interesting time to release a Swamp Thing series. Over four years ago, the character was at the forefront of DC’s New52 comics-wide publishing relaunch. That series held much promise under fan-favourites, writer Scott Snyder and artist Yanick Paquette. Still, the title seemed to peeter out in popularity under various handlers and it was soon cancelled.
There’s been talk, for a long time now, that a film starring various characters from DC’s darker corners, under writer/director Guillermo Del Toro, would come to fruition. Last year, Del Toro submitted a script to Dark Universe, as it’s being called, but withdrew from directing duties. A few months ago, news spread that casting would soon begin on the film. Swamp Thing looks to be a major figure in the tale. Could big cinematic news be imminent? Could this Swamp Thing series be a precursor to a surge in character popularity, propelled by news of a new film franchise?
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up Swamp Thing #1. Catch on with the critically acclaimed muck-monster – before the rest of the world does!