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Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing Paperback – February 23, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics, Inc.; 2nd edition (1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0930289226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930289225
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on April 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was just a junior high school comic book freak when Alan Moore took over the writing duties on the Swamp Thing series. I can clearly remember that even back then the comics world was abuzz with the incredible new realms that Moore and his collaborators were opening up. In an unusual fashion, this new ground was broken on a tired old series, as the Swamp Thing title was moribund and probably headed for cancellation. It's quite surprising that Moore was given free rein to completely reinvent this established character, and in the process he both proved himself as one of the strongest writers in the field, and sent the comics world in new and darker directions that are still being felt today.
Moore makes use of the best methods of horror writing, and the stupendous artwork of Stephen Bissette and John Totleben accentuate the dark feel of the storylines and send the Swamp Thing series to new heights of terror. Much credit should be given to colorist Tatjana Wood as well. In this volume, check out the artists' very groundbreaking (for the time) use of frames, placement, and coloring to accentuate the psychological horror of the story. One of my favorite examples of this can be found on page 27 here, with the accented focus on the crazed eye of the villain Floronic Man. In fact, this initial volume highlights Moore's intentional connection with the standard comic universe as well, with creative reintroductions of both Floronic Man and Etrigan (Jack Kirby's Demon), who had both been little heard from previously, plus a cameo appearance by the Justice League of America.
This early in Moore's run, the gutwrenching plotlines were still building up steam, and the subsequent volumes of this series really deliver the goods.
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Format: Paperback
When Alan Moore came to DC to write SWAMP THING, he had already made a name for himself in England with 2000 AD and his early works, including "V For Vendetta," "The Ballad of Halo Jones," "Marvelman" (later renamed "Miracleman" when published here in the States), and more. But it was his legendary work on the SWAMP THING series that broke him into the big time and made the name "Alan Moore" synonymous with "genius" amongst conic book fans.
SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING is a reprint of Moore's first story arc of the series (issues #20 through 27), the groundbreaking series that shook the entire comics industry. This was the first mainstream series to defy the archaic, outdated Comics Code (Marvel had done it earlier with Spider-man's drug issues, but this was the first series to abandon the Code completely); it was the first step towards "serious" mainstream comic books that catered more towards adults (and gave birth to DC's "Vertigo" line); it took an old has-been DC character that no one knew what to do with and breathed new life into him; and it also gave us a pair of wicked stories that are a sheer delight to read. Swamp Thing discovers his "true" origin in the saga of "The Anatomy Lesson," and he meets a horror from beyond death in "The Monkey King," while encountering several "minor" DC characters who had never been cast in the way they appeared in this series. (Moore's virtual re-writing of Etrigan the Demon sparked a new interest in the character, leading him to several spin-off books of his own.
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Format: Paperback
In 1984 DC comics hired a relatively unknown British comic writer and gave him the assignment to write Swamp Thing. Moore was given basically free reign on the character since the title was slated to be cancelled anyway due to poor sales. But then a funny thing happened...Moore revamped the character and his origins and changed everything fans ever knew about him. Thus Swamp Thing was saved from the axe and would continue on for 12 more years. Moore's run on the title has gone onto become one of the most critically acclaimed in comic's history.

This book reprints the first 7 issues of Moore's run from #21 - 27. Actually Moore took over one issue earlier but it was #21 that changed everything. In this issue, Swamp Thing, who was thought dead, has an autopsy performed on him by the Floronic Man who discovers that the creature has no human skeleton or organs...thus he is not, and never was Alec Holland as we had always thought. Instead, when Holland died, the swamp absorbed his memories and conferred them onto the creature that would become the Swamp Thing. We of course would later learn that Swamp Thing was actually a plant elemental and just the latest in a long line of such creatures. The Floronic Man would eat one of the tubers off Swamp Things body and go onto a psychedelic trip that would put him in touch...and control of all plant life on Earth. Swamp Thing would battle him over the course of issues 22 - 24.

Issue #25 was a landmark in that it introduced, although didn't name, one John Constantine, the Hellblazer. This would begin a three issue story arc where Swamp Thing battled a fear demon called the Monkey King with help from Etrigan. This book begins a marvelous run that for me culminates in issue #50. Great art throughout by Steve Bissette and John Totleben who came aboard on issue #21. A fantastic book!

Reviewed by Tim Janson
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