To create a classic comic series you need the combination of a talented creative team with a unique take on the perfect character at the right time in history. In 1972, at the peak of 1970s horror comics Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson launched a character that is part hard traveling hero, part Dr. Frankenstein and part Frankenstein’s monster. Although only thirteen issues long, Wein and Wrightson’s Swamp Thing run created an enduring template of the Swamp Thing as a bulwark between the forces of darkness and humanity. During the next decade, others would try their hand with Swamp Thing with unexceptional results. Then, Alan Moore , Steve Bissette, and Rick Vietch invigorated and elevated would Swamp Thing in a more political and explicitly environmental direction while never sacrificing the characters’ horror roots. And while they were at, they gave us the enduring and strange love story between Abby Arcane and Swamp. Now firmly established in the minds of writers fans alike, Swamp Thing would never again fade from the scene. From being tent pole character at the creation of Vertigo, to passing through the capable hands of some of DC’s best writers, to starring in movies and television.
Join the DC History Club as we head to the swamp and explore Swamp Thing from his creation in the House of Secrets, to his seminal 1980s stories, to his appearances across the DC universe. During the next three weeks we will focus first on Wein and Wrightson’s 1972 series with three stories, each very different from one another that demonstrate Swamp Thing’s ability to work across genres. The second week deals with Moore, Bissette and Vietch’s revolutionary stories that took Swamp Thing from the monster hero to the defender of the Green. Finally, we will look across the broad range of Swamp Thing writers, series, television episodes and movies that have kept Wein and Wrightson’s muck monster in the center of DC Comics. And, we’ll be participating in the Friday Night Watch Alongs for double features on Constantine and Swamp Thing.
Keep on eye out the 2nd week of October as @TurokSonOfStone1950 launches three weeks of Muck and Magic: Constantine.
History Club Challenge Swamp Facts and research:
-Got some quality research material on Swamp Thing, his creators, or his impact on comics? Add it to our research wiki
-Got some good Swamp Facts you’d like to drop on us? Drop below.
Week 1: Wein and Wrightson
Swamp Thing #1 Dark Genesis Swamp Thing’s origin story.
Swamp Thing #7 The Night of the Bat Swamp meets bat.
Swamp Thing #9 The Stalker From Beyond Swamp Thing battles an alien, but who’s the bad guy?
Links to issues
Suggested Discussion Topics:
How relevant do you find Wein’s original run today, both as stories and in their depiction of Swamp Thing?
The suggested issues touch on crime, horror, science fiction, and super hero stories. How well do you think Swamp Thing works across these different genres? Why do you think it works or doesn’t?
Is Swamp Thing a horror character, a superhero, something else?
What are your general thoughts on these stories?
Open ended question, what do you think of Moore’s run?
Week 2: Moore, Bissette and Vietch.
The Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 The Anatomy Lesson Moore’s second story rewrites what Swamp Thing thought he knew about himself thanks to the Floronic Man
The Saga of the Swamp Thing #32: Pog pays homage to the Pogo comic strip with another Swamp Thing meets alien story.
The Saga of the Swamp Thing #34: Rite of Spring Swamp Thing and Abby join together in the way only Alan Moore could have imagined.
The Saga of the Swamp Thing #40 Cursed Constantine sends Swamp Thing to confront a woman who can’t control the beast within.
Week 3: And More:
The Swamp Thing Winter Special (2018) includes story from Tom King and the final Swamp Thing story from Len Wein, with additional script and art.
Friday Night WALs
10/23 episodes 2 & 4 8:00 PM Eastern/ 5:00 PM Pacific
10/30 episodes 9 & 10 8:00 PM Eastern/ 5:00 PM Pacific
Beyond the History Club: Join the Friday Night Watch Along in October for first Constantine and then Swamp Thing double features. We’ll be there with a few history facts and to just join in the fun. Plus, our friends at the Characters of DC Club have spun up a monster mash with even more Swamp Thing later in the month. Thanks for the Monster Mash @JasonTodd428. Need some of today’s Swamp Thing? Check out the World of Wonder as our buddy @nu52 has both Constantine and Swamp Thing in the Justice League Dark with stories that tie directly to the history of both characters.