I started reading Swamp Thing from the very beginning... sort of. When I was a kid, I liked superhero comics and not much else (no western, no war, etc.). I also gravitated toward Marvel, so Swamp Thing had two strikes against it right out of the gate (to mix a metaphor or two). I remember seeing titles such as Swamp Thing and Kamandi on the spinner racks but not giving them a second look (or even a first). Even when I walked into a comic book shop for the first time in my life several years later, it took some time for me to overcome my preconceived notions regarding such titles as Daredevil (Frank Miller's) and Swamp Thing (Alan Moore's). Then, in 1986, DC released the Roots of the Swamp Thing reprint series and i started at the very beginning (#1) if not exactly from the very beginning (1972). 

Skip ahead 15 years. I'm now married. My new bride is not wholly unfamiliar with comic books and is willing to read more. I recommended a list of 8 or 10 of my favorites (including the Wein/Wrightson and the Moore/Bisette/Totleben runs of Swamp Thing), most of which she read. I had tens of thousands of comics in my collection at that time, enough to keep us busy reading and discussing for years. But she became interested in comics I didn't have, such as the post-Moore Swamp Thing as well as the complete run of Fables (which I myself still have not read). We spent the next however-many-it-was months collecting backissues of Swamp Thing plus I added those two titles to my pull & hold. 

At this point Tracy has read literally hundreds more issues of Swamp Thing than I have. We don't have every issue (she finally lost interest after the "New 52"), but we have quite a few. Ironically,  it was "Brightest Day" which reignited my own interest, so some of the more recent issues she has not read. I like to "prorate" the cost of my comics by a) reading them multiple times, or b) giving them to my wife to read. We get the best value from those comic we both read multiple times. To that end, we have decided to work our way through every issue we own from 1972 to 2018.

We recently led a discussion through every issue/series in Terry Moore's "SiP-verse" but, if we complete it, this project is more than twice as long. We invite you along for the ride. 

Wein/Wrightson - p1

Nestor Redondo - p2

The "Mopee Thing" - p3

Miscellaneous - p4

Martin Pasko - p5

Alan Moore - p8

Rick Veitch - p25

Doug Wheeler - p31

Nancy Collins - p33

Grant Morrison & Mark Millar - p37

Mark Millar - p38

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I could never accept that the Ranninites couldn't fix the Zeta Beam, or that Hal Jordan couldn't give Adam a lift to Rann, or at least drop him off at Honest Qjxgh's Used Starship Lot so he could have a more reliable way of getting to and from Rann when he wanted to.

Philip Portelli said:

Not to mention, Adam is hardly treated like the "Champion of Rann" and more like a joke!

Not only fix the Zeta-Beam but get it to at least hit the Northern Hemisphere to save on travelling! 

The Baron said:

I could never accept that the Ranninites couldn't fix the Zeta Beam, or that Hal Jordan couldn't give Adam a lift to Rann, or at least drop him off at Honest Qjxgh's Used Starship Lot so he could have a more reliable way of getting to and from Rann when he wanted to.

Philip Portelli said:

Not to mention, Adam is hardly treated like the "Champion of Rann" and more like a joke!

Of course he’s a joke to them — he’s the only one who doesn’t know he's only there as a stud, and the “emergencies” he’s solving are there as distractions and sops to his ego. This was a complete re-write of Adam Strange, without changing a word Gardner Fox wrote — something of an Alan Moore specialty.

Although you’d think someone as smart as Adam was supposed to be would notice the absence of children on Rann.

It’s not a terribly heroic loook, tho, and it didn’t seem to stick. I have but have not read Tom King’s Black Label Adam Strange maxiseries, so I don’t know if he used the idea.

As to how Adam could cure everyone, wasn’t there some loose talk about Sardath just needing some viable sperm to jump-start the Rannies? Also, Swamp Thing removed the radiation (I think?) so that problem is solved.

Captain Comics said:

As to how Adam could cure everyone, wasn’t there some loose talk about Sardath just needing some viable sperm to jump-start the Rannies? Also, Swamp Thing removed the radiation (I think?) so that problem is solved.

When Swamp Thing is with Sardath and the council he observes that all of them look like brothers. Could there be a lot of clones? 

Maybe, like you say, samples from Adam and the baby could be modified so that they could have genetic diversity. They're good at science, after all. 

ISSUE #59:

This is another "unusual-if-not-unique" issue, not only because it doesn't feature the title character but also because it is written by series artist Stephen Bissette (from a plot by Bissette, Totleben, Moore and Vietch). The story incorporates the "Patchwork Man" story from House of Secrets #140 and even the unpublished (in America) one from #141 into continuity. When I read it for the first time, I knew it was referencing previous events (in addition to those of original series #3), but I assumed it was from something later in the series which I had not yet read at the time. still, I think the story does flow better without the interruption of unnecessary footnotes.

Abby has taken a job at a nursing home. Her boss. Ms. Claiborne comes off as hard, cold and emotionless. Gator, a fellow co-worker, preys on the residents. Mr. Townclock is a more realistic version of Hans Klochmann from original series #6. Abby has taken Liz into her home, but Liz is largely helpless and unable to take care of herself. Chester Williams calls Abby with reports of a "swamp monster" sighted making its way from Texas into Louisiana. In hope that it might be Alec, they set out in search. 

I remember this issue as providing closure to Abby's relationship to her father, but it doesn't really. I think it could have if it would have stopped a page short of "I can't find his head." The issue's framing sequence (Anton Arcane in Hell) provides the true point of the story.

The cover is inked by Bill Seinkeiwicz. 

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

There was a three-issue Adam Strange series published in 1990 (by Richard Bruning and Andy Kubert), roughly at the same time as issues #93-95 of this Swamp Thing series.

I don't think that it was ever in continuity, but it follows from the status quo established in these Swamp Thing issues and takes it to situations that we would not expect from usual Adam Strange stories.

I remember that one. It took the notions presented in issues #93-95 into some ugly directions. I recall disliking it very much because of that, not knowing or caring at the time about the wave of writers deconstructing Silver Age heroes. 

I gave that Adam Strange series a pass at the time, not being overly familiar with the character in the first place. Then, a couple of years later, I bought the whole for 75 cents at a quarter sale. It's sat in a box ever since. I do plan to read it as part of a future "Adam Strange" reading project, but now that I know it ties closely to Swamp Thing #93-95 I might just slot it in then as a kind of sidebar. 

Sorry, I think I caused a misunderstanding.

That Adam Strange series was published at the same time as Swamp Thing #93-95, but has no links to it besides following from previous continuity established in these past issues.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I gave that Adam Strange series a pass at the time, not being overly familiar with the character in the first place. Then, a couple of years later, I bought the whole for 75 cents at a quarter sale. It's sat in a box ever since. I do plan to read it as part of a future "Adam Strange" reading project, but now that I know it ties closely to Swamp Thing #93-95 I might just slot it in then as a kind of sidebar. 

This issue was sad for me, hoping Abby could get some closure or peace. I kept waiting for Swamp Thing or part of his swamp to absorb Patchwork Man into the soil as a burial. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ISSUE #59:

Abby has taken a job at a nursing home. Her boss. Ms. Claiborne comes off as hard, cold and emotionless. Gator, a fellow co-worker, preys on the residents. Mr. Townclock is a more realistic version of Hans Klochmann from original series #6. Abby has taken Liz into her home, but Liz is largely helpless and unable to take care of herself. Chester Williams calls Abby with reports of a "swamp monster" sighted making its way from Texas into Louisiana. In hope that it might be Alec, they set out in search. 

I remember this issue as providing closure to Abby's relationship to her father, but it doesn't really. I think it could have if it would have stopped a page short of "I can't find his head." The issue's framing sequence (Anton Arcane in Hell) provides the true point of the story.

"Sorry, I think I caused a misunderstanding."

Oh, "these" as in #57-58, not #93-95. Got it. 

Beyond what you've said, my only observation is that the eyeball teeth on page 2 may have inspired The Corinthian.

If not that, then perhaps the cover of #61...?

ISSUE #60:

This is not only the first issue of Swamp Thing to be presented in DC's then-much-touted "New Format" but also the first issue of any DC comic to be presented in the then-New Format. The actual title of this story is "Loving the Alien" but it was better known in fan circles back in the da\y as the "weird art issue." There is a feature in the Absolute edition which details the making of the issue but, also I applauded its experimentalism, at the time (I realize now) I just didn't get it. "Loving the Alien" would have been more appropriately titled "Having Sex with the Alien" and is the single most explicit (if not graphic) sexual issue that comes readily to mind. 

It has now been 35 years since I first (and last) read #60, and I can see now that, even though I was a high school teacher at the time, a whole lot of it went entirely over my head. Structurally, the prose is composed primarily of iambs. I had been taught (although obviously had not learned) to read such writings aloud (which I did today although not in 1987). Some of Moore's phaseology was borrowed directly from Shakespeare, such as "The first cut opened him from throat to abdomen" ("Unseamed him from the knave to the chops") albeit, in this case, in the opposite direction. Artistically, I see this issue as a direct descendant of Kirby's collages which, unfortunately, could be presented only in black and white on cheap newsprint, although later publications (such as Captain Victory and Hunger Dogs and a poster offered through the Kirby Museum) were able to present than as Kirby created them. 

#60 is the most alien of alien cultures yet presented by Alan Moore. Swamp Thing is nothing less than the father of this race's "Christ." If DC Comics and Alan Moore ever resolve their differences (fat chance), I would love to see a Moore-written follow-up with #60 serving as the "zero issue." 

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