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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NANCY COLLINS:

ANNUAL #6:

New writer Nancy Collins' tenure will run from  #110 through #138 but it actually begins here, in Swamp Thing Annual #6. New editor Stuart Moore's intention is to turn Swamp Thing back into a horror title, and Collins is a published horror novelist, a former reviewer for Amazing Heroes and a longtime resident of New Orleans familiar with bayou country. Penciller Bill Jaaska's work (which I know from First Comics' Sable) is solid but unremarkable.

As the story opens, four  unrelated murders are committed and all four of the bodies are thrown off the Bayou Perdu Bridge. There, for no other reason than Bayou Perdu is a "place of power," the four bodies merge into a single creature seeking revenge.

"This is not the first time the swamp has played host to such an act of creation--nor will it be the last. Over the centuries, the bayous have produced their fair share of miracles and monsters. No special signs herald the birth of this, its newest child." 

In the course of her story, Collins introduces several characters destined, according to Moore, to become new supporting characters. As far as our established supporting characters are concerned, Liz seems to be on the verge of moving to Oregon... without Chester. 

"Perdu", of course, being the French for "lost".

Jeff of Earth-J said:

NANCY COLLINS:

ANNUAL #6:

New writer Nancy Collins' tenure will run from  #110 through #138 but it actually begins here, in Swamp Thing Annual #6. New editor Stuart Moore's intention is to turn Swamp Thing back into a horror title, and Collins is a published horror novelist, a former reviewer for Amazing Heroes and a longtime resident of New Orleans familiar with bayou country. Penciller Bill Jaaska's work (which I know from First Comics' Sable) is solid but unremarkable.

As the story opens, four  unrelated murders are committed and all four of the bodies are thrown off the Bayou Perdu Bridge. There, for no other reason than Bayou Perdu is a "place of power," the four bodies merge into a single creature seeking revenge.

"This is not the first time the swamp has played host to such an act of creation--nor will it be the last. Over the centuries, the bayous have produced their fair share of miracles and monsters. No special signs herald the birth of this, its newest child." 

In the course of her story, Collins introduces several characters destined, according to Moore, to become new supporting characters. As far as our established supporting characters are concerned, Liz seems to be on the verge of moving to Oregon... without Chester. 

ISSUE #110: A travelling preacher passes through causing trouble. Art this issue by Tom Mandrake. I forgot to mention a new logo debuted with Annual #6. In this issue, Stuart Moore announces a contest to replace "Swamp Things" with a new letter column name.

ISSUE #111: Swamp Thing, Abby and Tefé meet an old man in the swamp, a storyteller. this gives Nancy Collins the opportunity to showcase her knowledge of Cajun folklore and history. the framing sequence is drawn by Tom Mandrake, the stories by Shawn McManus. Good issue. 

ISSUE #112: The Louisiana gubernatorial race is shaping up to be closer to entertainment than politics (just wait 30 years) until a student activist group from Tulane University registered Swamp Thing as a candidate. Liz finally leaves Chester (as we all knew she would) leaving him devastated. The story is very similar to the one in which Captain America ran for President a decade earlier. (At this point, Swamp Thing is unaware he is in the running.) A news team from "Eyeball Witness News" arrives to cover the story. Jo Jo and Merle (two characters introduced in the annual) reenter the story. 

ISSUE #113: Merle is one of the murderers from the annual, and he gets his comeuppance here. Swamp Thing puts an end to the campaign nonsense, but makes an enemy of right-wing candidate Ben Barron (who has been running a smear campaign against him) in the process. This issue and the last were drawn by Tom Yeates, who gave the woman news anchor a ridiculous '80s-style haircut. 

ISSUES #96-101 Tefé goes on an adventure, ends up in Hell, now needs to learn how to rebuild her human body.

I had a huge mental block preventing me from reading because I knew Arcane and demons were coming up. Honestly, I remember what I read before, know what's coming up, and truly cannot stomach the artwork of Arcane and the underworld.

I am trying to get through this stack and be caught up. Re-reading it, I long for a good mystery for Swamp Thing to solve. Definitely not more demons. 

"Swamp Thing and the Mystery of Pirate Cove"

Tracy of Moon-T said:

Re-reading it, I long for a good mystery for Swamp Thing to solve. Definitely not more demons. 

"I'd have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for that meddling swamp monster!"

The Baron said:

"Swamp Thing and the Mystery of Pirate Cove"

Tracy of Moon-T said:

Re-reading it, I long for a good mystery for Swamp Thing to solve. Definitely not more demons. 

LOL! I'd read that. 

The Baron said:

"I'd have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for that meddling swamp monster!"

The Baron said:

"Swamp Thing and the Mystery of Pirate Cove"

Tracy of Moon-T said:

Re-reading it, I long for a good mystery for Swamp Thing to solve. Definitely not more demons. 

QUEST FOR THE ELEMENTALS: I-VI 

I remembered this story as I was re-reading it but specific parts had stayed with me. Abby and the butterflies for certain. The near destruction of the Parliament.

THIS is the kind of story that kept me coming back and reading ST. I is spectacularly well written and illustrated. The Grey gave the artists a world to create unusual creatures and spaces that awaken the imagination. The becoming of understanding and protection of the Grove for Abby is exactly what she needed to be Swamp Thing's partner and Tefé's mother, confident in her place in her daughter's life.

This is the stories they should keep writing.

(not a demon or an Arcane grotesque to be seen) 

In the end, the four merged dead bodies return to the swamp. When asked where the monster went, Swamp Thing says "I saw no monster." 

An Annual without Batman but still the theme was justice. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ANNUAL #6:

As the story opens, four  unrelated murders are committed and all four of the bodies are thrown off the Bayou Perdu Bridge. There, for no other reason than Bayou Perdu is a "place of power," the four bodies merge into a single creature seeking revenge.

"This is not the first time the swamp has played host to such an act of creation--nor will it be the last. Over the centuries, the bayous have produced their fair share of miracles and monsters. No special signs herald the birth of this, its newest child." 

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