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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This was a good issue, full of folk tales and scary stories. A delightful issue that continues the main plot in a small thread through the comic. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

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. 

I took a couple of days off from this discussion to allow Tracy to overcome her aversion to Arcane and get caught up. she doesn't have anything to say about #112-113, so on to...

ISSUE #114: Swamp Thing gave Abby a doubloon from Jean LaFitte's lost treasure which she had made into a necklace. LaFitte's enemy, Dark Conrad, rises from the grave and begins terrorizing the locals. Dark Conrad was a sort of pirate/wizard, but also an ancestor of John Constantine's. Constantine arrives in the swamp just in time to witness Dark Conrad abscond with Abby and Tefé. Once again, Nancy Collins' familiarity with the region adds flavor to the story, not just the history of Jean LaFitte but the ecology of the bayou she adds as color as well. she puts the swamp in Swamp Thing. this issue's art is by Tom Mandrake.

ISSUE #115: The spirit of Dark Conrad has allied itself with the elder gods, so Swamp Thing uses the doubloon to call upon the spirit of Jean La Fitte to defeat Dark Conrad. In the second feature, Labo explains the tradition of lighting bonfires on Christmas eve to his children, how the French-Canadian Acadians became the Cajuns, and the story of Santa Claus Papa Noel.

ISSUE #116: A boy with an abusive father finds one of Swamp Thing's discarded husks with a tuber growing in it. He plants the tuber and it grows to immense size. When things get bad, he hides inside it. the father follows and is "digested" in it's "stomach." A moody, "old school"  done-in-one by guest writer Dick Foreman and guest-artist Shawn McManus. 

ISSUE #117: Swamp thing, Abby, Tefé, Chester and a couple of characters from the annual (Jojo and Carl) go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Carl Vinter is Chester's new house-mate. 

ISSUE #118: This issue begins with Tefé in The Dreaming. She is 20 months old at this point and is starting her "terrible twos" a bit ahead of schedule. In the swamp later she encounters the creature from Annual #6, but at this time only one personality , the little boy Tommy, remains. Later still she kills a kitten in a gruesome manner. Worried that she might one day kill a child, Swamp Thing goes to the Parliament of Trees to seek advise but, as usual, they aren't very helpful. Meanwhile, Abby and Tefé go shopping in town. Carl Vinter introduces Abby to his boyfriend, Troy Washington, whom he met in New Orleans last issue. While Abby is distracted, Tefé is kidnapped by the same child-killer who murdered Tommy. 

ISSUE #119Tefé is taken by the "bad man" to her "new home" where he is holding another kidnapped boy hostage. Their home life makes Rose's brother Jed's seem like Ozzy & Harriet. the story plays out pretty much by the numbers, with an assist from Les Purdu (the bayou monster from the annual). this issue's big surprise is that the "governess" appointed by the P. of T.s, Lady Jane, shows up on the last page. She looks like some kind of wood nymph, but we'll see. 

ISSUE #120: Never a fan of the P. of T.s, Abby harbors extreme distrust against Lady Jane, their representative. Swamp Thing insists that Abby consume one of the little "acorns" growing on Lady Jane's back. Doing so reveals Jane's origin, which dates back to mid 19th century England. Now Abby and Jane are allies. 

ISSUE #121: Lots of new characters introduced this issue. A trio of "monkeywrenchers" (environmental extremists), Otter, Spike and Michelle, are caught in the act of sabotaging equipment at the Sunderland toxic waste site outside Houma. Swamp Thing saves them from serious injury by Sunderland's men. He takes them first to his home so Abby can fix them up, then to Chester and Carl's house. Their neighbor, Lester, is a right-wing bigot. Also new to the cast is Constance Sunderland, son of Avery. She takes over as new EO with plans to seek revenge upon Swamp Thing. She calls on the services of Dr. Eric Neiderman, who goes by the name of the Needleman. 

Dowager in Three Stooges Short:  "Ah, you must be those three environmental extremoists I called!"

ISSUE #122: This issue reintroduces Professor Clark Johnson. He is the political science teacher at Tulane who put Swamp thing up for governor back in #112-113. Later, Arthur Dole ("Otter") hacks into Sunderland's mainframe and discovers "Project: Proteus." Connie Sunderland is able to trace the hack back to Tulane, and order the Needleman to deal with Professor Johnson... terminally. 

At Jojo's Bar, Abby and Chester have a run-in with a guy named T-Beau, who happens to be the nephew of Chester's bigoted neighbor, Lester Beaudreaux. Beaudreaux reports the incident to gubernatorial candidate Barron, who thanks him by saying, "It's people like you that make America great." (Plus ça change, eh?)

Meanwhile, back in the swamp, Tefé has learned to use her powers to make little non-sentient live forms, like "animated" daisies.

That night, someone burns a cross on Chester and Carl's lawn. 

The next day, Otter discovers Professor Johnson's murdered body.

Two pin-ups this issue: one by Charles Vess and the other by Arthur Adams.

I didn't care much for #118-119, but the issues since #120 have really improved.

We have learned that Constantine has demon blood. Now we know that Dark Conrad is part of the family too. This is all Tefé's ancestry too. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ISSUE #115: The spirit of Dark Conrad has allied itself with the elder gods, so Swamp Thing uses the doubloon to call upon the spirit of Jean La Fitte to defeat Dark Conrad. In the second feature, Labo explains the tradition of lighting bonfires on Christmas eve to his children, how the French-Canadian Acadians became the Cajuns, and the story of Santa Claus Papa Noel.

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