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

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One of the couples making out in the alley at Mardi Gras is Batman and Joker. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

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. 

Lady Jane was an elemental like Swamp Thing. Her tragic circumstances shaped by how women and children are treated as property and victims. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

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. 

Lady Jane reads bedtime stories to Tefé and shows her small ways to use her powers. 

Similar to Adam in Dark Shadows, my chief complaint is that no one teaches her social mores. Instead of correcting her bad behavior, Abby reacts with panic and revulsion. 


Jeff of Earth-J said:

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. 

I've read through #128 so I can keep up with the discussion this week. 

ISSUE #123: After discovering Professor Johnson's murdered body in #122, Otter flees to the swamp seeking sanctuary. the next day, Carl and Troy move out of Chester's house after the cross burning. Next door, Barron pays a personal visit to Boudreaux. Spike and Michelle drive to Houma in search of Otter. No sooner do they arrive than Spike is killed in chester's yard. Chester and Michelle pursue the assailant into the swamp. They are attacked, but Swamp thing intervenes before either is harmed. Michelle and Otter are reunited. Spike's killer stabs Swamp Thing in the eye (no damage) then commits suicide. The next morning, Michelle and Otter leave for Colorado. Chester contemplates returning to school, completing his degree and becoming a teacher. Connie Sutherland contemplates her next move.

ISSUE #124: Four years prior to this story, the Sunderland Corporation approached the government of a small Central American country, ostensibly to test a new kind of fertilizer on a small village. what they were really testing was a slow-acting defoliant to sell to the U.S. government to be used against coca-growers in South America. In desperation, the villagers perform a sacrificial rite on Sunderland's local rep, a rite which serves to summon the Swamp Thing. The damage done to the village is harmful but not irreparable. While the Swamp thing is fixing it, however, Sunderland's men come in and torch the village, killing everyone. Rather than fighting the company directly, Swamp thing gathers evidence and sends it to The Daily Planet, care of Clark Kent. 

ISSUE #125: Here's something you don't see very often: a DC "anniversary" issue that celebrates an actual anniversary (in this case, the 20th since House of Secrets #92). Tracy's not going to be happy, though, as it also features the return of Anton Arcane. I do see her point. Back in Swamp Thing Annual #2 when Swamp Thing encountered him in Hell for the first time, Arcane pleads, "Wait! Puh-please, before you guh-go... Huh-how many years have I buh-been here?" to which Swamp Thing matter-of-factly replies, "Sin yesterday."

"Yesterday? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE..."

I wish they would have left it at that. Sometimes less is more. Now he's rising up in the ranks and has even escaped (in a tie-in with Sandman's "Season of Mists" which I am reading now and Tracy will be soon). Arcane is thwarted but not defeated. In the last scene of the issue, Connie Sunderland has had her father's cryogenically frozen body transferred to the Houma location. Visual cues indicate that Arcane has designs on the corpse. 

ISSUE #126: An offbeat fill-in issue written by Dick Foreman in which Swamp thing aids a burned-out underground cartoonist whose work inspired Alec Holland in his college days. Swamp Thing manifests as a Mescalito cactus and gives the artist a button to eat. The "philosophy" was supposed to be trippy, but I found it to be banal. This art features a ten-page, three-tier hallucination sequence that, if cut out and laid end-to-end, would form a panel 16 feet long. It's no issue #34, believe me (another example where they should have left well enough alone). 

I read this issue this past weekend and told Jeff that I truly wonder what kind of mind thinks up stories, specific scenes, and shares them. What kind of person sees no issues with illustrating those debauched scenes. 

Tefé is possessed by Arcane the maggot demon. While in her infant body, she sloppily kisses Abby while he tells her she is beautiful like her mother. I'm sorry. IMO, that is not storytelling. It's just gross. It's purely to shock the reader and does not further the story at all. It's sick.

I refuse to gloss over this toxic vein running through these issues. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ISSUE #125: Here's something you don't see very often: a DC "anniversary" issue that celebrates an actual anniversary (in this case, the 20th since House of Secrets #92). Tracy's not going to be happy, though, as it also features the return of Anton Arcane. I do see her point. Back in Swamp Thing Annual #2 when Swamp Thing encountered him in Hell for the first time, Arcane pleads, "Wait! Puh-please, before you guh-go... Huh-how many years have I buh-been here?" to which Swamp Thing matter-of-factly replies, "Sin yesterday."

"Yesterday? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE..."

I wish they would have left it at that. Sometimes less is more. Now he's rising up in the ranks and has even escaped (in a tie-in with Sandman's "Season of Mists" which I am reading now and Tracy will be soon). Arcane is thwarted but not defeated. In the last scene of the issue, Connie Sunderland has had her father's cryogenically frozen body transferred to the Houma location. Visual cues indicate that Arcane has designs on the corpse. 

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