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 would happen again very soon with other characters guesting in Swamp Thing."

I chalk it up to "Post-Crisis Flux Time" (a term coined by Roy Thomas).  

This would have been my only comment on this story, also.

Tracy of Moon-T said:

There are a few lighthearted panels where Abby tries to keep ST on the newspapers she's put down to protect the carpet. 

Something else that we will see more often now that he has gained the ability to traverse "The Green" and create new bodies is slightly different bodies based on his mood and/or the environment. For example, when confronting the "Bogeyman" he manifests in an angry, thorny body.

ISSUE #45:

Another "done-in-one." It has been many years since I last read the "American Gothic" arc; I had forgotten it comprises mostly standalone stories, from Rosewood, IL to Kinnescook, ME to Louisiana, now to San Miguel, CA. The setting is an "eccentric" mansion built by Amy Cambridge and populated by the ghosts of those killed by Cambridge rifles. (For the story-behind-the story, see the Sarah Winchester Mystery House.) She built it so that the "sound of hammers" would drown out the sound of the rifles' hammers. Two couples enter, one leaves. The superstitious mousey man "knocks wood" and summons a "wood elemental" (guess who?). At the end of the story, he buys a rifle to settle with his unfaithful wife. Constantine introduces Swamp Thing to two of his associates seen in earlier issues: Benjamin Cox (#37) and Frank North (#41). 

It's interesting. The Winchester house was brought up recently in an anime I was watching with a similar house. 

As far as this issue goes, by the end I had zero sympathy for the people involved, which is likely what Moore intended. 

This is the final page, which has more weight to me, my heart, and certainly more weight in today's reality.

Randy, I agree. I had no sympathy for any of the characters in this story either. 

ISSUE #45:

At the end of the story, he buys a rifle to settle with his unfaithful wife. 

I’m sure that Moore had the character buy a Cambridge rifle to kill his wife to elegantly fit the story. Presumably, they would both end up haunting the house. Like with the suicide controversy, I’m sure he wasn’t invoking the non-existent “unwritten law.” Divorce or reconciliation would be the solutions, not murder.

Randy Jackson said:

It's interesting. The Winchester house was brought up recently in an anime I was watching with a similar house. 

I think the Winchester House is even more well-known these days because there was a 2018 horror movie, Winchester, starring Helen Mirren.

Additionally, the TV show Supernatural was very popular (15 seasons, 307 episodes!) and spin-offs continue. The lead actors were both portraying members of the Winchester family. I haven't gotten around to watching it yet, but I imagine there are references to the Winchester House.

ISSUE #46:

We've seen the Monitor and we've seen Lyla and we've seen "red skies"; now it's time for Swamp Thing's official Crisis tie-in issue. As I mentioned in a previous post, Alan Moore takes this editorially mandated crossover and makes it his own, folding it in to his own ongoing "America Gothic" story arc. Perhaps that is why Karen Berger saw no need to point out in a footnote that it leads into and flows out of Crisis on Infinite Earths #5. Swamp Thing #46 is, for all intents and purposes, Crisis on Infinite Earths told from Swamp Thing's POV. Constantine and Swamp thing meet Alexander Luthor aboard the Monitors satellite and are give their "assignment": the protection of the spiritual dimensions surrounding Earth. 

Back on terra firma, Constantine tells Swamp Thing about his enemies, the Brujeria, and their plan to use the Crisis as cover for their own plan, the destruction of Heaven. He tells of two other members of his team, Sister Anne-Marie and Judith (whom we met in #37), but cannot quite bring himself to tell of the Invunchie, who defenestrated his girlfriend (also in #37). We readers are familiar with it, though, and so will be Sister Anne-Marie by the end of this issue. Before continuing on with their mission, however, Constantine promises to make good on his promise to reveal the secrets of Swamp Thing's existence. 

[Also in this issue, Alan Moore (and someone else...?) makes a cameo appearance on page 20.]

NEXT: "The Parliament of Trees"

One of the things I liked about this issue is that we finally get to see another side of Constantine. We find out that his snarky bastard act is just that--an act. He's had mental health issues from his escapades and he's doing everything he can to hold himself together until the crisis (not the Crisis) has been resolved. 

From Crisis on Infinite Earths #5: Swamp Thing hangs out with the War characters instead of the super-heroes! 

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