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BY CONVERGENT EVOLUTION
from Space Family Robinson #10 (October 1964) by Gaylord Du Bois & Dan Spiegle
And then there was the time former employee Timmy came back from the San Diego Comic Con to bring me the Mattel SDCC Exclusive Swamp Thing action figure:
Hooray! Timmy just moved above Employee Aaron in my will.
Also, I was not prepared for the arrival of this generous gift, so I didn’t have my regular digital camera and had to make do with my cell phone camera. Yes, I had to “make do” with a dumb ol’ piece of advanced technology. Oh, the problems of the 21st century human, am I right?
Here’s the box the whole magilla came in:
You can just barely see Swampy’s red eyes peering through the slashes in the side of the box. It also reads “ADULT COLLECTOR” along the bottom there, so I’m surprised the people at the con’s Mattel table let Timmy buy it.
Behold, the frightening visage inside:
And when you open that up, there is an even more horrible thing waiting within:
(Hand and watch not included.)
You take Swampy’s red innards out, and you discover:
…an even smaller Swamp Thing! It’s not quite a Swamp Thing babushka doll, but it’s close.
Also included: the little guys that make this an exclusive SDCC figure, since I guess they’re not included with the wide release:
…Arcane’s Un-Men Cranius and Ophidian! (Again, only had the cell phone…sorry about the crummy photo.)
There’s also a “replica” of Alec Holland’s journal, clearly discovered after the fire:
…which is just a folded cardstock thingie with some of Holland’s notes, like a reminder that he should talk to Matt Cable about those dudes Ferret and Bruno who stopped by. Also, there is mention of Ferret’s alias being “Len Bernard,” a reference of course to Swamp Thing’s creators Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. It’s a nice additional little doodad to throw in with the figure.
Sincerely, this was a very nice thing Timmy did, so thank you very much, my little British buddy.
Also wanted to thank reader Paul, and his son Alex, for dropping by the shop to say hello to me on Thursday. Always nice to meet the folks who somehow manage to tolerate my daily blatherings.
So here’s the thing about that Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing series:
The end of Brightest Day was about the Swamp Thing “elemental spirit,” bereft of the personality template of Alec Holland and running amok, being brought back under control by “reinfecting” that elemental spirit with the personality of Holland.
The Search for Swamp Thing is about…the Swamp Thing elemental spirit, bereft of the personality template of Alec Holland and running amok, needing to be reunited with Holland’s mind to be brought under control. It’s repeating a conflict and, presumably, a resolution that we already saw at the end of the Brightest Day event (which, admittedly, was undone almost immediately as seen in one of the cliffhanger epilogues at the end of Brightest Day #24). Of course, we haven’t seen the last part of the story yet, but it seems like a done deal, judging by solicits for the upcoming Swamp Thing series, that Holland will once again become Swamp Thing. (SPOILER ALERT, I guess.)
The main purpose of the series is, I guess, to reemphasize the return from the Vertigo imprint of Swamp and John Constantine, having Constantine interact with Batman, Superman, etc. (And just to keep Swamp Thing in the public’s eye, of course.) But really, if it weren’t for that Brightest Day epilogue re-setting up the Berserk Swamp Thing hoohar to be resolved, we could have skipped right from BD #24 to that new Swamp Thing #1 in September.
I don’t know. I’m too much of a Swampy fanboy to argue that there should be fewer Swamp Thing comics, and all things considered, I still find this comic to be inept but amusing. But it certainly feels…redundant in its goals, both in reestablishing the status quo for the character and reintroducing the character to the DC Universe, tasks already accomplished a couple of months prior.
Also picked up this week: the seventh volume of the Smurfs albums, The Astro Smurf. This is the Smurf story I’ve most recently read prior to this new publishing effort, having borrowed an older English album edition from pal Dorian about a decade ago. Haven’t read this new edition yet, but I liked it the last time I read it, and suspect I’ll still like it now, even if it’s in this smaller digest format.
Another new item this week I haven’t had a chance to read yet: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Century: 1969. Any new League comic from Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill is most welcome, even though Kevin’s response has me intrigued.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been in bit of a Low Content Mode for the last few days. Sorry about that, but on the days I wasn’t feeling under the weather, I was otherwise occupied with Real Life stuff and haven’t had the time or energy to put together my typical way-overwritten commentary on things barely anyone cares about.
I’m not going anywhere, but I’m just going about it a bit more slowly at the moment. I’ll be back to normal operating standards, such as they are, soon.
In the meantime, here’s the variant cover by Ivan Reis for Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #2, due out this week at your local funnybook store:
Yes, the Constantine/Superman interaction is about as awkward as you’d think. More details here at the DC Comics blog, where it was apparently posted a month ago and I somehow missed it. …It’s a hard thing, gettin’ older and slower.
So I was not having a good time of it at the shop at one point last week, and Employee Aaron left me a Post-It Note sketch to cheer me up:
And I’ve posted pics of these before, but the originals just showed up in the mail and they’re absolutely fantastic and I wanted to scan ’em again and show them off:
These are from internet chum Dan, and you can see more samples of his art over at his Tumblr (like Omac vs. Omac or totally awesome Metamorpho), and I’m guessing you can probably contact him through there for commissions of your own.
And before you ask…yes, I’ve been bugging both Employee Aaron and his lovely wife, who is also a talented artist, to start taking commissions. I’ll let you know as soon as they do…and it’d better be soon.
Also, this is the greatest thing out of this year’s San Diego Comic Con.
from Conan the Barbarian Annual #9 (1984) by Michael Fleisher & Ernie Chan
NUMBER FREAKIN’ ONE
from Web of Spider-Man Annual #4 (1988) by Steve Gerber & Cynthia Martin
While the “me am Superbaby!” talk is a little annoying, granted:
…that seems like something of an…extreme response.
BONUS: by using this particular standard:
…count the number of civilized men at the San Diego Comic Con. I suspect there will be an equal number of headbands and neckties.