So reader Michael G. asks, in response to my discussion of Swamp Thing’s continuity nonsense:
“…Maybe in one of these posts you can talk about reasons why you continue to keep up with the character through messes like this. [...] …Is there a possibility Swamp Thing could be so badly mismanaged that you would stop buying it?”
To be honest, I really don’t have a problem with them fiddling around with the continuity. I mean, yes, I’ve said that the changes to the new Swamp Thing continuity make my inner fanboy twinge a bit, crying out “b-b-but that’s not how it happened!” — but frankly, I just take it in stride, and so long as this New 52 Swamp Thing comic is 1) entertaining, 2) good, and 3) reasonably consistent with itself, I’m fine with it. (In fact, one of the points in this new series I wanted to double-check was Alec remembering Abby only via fuzzy memories inherited from the not-Alec Swamp Thing that had come before, even though the recent annual presented Alec’s first meeting with Abby before ever “becoming” Swamp Thing…but no, there is an explanation, so everything’s cool there.)
My issues with how it may or may not follow from what has come before…specifically, the Big Event stuff that brought back Swamp Thing in the first place…that’s mostly just a bunch of nerd-pondering, a mental…well, I hesitate to call it “exercise,” but maybe more like a quick mental jog around the block. It’s kind of like when pal Dorian and I used to talk about Teen Titans continuity and how that pretty much screwed up DC’s overall superhero continuity.
The particular problem I had with that Search of Swamp Thing series that following Swampy’s comeback in Brightest Day was first, it complicated that return essentially by undoing it, separating Swamp Thing and Alec Holland again, with no explanation and no resolution. Second, nothing really gets resolved in regards to Alec’s status in relation to Swamp Thing, and the threat set up at the beginning (that Constantine was in danger of becoming the next plant elemental) is more or less unanswered at the end. Not really upset by it, just found it curious.
The other continuity blip I wonder about is in the first issue of the ongoing New 52 seies, when Superman checks in on Holland. Like I said last time, it could just be that Superman knows about Holland’s history vis-à-vis Swampy, and that Holland’s sudden reappearance, alive and well, is of concern to him. But it feels like this is a follow-up to an interaction between the two prior to this new series…an interaction that could be explained by the characters’ involvement in Brightest Day, though the structure of the New 52-version of Swamp Thing is that the events in Brightest Day are no longer necessary.
LFC notes that this could be remnants of story that preceded knowledge of the New 52 reboot, thus the plotting awkwardness. That would certainly explain a few things. But, again, I’m not really all that put out by the changes. I just like discussing them and trying to work ‘em out and noting what pieces fit and what don’t. I may gripe about a change or three, but it’s more out of a sense of bemusement than posting-animated-GIFs-on-Tumblr outrage.
To Michael’s other question…honestly, I can’t foresee a reason I wouldn’t buy Swamp Thing. That’s on the “no matter what” list even if, yeah, it’s absolutely terrible. I’d still be interested in what was being done with the character, even if I didn’t like how it was being done. In the case of that aforementioned Search for Swamp Thing mini, I liked most of the covers, I was amused by Constantine’s SUPER-BRITISH, “have we mentioned that he’s British?” dialogue and his interaction with super heroes, and I liked talking here on the site how this series didn’t quite work. So, yeah, it was awful, but I got some measure of entertainment and discussion out of it so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
Anyway, I didn’t finish my New 52 Swamp Thing reread, so I still have a small handful of questions I am looking to answer. But as our old friend Suckmaster Burstingfoam mentioned in the comments:
“I don’t think it matters.
“Any of it.
Yeah, I can’t say you’re wrong. But since when does something not mattering ever kept me from going on at length about it? That’s the stuff blogs are made of!