Yes, I said "Constanty."

§ May 13th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized § 1 Comment

Well, the big news from the Seatlle comic convention was, of course, this bit of the report from the DC Nation panel:

[J. Michael] Straczynski went down the list of some of his planned team-ups for [Brave & The Bold] such as Batman and Spectre, Lex Luthor and Swamp Thing, Deadman and Wonder Woman, Flash (Barry Allen) and the Blackhawks, Constantine and Eclipso….”

Emphasis mine, as you may have gathered.

For the last few years (and as I’ve noted here in the past), and despite some intermixing early on, DC Comics has tried to keep the general DC line separate from the mature-readers Vertigo imprint. Which, primarily, means no Swamp Thing or no John Constantine in the regular DCU, as most of the other pre-Vertigo DC characters published by Vertigo (Zatanna, Doom Patrol, Phantom Stranger, Animal Man, etc.) have since popped up back in the DC Universe among their presumably all-ages-appropriate caped comrades.

Apparently the Vertigo offices are holding on to Swamp Thing (and Constantine, I guess) with a death grip, as frequent requests to DC honcho Dan Didio for that character’s return to the DCU are usually responded to with a “Vertigo won’t let us!” That didn’t stop the character from making some stealth appearances here and there (such as early in Gail Simone’s run on All-New Atom, or his hand popping up in Infinite Crisis), but Swamp Thing is too much of a flagship character for the Vertigo line for them to let him go. Well, “flagship” may be overstating it, since that last couple of Swamp Thing series haven’t done all that well. Maybe Swamp Thing is too strong a symbol of what Vertigo represents, as Alan Moore’s work on the title, it could be argued, paved the way for Vertigo’s existence.

Whatever the reason, it seemed unlikely that Swamp Thing was going to be meeting the Justice League any time soon. But then Straczynski had to go and throw out that “Lex Luthor/Swamp Thing” team up possibility. An editorial note in a follow-up interview with JMS notes that, in regards to Swampy and Constanty, “characters and team-ups are still in negotiations” due to this DCU/Vertigo split. However, perhaps JMS’ “big fish in a small pond” position in comics could exert some influence and let the characters cross over, at least for a brief visit.

Some of the previous Luthor appearances in the Swamp Thing comics:

The goverment wants Swamp Thing “taken care of,” so they go to a guy who knows something about fighting indestructible beings: a certain Mr. Luthor:

I love Rick Veitch’s visual take on Luthor…so arrogant and unpleasant. If I recall correctly, this is a very early appearance of the post-80s revamp version of Luthor…the “respected businessman” era.

That appearance went directly into the next issue, which shows Luthor’s actual consultation, explaining how he’d go about destroying a powerful being:

…Not that’s he’s had any real success on that front, one should note.

Much later, Swamp Thing decides he’s going to take his revenge on Luthor for attempting to kill him (and sending Swampy off the planet in the process):

Luthor and Swamp Thing never actually meet…they didn’t meet in the previous story either…but Luthor pops up here and there as things progress, looking as unpleasant as ever:

Swamp Thing makes repeated attempts to enter the LexCorp building, only to have Superman repeatedly stop him. And then a year or three later, the DCU and Vertigo split apart, and Swamp Thing never got his revenge. Would JMS’ theoretical Swamp Thing/Luthor crossover follow up on that story? Yeah, I know, probably not. But it’s nice to think about.

art from Swamp Thing #52 (Sept. 1986) by Alan Moore, Rick Veitch & Alfredo Alcala , Swamp Thing #53 (Oct. 1986) by Moore and John Totleben, and Swamp Thing #79 (Dec. 1988) by Veitch

One Response to “Yes, I said "Constanty."”