I’m just rambling about Swamp Thing. You can probably skip reading this post.

§ April 12th, 2011 § Filed under swamp thing § 10 Comments

So on the Twitter the other day, when I wasn’t complaining about Superman movie villains or discussing my dream casting for the Wonder Woman TV show, I had this to say about Swamp Thing:

“So where is my ROOTS OF THE SWAMP THING HC Vol. 2 w/#14-#24 of the first series? That’s (mostly) Nestor Redondo art, friends!”

Volume one of Roots of the Swamp Thing came out a few years ago, reprinting the first thirteen issues (and House of Secrets #92, my twelth copy of that story!) and thus containing all of Len Wein’s writing work with the character. A theoretical Volume Two would be primarily illustrated by Nestor Redondo (with the last story by Ernie Chua and Fred Carrillo) – now, Mr. Redondo was a fantastic artist, and you can see a small sample right here (from Swamp Thing #18, September 1975):

…but alas, he’s not quite the “name” that Bernie Wrightson is, and I don’t know that there would be enough interest aside from weirdos like me and this guy to justify the expense. But man, it sure would be nice to have those Redondo pages recolored and on nice, white (well, not browning newsprint) paper.

Also, this currently-imaginary Volume Two would end with these two stories, which would probably leave new readers with…well, maybe not a bad taste in their mouths, but certainly a quizzical one. …A quizzical taste? Sure, why not. Moving on….

A Showcase Presents Swamp Thing trade paperback would be possible, squeezing 24 issues into one black and white volume. Sure, I’d rather have it all in color, but this may be the only way to get the non-Wrightson stuff reprinted, by pairing it with the Wrightson issues.

I’m not holding my breath for this run of Swamp Thing appearances to be reprinted anytime soon, however. But, you never know…if there’s a sudden bump in interest in Swamp Thing due to current DC Universe events – oh, wait, SPOILER ALERT – maybe some of this stuff will get some new exposure.

Something else I was reminded of when I was going through my Swamp Thing issues, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before: there were only about six years between the end of the original series and the launch of 1982’s Saga of the Swamp Thing series. It sure seems like it was longer, doesn’t it? (Much in the same way there was only about eight years separating the Golden Age Flash from the Silver Age one.) The last Swamp Thing series ended in 2006, about five years ago, so I think we’re about due for a new one, in my own completely unbiased opinion.

In site-related news, I’ve started the arduous process of going back and “tagging” the appropriate posts with the “swamp thing” tag, so you can access them all with one clicky-clicky. …Turns out I’ve talked about Swamp Thing a lot, so this may take a while.

10 Responses to “I’m just rambling about Swamp Thing. You can probably skip reading this post.”

  • Chris T says:

    I would definitely put down my hard earned for a Roots of the Swamp Thing vol 2 *and* the Challengers of the Unknown trade.

  • Rich Handley says:

    Mike, this is DEFINITELY needed. I absolutely love Redondo’s work on the series. The years between Wein and Pasko are almost entirely forgotten to fandom, and yet, aside from the stupid Thruudvang story, those tales are excellent.

  • Anonymous says:

    DC ****must**** reprint Swamp Thing vol. 1 #14-24 and Challengers of the Unknown vol. 1 #81-87.

    THIS MUST HAPPEN. Don’t stop nagging them about it at cons until it happens!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    BTW, has anything from ST #25 “The Sky Above” turned up at Heritage Auctions yet? Has anyone asked David Anthony Kraft about it yet? Or anything more from that unpublished 70’s Redondo Patchwork Man story? A bit unfair Sweden got to see all of it and we didn’t. Inquiring minds WANT to know!

  • Dave Carter says:

    1) A big yes to getting those Redondo issues reprinted, in whatever format necessary.

    2) Mike, when Saga started up in 82, was that an early example of a retcon, ignoring the last two issues of the first series? (Or was that dealt with elsewhere, like maybe in the Swamp Thing DC Comics Presents issue?)

  • Wayne Allen Sallee says:

    The Challengers’ artist was Mike Nassar, right? Someone needs to put together a spotlight on him, he did the art on Kobra 1-6 and the finale with Superman in one of those 5 Star Spectaculars, and some of the Green Arrow/Black Canary stories in the World’s Finest Dollar Comic. I still recall one issue of Dinah getting out of the shower, some shadowed claw in the foreground. Swear to God: Next Issue! Water Sports with Werewolves!

  • "O" the Humanatee! says:

    Nestor Redondo drew beautifully, but IMO his art was too “pretty” for Swamp Thing. Initially he drew Swamp Thing relatively close to Wrightson’s model, hunched over, with a smallish cranium and roots and branches crisscrossing his body. But soon enough his posture improved, the head grew rounder, all that vegetation receded, and Swampy became more and more just a tall green muscular guy with a messed-up face. Naturally, Redondo was able to capture Abby’s gorgeousness the same way he did Rima the Jungle Girl’s otherworldly beauty. (One other thing that bothered me about Redondo in general was that his faces were surprisingly inexpressive and that his art was very static.)

    Based on Luis Dominguez’s cover art for Swamp Thing #11 (http://www.comics.org/issue/27536/cover/4/), the first Redondo issue, he would have made a great successor to Wrightson.

    Wayne: The inside art of (most of?) those Challengers issues was by Keith Giffen on pencils and John Celardo on inks – a very interesting look, and one that worked well for Swampy. I think Giffen, who’s a bit of a chameleon, was in an Alex Nino phase.

  • Mikester says:

    Dave – They weren’t really “retconned” as such, though a letter column response noted that they were pretty much pretending those stories never happened. But the whole hoohar over Swamp Thing turning back into Alec Holland in those issues was resolved in the first issue or two of his Challengers of the Unknown appearances, and never spoken of again.

  • Mike,

    This is not about any Swampy run, but an “homage / mention” on a TV show.

    Was flipping thru the channels and caught the end of an episode of “According to Jim” (Jim Belushi) wherein at the end of the episode, his basement flooded, his wife asks what they will do now with the basement.
    He says; “well…it’s the perfect time to ‘play Swamp-Thing'”, saying that his wife “can be Heather Locklear” while he “is” Swamp-Thing.

    He then lifts her up and wades through the water, commenting that “Swamp Thing now brings you to his lair” (to do it).

    I thought of you (and how I’ll never get those few minutes of my life back again).

    And to punish you for this here’s some idiot’s YouTube clip (they held camera up to TV so the quality is poor).

    It’s Season 3 Episode 14: House for Sale.

    Swamp-Thing riff starts as 7:30 mark.



  • Anonymous says:

    Mikester, Don’t forget April 2011 is the 40th anniverary of House of Secrets #92.

    It was on April 1st, in fact– if DCindexes is to be believed. No wonder nobody celebrates it.