Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eaglemoss Swamp Thing

The newest addition to the DC Super Heroes lead figurine collection, and boy, is it ever nice.

The detail is fantastic, but it's the pose/look that really makes it Swamp Thing - his face rocks!!
..very nice combination of multiple art styles - though he's a helluva lot bulkier than Tom Yeates version.

Love it.
Good series of figures ..I knew I'd eventually pick up one of these.
Now I'm crossing my fingers for ARCANE, but which version?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

REVIEW: DC Comics Presents #85 Sept//1985

It's really a shame it went the way it did with DC and Alan Moore, and this issue is a perfect testament to what we missed, namely more stories by a guy who actually "gets" Superman.
I'm sure Mr.M could have written any of DC's stable well, but so few can write Superman stories that become classics.

We get Superman from a different angle that leaves you thinking and stretching your brain a bit more - great sensation. Alan Moore likes exploring space, and his Krypton is always interesting - it's the details - he hones in on specifics and puts the science in science fiction stories, never forgetting that Superman is from another planet a zillion trillion miles away. He's so good at making classic story structures fresh and this one is a mythic little tale that harkens back to the original stories cavemen might have told - that of the "anonymous hero".
I'll leave it at that as for revelations about the story itself, but noteworthy too are guest-artist from the Swampy-verse - Rick Veitch on groovy art duties, and a Silver-Age Superman - the Curt Swan Supes of the early '80s just before John Byrne's Man of Steel update.
I love clever one-off Swamp Thing team-up stories and it's a really good read, but much more of a "Big Blue" comic, with a special appearance by Swampy but that's what makes it work.
Not only do we get the best writer in the industry writing the trickiest character in the industry, we get Alan Moore's current(at the time) brilliant work in progress strolling in as a logical and fun as hell cross-over. The ending is smile-worthy for sure.
GREAT issue, and you can get it in the volume below.

Which brings me to my earlier point - I think DC should have found a way to make Alan Moore stick around back in the classic universe for a while. I love the work he did everywhere else but just think of maybe ten more books by that brain whilst wrapped around the costumed-stories - imagine a one year run of DC Comics Presents ..ahh, well - that volume is awesome but the whole Swamp Thing saga from #1 up to the Alan Moore stuff is good single-character comic reading. The story isn't challenging like the work to come but it is a dark and fun take on Swamp Thing's Alec Holland continuing saga and the art is excellent. Then, when you're settled into Alec Holland's plight and enjoying the book, along comes Mr.Moore's Anatomy Lesson and the truly legendary ride begins..


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

REVIEW: Swamp Thing #11 Sept//2012

Really good issue, but good in a different way - a point I'll come back to.

The story is the second part of last month's "Return of Arcane" blast from the past, and a superior issue for sure, though I appreciate saving the juiciest stuff for the second half of any good tale.
Regardless, this one more than any other yet, felt as though it could almost slide into the old '80s run. Now that's not meant to disparage this run, but most of us hold that time up as the best in the book's history. Personally, I feel Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Tottleben simply matched, then evolved the work of Wein and Wrightson.

This particular issue feels very "night" if you get what I mean - shadowy, creepy ..the Swampy this cat really digs.
I love how comic-booky it's been since the reboot but it's the macabre that has to form the title's spine, and this issue rolls around in it. It feels a bit dirty, like some of Stephen King's best work. Fact is, Swamp Thing can't be too "clean" a book in story or art, or it feels like "product" instead of lasting story.

This particular issue is just slightly different, and this is the exact direction I'm hoping for with this title - it's been a long time since we've seen a ground-level Swamp Thing(not an omniscient plant-elemental) fighting horrors we can't imagine.

I'm liking the Return of Arcane quite a bit this round, and gotta state again for the record what a good time I'm having buying Swampy monthly again.

Cheers, A.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

REVIEW: Swamp Thing #10 Aug//2012

This is the tenth issue of the New 52 Swamp Thing comic book.
I'm pleased with it, and trust me - no one loves Swampy like I do.

It isn't perfect - what is, but the first accomplishment of this series was a very important one; get Swamp Thing back in mainstream DC continuity. Mission Accomplished, and well done gotta say.

The next big element was the resurrection of Alec Holland, creating the lynchpin of the series storytelling. This was something I didn't see coming, and like JJ Abrams Star Trek, it did something I didn't believe could be done - make Swamp Thing "fresh" again. To put the duo Alan Moore split apart together again was ballsy and clever - I liked it, and it had me clambering for the next issue.

The third accomplishment of the new series seems to be new limitations for our hero...

I like that maybe best of all.
Alan Moores Swampy had become the Superman of monsters - invincible, married, and galactically boring. Not anymore.

This issue brings Abby and Alec back to the house from Alan Moore's run - a nice touch for sure, but the excitement for me was the return of Anton Arcane. It's not a perfect "return" and one has to ignore the fact that The Rot was never mentioned before, despite it's super-connected history with ol Uncle Anton, but hey - that's comics. It doesn't seem to be revisionist though - perhaps a tidying of old threads, all of which featured an evil/darkness ...I guess now it's called The Rot.
Anyway, #10 starts with Arcane and ends with Arcane - he's a fantastic nemesis, and I adore his stories, but I do hope Snyder gets his head around him a little better - he's not quite the Wein/Moore Arcane, but issue #11 may just get him right.

He looks scary and I do love his Anti-Swamp Thing face, but I find myself missing the insectoid versions of both he and his Un-Men - ahh well, maybe that look ran it's course.

The issue itself suffers from the one thing the whole series has suffered from - it's a little thin.
I miss the days of a very dense story, with matching artwork - the irony of it is that it reads more like a "superhero comic" than it has since the early '80s, logical with his return to that universe of course, but in this case that's not always a plus. Mood takes the right balance of suspense and setting - but it's getting more engaging as a book for sure.

Overall, issue #10(with its homage cover tackled below) is one of the best in this new run, but like the new Batman movies(as awesome as they are) I am curious to see what a new writing/art team will do with Swampy ...we'll see.

Very interesting single issue.


Coming Soon:

First Swamp Thing Annual of the New 52.

  • Written by SCOTT SNYDER
  • On sale OCTOBER 31 • 48 pg // $4.99 US
  • Years ago, Alec Holland met Anton Arcane...and the seeds of that encounter created the nightmare that is Rotworld!
  • This extra-sized tale of monsters and madness examines one of the greatest rivalries in the DC Universe!

Swamp Thing Annuals are a lot of fun - not the least of which are the covers - this is a nice one showcasing Swampy's new look - Pretty Cool, might even be a Halloween issue..  Bring it on.