Wein’s writing is back on track—except one page with incredibly awkward second person narration where he addresses the reader. Swamp Thing ends up in Maine, teaming up with a young woman accused of witchcraft and her little brother. Wein and Wrightson have a good time with the setting—even coming up with a conclusion I’m surprised the Comics Code let pass.
The issue opens with Swampy having to jump overboard on a freighter (there’s a brief explanation of how he got on the boat between last issue and this one) and it features some wonderful Wrightson art. Most of Swamp Thing, after the first issue, has been more traditional, British horror setting (even this issue) but the beginning is thoroughly modern. It’s interesting to see Wrightson do action, especially when it’s not monster-oriented.
The last page has a stunning soft cliffhanger.
Like every previous issue, this one’s indelible.
The Last of the Ravenwind Witches!; writer, Len Wein; artist, Bernie Wrightson; letterer, Gaspar Saladino; editors, E. Nelson Bridwell and Joe Orlando; publisher, DC Comics.
Okay, so this issue confirms Arcane (and Abby) were in the Balkans… so the English-speaking thing is problematic. This issue drops them (Abby, Matt and Swamp Thing) in Scotland on the moors for a bit of an “old dark house” and werewolf story.
Again, the draw is Bernie Wrightson doing a werewolf on the moors comic book. It looks fantastic. For the first time, I’m seeing a little of the Eisner eyes in Wrightson’s work. At times, his faces almost look like Ploog faces out of Werewolf by Night.
And Wrightson never worked with Eisner….
Anyway, the art’s the draw. As a horror comic, Wein’s script is all right. As a chapter in the Swamp Thing story, it’s problematic. Matt’s obsession with Swamp Thing is a little unbelievable and Abby’s barely a character. She doesn’t make a good damsel in distress.
Wein even stumbles on Swampy’s thought balloons here.
Monster on the Moors; writer, Len Wein; artist and colorist, Bernie Wrightson; editors, E. Nelson Bridwell and Joe Orlando; publisher, DC Comics.
This issue introduces Abby (still Abigail and oddly a great English speaker for Eastern Europe) and the Patchwork Man. The issue’s incredibly awkward, because most of it is Wrightson doing this lovely homage to old Universal monster movies. The Patchwork Man looks just like the Boris Karloff Frankenstein Monster (down to having his outfit, albeit fluffier, from Son of Frankenstein) and the setting is very Universal, vague Eastern European. They spoke English in the movies too.
Wait, maybe it’s supposed to be Switzerland. I guess I can buy it if it’s supposed to be Switzerland….
So Swamp Thing takes a supporting role, with most of the narration in the second person, from the Patchwork Man’s point of view. Wein is ambitious, but falters. Plus, he’s got Matt Cable inciting the villagers to take up pitchforks and torches.
Still, the art and general tone make it a more than worthwhile read.
The Patchwork Man; writer, Len Wein; artist and colorist, Bernie Wrightson; letterer, Gaspar Saladino; editors, E. Nelson Bridwell and Joe Orlando; publisher, DC Comics.