I’ve decided what Redondo does so differently from Wrightson (and how it effects the book). He draws Swamp Thing not as a muscle-bound, ideal specimen… but rather a lumpy, awkward creature. No wonder he looks forlorn all the time. It changes how the book plays. One wouldn’t think Arcane would be after Swamp Thing’s body if he’d seen it as Redondo conceives it.
The issue is a depressing affair, with Swamp Thing tied to an unfortunate man who’s cursed to live forever… starting at the dawn of time. It apparently gets lonely when one’s alive billions of years. Wein plots it a little like a mystery, which works, but Swamp Thing’s inglorious departures from various time periods leaves something to be desired. Oddly, the internal thoughts start poor and get better, like Wein’s getting back into the groove.
Speaking of upping the grooviness… Wein gives Cable a black sidekick.
The Eternity Man; writer, Len Wein; artist, Nestor Redondo; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Marcos; editors, Paul Levitz and Joe Orlando; publisher, DC Comics.
Nestor Redondo has the somewhat impossible task of following Bernie Wrightson. He does pretty well, though he could have gotten more help from Wein. Redondo recasts Swamp Thing as more of a lumbering superhero (Redondo’s expressions of Swamp Thing’s frequent dismay are startling, given the character is genetically predisposed to stoicism). But he does fine. The cliffhanger’s fantastic and his people are good.
But Wein’s plot and his details (the dialogue, Swamp Thing’s thoughts) are all questionable. The issue’s a sequel to a Phantom Stranger issue Wein wrote three years earlier… it ties Swamp Thing to the greater supernatural DC universe, but it’s an odd fit. There’s only so much one might believe could happen in Swamp Thing’s particular swamp.
There’s a lot of cruelty; Wein explains why it’s okay later, but it’s a cheap excuse. He also objectifies Abby here (for the first time).
It’s all right, just… off.
The Conqueror Worms; writer, Len Wein; artist, Nestor Redondo; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Marcos; editors, Paul Levitz and Joe Orlando; publisher, DC Comics.