And here’s where Pasko hits his stride. The issue features Swamp Thing versus a town of teen vampires who have not just ruined the town but done so out of boredom. Though I suppose their argument vampires don’t have to worry about money rings true.
Pasko handles the villainy of the characters and their supernatural situation well. But the best part is how he deals with the vampire hunters. Swamp Thing sort of moves through the issue (he’s only trying to get out of town) as an observer. That approach harkens back to the original series.
Speaking of the original series, Yeates usually renders Swamp Thing in that slicker manner, but he’s starting to establish the more mossy Swamp Thing here. Very interesting to see how it all progressed.
It’s a good issue.
The Phantom Stranger backup is strong too. Barr has an interesting script, though he needs another page.
A Town Has Turned to Blood; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood. The Beauty of the Beast; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Dan Spiegle; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.
Pasko immediately identifies the bad guys this issue—not just the regular bad guys, but the bad organization too. It’s the Sunderland Corporation and I’m pretty sure they’re around the rest of the series.
As for the regular bad guys, Pasko’s got a goofy, steel-handed corporation espionage guy who’s straight out of the first series and its silly villains. The other villain is revealed to be secretly German, something he’s kept hidden.
The story itself moves fast. Pasko gets in a resolution to the cliffhanger, a chase scene (a slow one, Swamp Thing can’t run) and then a big finish. He even hints at what’s coming next, something with punk vampires in rural Illinois.
It’s fine, if familiar. Yeates’s style is changing, getting into his creepy renditions of normal people.
Mike W. Barr joins Spiegle on the Phantom Stranger backup. It’s okay, though Spiegle foolishly illustrates the Stranger unveiled.
Something to Live For; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood. Soul on Fire; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Dan Spiegle; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.