Swamp Thing 48 (May 1986)

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For an end of the world comic, this one’s sort of tame. I guess the world itself does not end here–only a serious foreshadowing of it, especially since Swamp Thing unintentionally helps the bad guys towards that end–but it’s still very dreary stuff.

Yet, the most awful thing in the comic is the cops dragging Abby out in cuffs. They arrest her for cavorting with a swamp monster.

That subplot, which only shows up in the last couple pages, shows the problem… if the world’s going to end, why is Moore spending time on Abby’s problems?

Obviously, the DC Universe isn’t going to end, but Moore’s still supposed to be convincing the reader of that possibility. By expanding Abby’s subplot, which he should be doing under normal circumstances, he draws attention away from the apocalyptic angle.

It’s a good issue, with nice Totleben art, but Moore should’ve focused.

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Swamp Thing 47 (April 1986)

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So the artists on the first appearance of the Parliament of Trees are Woch and Randall… They do a fantastic job and all, but it shows how comic book series are actually organic and susceptible to outside pressures; they do better loose, not planned.

Moore concentrates on the Parliament visit, which is dense with exposition and amazing visuals. Woch fills the panels with these astounding former plant elements; they’re eerily without speech and the art conveys the relative silence of the jungle setting.

Also in the issue is a developing subplot about Abby and Swamp Thing being photographed. Without it–and Constantine’s appearance–one could almost forget the issue is part of a longer, more traditionally minded narrative.

It’s also the first Swamp Thing-centric issue in a while and Moore juggles the character through tender relationship scenes, which are almost human, to the inhuman Parliament scenes.

It’s masterful work.

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