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DC Comics Classics Library: Roots of the Swamp Thing (Review)

Sometimes a creator leaves such a massive impression on a character that it’s almost hard to believe that the character ever existed before the writer in question began their run. Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing is one such run, a modern day comic book classic which still reads as one of the best continuous runs by an author on any serial publication, ever. However, despite the fact that Alan Moore effectively defined the monster, Swamp Thing actually enjoyed a long publication history even before Moore began writing the title.

Roots of the Swamp Thing only collects the first thirteen issues of the first Swamp Thing title, but it’s enough to get a flavour for the title under Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson. While it still remains in the shadow of an author who took over later, it’s not a bad monster book in its own right. It still struggles a bit to find its own identity, but there’s some interesting ideas – and it’s easy enough to find some of the ideas Moore would develop to great success gestating between the lines.

It’s alive!

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Alan Moore’s Run on Swamp Thing – Saga of the Swamp Thing (Books #1-2)

Before Alan Moore was the superstar writer of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V For Vendetta, Watchmen or even From Hell, he was a writer at DC Comics. While he wrote some truly fantastic Superman stories (collected in the well recommended deluxe edition of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?), he was most famously associated with a run on Swamp Thing. When he took over writing duties on the title, Swamp Thing was a series on the verge of cancellation. Which meant that he had a huge amount of freedom to work on the title, with the capacity to do just about anything he wanted.

It isn't swamped with continuity...

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