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Swamp Thing

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New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek ComicsInside the Frontier: What Non-Comic Readers Can Learn From Reading The Star Trek Comics

What kind of relationship do comic books and films share? This is a broad, subjective, and fairly debatable question to ask most comic readers, but it is still nonetheless a question that continuously courses through… [more]

Cast of Li'l Abner by Al Capp copyLook Away, Dixie Land: Reflections on Life in the South, Racist Iconography, and Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing

When I was very young, my family used to make an annual summer trip to Dogpatch, U.S.A.  Nestled in the Ozark Mountains near Harrison, Arkansas, Dogpatch was a small amusement park inspired by Al Capp’s… [more]

Young Frank MillerFrank Miller’s Daredevil Saga, Part 1: Introduction

Introduction Few writer/artists have been able to leave such an impact on a character that it has forever transformed comics after. Frank Miller was able to breathe life and vitality to characters that had been… [more]

Hellblazer 010 CoverSifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 8

Issue #10 “Sex and Death” Writer: Jamie Delano Art: Richard Piers Rayner and Mark Buckingham Colors: Lovern Kindzierski Letters: Todd Klein Cover: Dave McKean With the ultimate goal of self-preservation, the consequences of John Constantine’s… [more]

constantineSifting Through the Ashes: Analyzing Hellblazer, Part 1

When the term “magic” is observed by a member of the Western world, certain images undoubtedly come to mind. Long bearded men with staffs and pointy hats, a young boy with a lightning bolt scar,… [more]

from Mark Millar's Swamp Thing“About Sixty Per Cent Happy”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 40

Continued from last week. The rest of Millar’s Swamp Thing tales shared the same weaknesses as River Run, although they only intermittently reflected the same strengths. The likes of Twilight of The Gods and Chester… [more]

from Swamp Thing #158, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“So Many Questions are Left Unanswered”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 39

Continued from last week. For the third time in ten months, Millar’s Swamp Thing had presented abortion in a wholly negative light. Nothing that he’d write in the remainder of his tenure on the book… [more]

from Swamp Thing #157, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Why d’You Think God Created Abortion Clinics?”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 38

Continued from last week. After abortion as a vehicle for laddish jokes and abortion as a means for evoking terror, Millar turned to abortion as a symbol of crass irresponsibility. (ST: 147/152/157) In Sink Or… [more]

from Swamp Thing #157, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Terminate This Pregnancy”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 37

Continued from last week. Millar makes more use of the topic of abortion in Swamp Thing than most superhero writers do in a lifetime. In each case, abortion is used either as a symbol of… [more]

from Swamp Thing #152, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Her Deepest, Hidden Secrets”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 36

Continued from last week. As so often before, Murder In The Dark saw Millar indulging in two of his greatest fascinations: body horror at the expense of helpless female victims and the tradition and dogma… [more]

from Swamp Thing #153, by Millar, Hester et al.“Do You Remember Earth Two or Earth X?”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 35

Continued from last week. Though Millar’s River Run tales are rarely anything other than predictable, they’re also undeniably focused, purposeful and enthusiastically told. Even when he’s sketching out the inevitably baleful career of a psychopathic… [more]

from Swamp Thing #153, by Millar & Chris Weston.“There is Something Wrong with This World”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 34

Continued from last week. Even when Millar put an appropriately exotic backdrop to use, he frequently neutered its dramatic potential. The desert setting used to conclude the first arc was portrayed in an entirely throwaway… [more]

crop from John Totleben's cover to 1976's Swamp Thing #171.“Not Walking in Alan Moore’s Footsteps”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 33

Continued from last week. Of course, there’s no reason why an obvious ending can’t also be a satisfying one. Similarly, a protagonist that seems to lack personality or potency can still be used in a… [more]

from Swamp Thing #158, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Even The Worst Among Them Has Potential”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 32

Continued from last week. So, the Millar who wrote Swamp Thing was enthusiastic, ambitious, and ethically engaged. But for all his efforts and good intentions, and for all the occasional highpoint, the run was heavy-handed,… [more]

from JLA #8, by Morrison, Porter, Dell.“Ritual Must Be Observed”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 31

Continued from last week. As for his two warring Lodges of super-mages, Millar seems to have used them as a symbol of religious sectarianism and reconciliation. Their differing interpretations of how to save the world… [more]

from Swamp Thing #168, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Why Try to Create a New God?”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 30

Continued from last week. But for all the carelessness and clumsiness of Millar’s scripts, his and Morrison’s Swamp Thing consistently displays a deliberate and serious moral purpose. Indeed, the comic persistently plays out two quite… [more]

Don Roberto & El Senor Blake face the supposedly ominous prospect of The Word's intervention; from Swamp Thing #147, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Take a Look Inside My Mind”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 29

Continued from last week. It’s impossible to believe that Morrison and Millar’s Swamp Thing wasn’t intended as an allegory. For all that Morrison’s original plans appear to have been significantly modified by his junior partner,… [more]

Image4As Human as You Want to Be: A Review of Charles Soule’s Swamp Thing: Seeder

It’s an obvious pun when the subtitle here is “Seeder”, but Charles Soule’s first Swamp Thing book is such a scattershot of ideas and beginnings that it’s like he’s planting the seeds of larger storylines… [more]

How to tell a charming rogue from a complete rotter; from Swamp Thing #169, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“Old Souls, Dark Agendas”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 28

Continued from last week. The final pages of Millar’s Swamp Thing depict the Earth on the eve of a historically unprecedented golden age. (*1) Humanity has been empathetically transformed through the god-like Swamp Thing’s influence,… [more]

Evil Swamp Thing collaborates in Maggie's abuse, from Swamp Thing #171, by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“The Spirit of Hatred or the Spirit of Love”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 27

Continued from last week. Other aspects of Millar’s closing tilt at Swamp Thing were less praiseworthy. Though the final arc appears to show little of the swaggering misogyny that saturated his earliest work for 2000AD,… [more]

from Swamp Thing #167 by Millar, Hester, DeMulder et al.“The Notion that Mankind is Diseased and Must be Replaced at all Costs”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 26

Continued from last week. The conflict between Millar’s two opposing teams of Masons appears to represent a clash of empathy and hubris, tolerance and tyranny, good faith and a world-razing secularism. Where one Lodge is… [more]

Seaguy 01Why Aren’t Horror Comics Scary?

Six months out from its announcement at 2014’s Image Expo, we’re still waiting for a solicitation on Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s “The Nameless,” a book that I can guarantee you, based on those two… [more]

from Swamp Thing #169 by Millar, Swan, DeMulder et al.“The War Between the Super-Freemasons”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 25

Continued  from last week. Millar’s command of his craft wouldn’t significantly improve over the remainder of his time on Swamp Thing, though progress would undeniably occur. He’d dial back on the degree of redundant dialogue… [more]

from Swamp Thing #150 by Millar, Swan, DeMulder et al.“A Martyr for All Mankind”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 24

Continued from last week. At first, Morrison and Millar’s scripts were religious only in the very broadest sense of the term.  With the former’s influence clearly dominant, Swamp Thing’s series-opening crisis of identity is clearly framed… [more]

from Swamp Thing 165 by Millar, Swan, DeMulder et al“[The] Most Morally Objectionable Comic DC Has Ever Published”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 23

Continued from last week. As ever, it’s impossible to precisely disentangle Morrison’s influence from Millar’s. Yet Swamp Thing’s storylines and themes certainly bear the stamp of many of the former’s recurrent passions; magic and folklore,… [more]