Saga of the Swamp Thing—Book 1

saga of the swamp thing book 1 cover trade paperback alan moore
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10

Anatomy Lesson story, great start to a great run

Some random issues aren't up to the level of what comes later in the series

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Saga of the Swamp Thing

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Alan Moore

Artist:  Stephen Bissette/John Totleben/Dan Day/Rick Veitch

# of Issues:  8

Release Date:  2012


The Saga of the Swamp Thing #21

Reprints The Saga of the Swamp Thing #20-27 (January 1984-August 1984).  Alec Holland is the Swamp Thing…or is Swamp Thing Alec Holland?  A discovery by the Dr. Woodrue changes the course of Swamp Thing’s life forever by uncovering a secret he never knew.  With new powers and abilities, Swamp Thing faces horror that he’s never experience.

Written by comic master Alan Moore, Saga of the Swamp Thing—Book 1 collects the first eight issues of Moore’s monumental run on the series.  The series won multiple awards and Moore’s writing helped propel the secondary character to a more prominent role.  It was previous collected as Swamp Thing 1:  Anatomy Lesson (which did not contain The Saga of the Swamp Thing #20).

Alan Moore has a hard time doing any wrong, and Saga of the Swamp Thing represents one of his early attempts to really change the comic world.  By turning the character on its head and revealing that Alec Holland has always been dead with the Swamp Thing as an imitation of him, Moore started a strange and different path for the character.

This volume essentially has three storylines.  The first is the one issue story in The Saga of the Swamp Thing #20 (January 1984).  It quickly wraps up the story pieces from the previous issues of Swamp Thing.  It doesn’t have much to do with anything later in the volume but it does set up Swamp Thing as dead and his body in deep freeze (with Abby and Ben on the run).  It is a rather unceremonious dispatch, but necessary to get into new stories.


The Saga of the Swamp Thing #25

The second storyline is what changed the series and obviously is really where Moore took over.  It turns Swamp Thing into an entity rather than a man and puts him in conflict with the Floronic Man (Woodrue).  The actual battle isn’t that interesting, but it does feature some cameos by the Justice League.

The third storyline shows the horror that is potential in Swamp Thing.  Abby starts working at a house full of special kids and finds them haunted by their nightmares and a creepy white ape.  The story keeps tied to DC with an appearance by the Demon, but the series really starts to develop its own feel here…plus, it sets up one of the scariest storylines with Matt Cable’s accident which is developed in the next story.

I love the Swamp Thing relaunch by Moore and this collection gets it started.  Think you know Swamp Thing and haven’t read this…think again!  Check out one of the comic classics of the ’80s that made comics for adults and really helped establish Moore and one of comics’ most original voices.

Related Links:

Saga of the Swamp Thing—Book 2

Saga of the Swamp Thing—Book 3

Saga of the Swamp Thing—Book 4

Saga of the Swamp Thing—Book 5

Saga of the Swamp Thing—Book 6

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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