Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.
The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!
SWAMP THING: EARTH TO EARTH - 2002
This is the fifth collection pulling together Alan Moore's ground-breaking run on the title that really brought him attention in the US. It picks up straight after the American Gothic storyline with the world saved once more and Swampy able to return to his beloved Abigail whom he had to leave to fend for herself while he went off round the world fighting the bad guys.
Or at least he would return to her if she hadn't been arrested for having "consorted with a genuine non-human organism" or, as Abby herself puts it, "hugging vegetables". She ends up skipping bail and travels to Gotham where she's re-arrested but by that point, Swamp Thing knows where she is and appears in the courtroom:
When the deadline passes, Swamp Thing reconfigures Gotham, turning it into a veritable jungle which, not surprisingly, attracts the attention of a certain Caped Crusader. Batman attempts - albeit very briefly - to talk things out but it ends up as these sort of things always do:
It's not often Batman ends up on the wrong side of a severe beating, is it?
Maybe it's the physical defeat, maybe Bats comes to his senses about the injustice of the situation, but he manages to convince the mayor that maybe Swamp Thing's right, and that punishing someone for loving someone else isn't the way to go. After all, if it starts with Swamp Thing and Abby, where will it end?
And it all ends happily with Abby and Swamp Thing reunited.
Until it doesn't as the underlying sub-plot of governmental scheming comes to play and, just when you think everything's heading to a happy ending, Swamp Thing is shot and his mind ejected, out of the green and across the galaxy.
There's really not much I can say about Moore's work that hasn't already been said by others, but it's nice every now and then to revisit his DC / mainstream superhero work before the marriage broke up. It's splendidly done and makes you appreciate it all the more because you know these are characters he'll never return to.