As best that I can remember, the first I ever heard of the comic book character, the Swamp Thing, was when I was in elementary school, maybe around the fourth or fifth grade. Back then the small supermarket in my hometown sold comic books off the magazine rack, and they could usually be found on the bottom shelf. One day, while perusing the selection, I ran across an issue of “The Swamp Thing,” and I’ve been intrigued by the character ever since.
Fast forward to around two years ago when Amazon.com released a “best of” list called Amazon’s 25 Essential DC Graphic Novels and ranked “Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book 1” by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben and others at No. 23 on that prestigious list. This rekindled my interest in the series, and I added this outstanding graphic novel to my “bucket list” a short time later. Over the weekend, I took the time to read it from start to finish and took more than a little pleasure in scratching this off my list of bucket list-worthy books to read.
“Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1” is actually the first of six volumes that collect the entire run of Alan Moore’s work on the comic. In Book 1, you’ll find issues 20-27 of the “Swamp Thing,” and to say that it’s very entertaining reading would be an understatement. If you’ve enjoyed Moore’s work on comics and graphic novels like “From Hell,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentleman” and “V for Vendetta,” you’ll love his run on the “Swamp Thing.”
Now that I’ve read “Book 1,” I’m left wanting to read the other five volumes of Moore’s work on the “Swamp Thing,” which went through issue No. 64. The other books (and the issues they contain) include “Book 2: Love and Death” (28-34 & Annual), “Book 3: The Curse” (35-42), “Book 4: A Murder of Crows” (43-50), “Book 5: Earth to Earth” (51-56) and “Book 6: Reunion” (57-64). If those books are as good as the first, then I’ve got a lot to look forward to.
Reading “Book 1” also made me want to re-watch both of the old “Swamp Thing” movies from the 1980s, “Swamp Thing” (1982) and “The Return of Swamp Thing” (1989). I’m sure that I’ve seen both of these movies, but it’s been so long ago that I barely remember watching them. The original “Swamp Thing” movie does not appear to be currently available through NetFlix, but you can get the DVD of “The Return of Swamp Thing” through NetFlix.
While researching this post, I was also reminded that there was a “Swamp Thing” television series that ran for three seasons in the early 1990s on the USA Network. Interestingly, all 72 episodes of that TV series are also available for rental through NetFlix. I don’t think I’ve ever watched any of these, so I may ended adding them to my “bucket list” next year.
In the end, how many of you have read “Saga of the Swamp Thing, Vol. 1”? What did you think about it? What other outstanding graphic novels would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.