Alan Moore: Swamp Thing, Vol 1 – Review

Well that was quite a bizarre reading experience.

I half loved it, half had no idea what was going on.

I mean I probably should have realised by now that Alan Moore is raving lunatic of a storytelling genius. The first half of this edition was actually quite brilliant. The back story of Alec Holland (and eventual encounter with Woodrue) was captivating in it’s own right with the subtle psychedelic imagery intertwined with it’s quite profound environmental messages.

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Maybe it’s because I don’t know enough of the back story of the character, and maybe it’s because I wasn’t it expecting it to be so DC Comics-esque, but the second half of this collection just seemed to be pretty random. The focus on the development of the Abby and Matt story line (and the random appearance of the Justice League!?) seemed a little bit rushed and underdeveloped. We went from the dark origins of the Swamp Thing himself, which brilliantly encapsulated the philosophical problems that Alec encountered during his realisation of what he’d become, to a cliched comic book action story with a occultist twist.

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Unlike Promethea, it hasn’t really made me desperate to read the next issues all it one go but I’d say I think it’s worthy of a 7/10 to a light 4* rating based on the progressive nature of the comic and the impact it must have had on the industry afterwards. I will get round to reading the rest of Swamp Thing at some point but for now I think I’ll stick to Moore’s later work.

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