DC Comics
Swamp Thing: Reunion Volume 6 Trade Paperback
By Leroy Douresseaux
Sep 23, 2003 - 10:33

DC Comics
Writer(s): Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and Rick Veitch
Penciller(s): Rick Veitch, John Totleben, Stephen Bissette, Tom Yeates
Inker(s): Alfredo Alcala and John Totleben
Cover Artist(s): John Totleben
ISBN: 1563899752

DC Comics has taken 16 years to reprint in six volumes the entirety of Alan Moore's tenure as writer of Saga of the Swamp Thing and (later renamed) Swamp Thing, with the first trade collection only debuting in 1987 when Moore left the title. DC didn't even publish the third collection until 2000, perhaps, too busy publishing crappy Batman books, eh?

With Swamp Thing, Moore revolutionized mainstream comic book storytelling like no one since Stan Lee in the early 60's, and Moore's work was truly an evolutionary leap of mind-blowing proportions. In fact, Moore's work on Swamp Thing, Watchmen, and Miracleman, along with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, forever changed superhero and mainstream comics. These were the works that essentially made the star writers of the early to mid 80's obsolete.

Although Swamp Thing: Reunion, (reprinting Swamp Thing #57-64) is, of the six books, the least in terms of quality, the stories contained within show that even on his off days, Alan can outshine the brightest comic book creators. Swamp Thing artists Stephen Bissette and Rick Veitch also each write a one-issue interlude during Moore's final year on the series.

Reunion's highlights are the two-part tale guest starring Adam Strange, "Mysteries in Space" and "Exiles," a wonderful mini epic about interracial/species love, espionage, racism, and environmentalism that is as good a thriller as anything that passes as suspenseful at the local theatre. The issue #63 reprint, "Loose Ends (Reprise)" is an excellent revenge fantasy that satisfies the bloodlust as much, if not more, today than it did well over a decade ago.

There's also some "limp-wristed" tales that rely on thick lyrical and poetic exposition like #61's "Loving the Alien" which hasn't aged well. Stephen Bissette's #59 tale "Reunion" was an early glimpse of the kind of fine, atmospheric horror tale that Bissette all-too-infrequently shares with the world. Not to give the series artists the short end, but all of the artwork is very good, and although none of it is from the pretty boy/eye candy school, Moore's illustrative collaborators on Swamp Thing managed to capture the perfect mood for his tales. Grade B

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