Swamp Thing

Unearthed: Swamp Thing #17

We delve into DC’s premier bog beast!

The issue of Swamp Thing we’re looking at today was released in the mid-70s, written by David Michelinie with artwork by Nestor Redondo. The series began as more of a classic horror tale, written by Len Wein and drawn by Bernie Wrightson, but due to flagging sales, it would throw ever more fantastical elements into the mix.

Nowhere is this more clear than in this splash page, where even our main character mentions that this machine appears out of nowhere! But holy hell, Redondo’s incredible linework is just a joy to behold.

I’ll also say that this blow-by-blow approach to combat problem-solving is a type of action we rarely see these days. I’m not a fan of the modern method of fighting scenes where characters just punch each other while spouting dialogue; it’s just too generic for me.

Here we see regular cast members Matt Cable, ex-federal agent, and Abby Arcane, the niece of Swampy’s major arch-nemesis Anton Arcane.


Here’s a very brief retelling of the origin of the Swamp Thing, a story that later writer Alan Moore would completely change… but we’ll get to that in the next episode.

This is just incredible work. And I can’t tell if the name of this thing is some kind of parodic joke or if Michelinie actually MEANT it.

Again, I love this kind of thing. The character using his mind to defeat his opponent, not just throwing punches while he exposits.

The design of these mechanical “wolves” is outstanding.

There’s something really old school about Swamp Thing’s vengeance here. It’s hot-blooded and deliberate in the style of the old Hammer horror movies.


And this kind of narrator captioning seems to have fallen out of fashion in modern comics, which is a shame. There’s a lovely formalism to it that I really admire.

Even the end panel, heralding the title of the next issue, is a cool indicator of the prevailing comic book method of the times. I miss this stuff!

Here’s a bit of the following issue just for fun, ’cause I love the way they made the title character’s name part of the landscape in most issues.

I’m just gonna shout “DAMN YOU, DEATH!” as often as I can.

And here’s one final cool fight scene, with an awesome creature design.

Join us on Friday for a look at how Alan Moore CHANGED EVERYTHING!