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Swamp Thing

Unearthed: Saga of the Swamp Thing #24

Please to enjoy the final Tom Yeates cover!

This is a weird cover. The JLA is reacting with shock and outrage at the Floronic Man wielding a chainsaw? But I will say that it makes you want to pick up the issue to know why.

There is some lovely imagery in Moore’s text here, describing some members of the JLA without naming them outright. Remember, they were contacted by the government last issue to do something about the Floronic Man.

From their in-orbit Watchtower, the JLA watches the proceedings in Louisiana… somehow. Are they tapped into a video camera being held by someone on the ground? This is distressingly vague.

‘Cause whoever it is, they’re getting some pretty mazing shots.

Turns out you can’t just fly in and punch Woodrue out. Moore clearly toes the company line here by making Green Arrow the hothead of the group.

Woodrue simpers and acts like an acolyte to the “Swamp God”. He just doesn’t get it. When Woodrue offers Swampy a human woman as a sacrifice, Swampy answers thusly:

The look on Woodrue’s face here is priceless.

“SKLUTCH” is one of the greatest sound effects of all time.

This is an important bit. Swampy hasn’t quite yet embraced the concept of what it means to be an animated plant. He’s still using his fists to fight. This will completely change in upcoming issues.

Then this guy comes out of nowhere, brandishing the chainsaw we see on the cover. Brave, sure, but it’ll backfire on him.

Woodrue easily takes the guy out and is about to mow him down…

The demonic glee on Woodrue’s face is transformed into agony.

Swampy accuses Woodrue of hurting the Green with his violence. Honestly, it’s unclear. The plants HAVE been using Woodrue as their agent, and they’re producing oxygen at a rapid rate, and all of that… so who’s truly at fault here?

And this is one of the most amazing moments in comics. Victory, not through violence, but through REASON.

And Woodrue knows he’s been defeated. But more importantly, the Green knows it too, and they back off.

Woodrue feels his connection to the Green slipping away. He’s alone once more, a freakish creature among the humans he despises.

The Green has turned its collective back on him.

He doesn’t take it well.

Woodrue flees into the night, leaving Abby and Swampy to sum up the proceedings.

The Swamp Thing has accepted his true identity. No longer will he yearn to be the human he thought he was.

I love this sweet expression on his face in the middle panel.

Meanwhile, Woodrue knows that he won’t be accepted back into humanity unless he LOOKS human again, which means using the fake flesh spray to cover his vegetation skin.

He’s desperate to avoid the punishment he feels is coming.

Now he belongs to neither the world of humans nor the world of plants. He is something of a pariah, but he makes one last attempt to fit in…

… with horrific results.

The JLA takes Woodrue to Arkham, and we get this lovely coda to the issue.

For some reason, the version of this issue I have has omitted the final line you can read in the original issue: “… and greet the sun.”

And that’s merely the beginning of Alan Moore’s run on Saga of the Swamp Thing… trust me when I say it gets better and better… but on Wednesday we’re taking a look at yet another DC horror classic. What’ll it be? I guess you’ll have to tune in and find out!

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