‘Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing’ review
By Brittney MacDonald, Staff Writer
It would be hard to approach Halloween and not think about some of the classic movie monsters—creatures like Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and of course the Swamp Thing. The Swamp Thing has had several incarnations since his 1971 comic debut in House of Secrets. In Saga of the Swamp Thing, Watchmen creator Alan Moore fully succeeds in his desire to recreate the monster’s initially clunky origin narrative as something profound.
This collection examines the origin of the Swamp Thing, from his humble beginnings as botanist Dr. Alec Holland to his rise as the boggy, plant creature that made us all scared of the wetlands as children. Moore takes up the series mid-run, but brings it to a whole new level with his character-driven storytelling. Even though Saga of the Swamp Thing is not the beginning of this particular series, it is only after this that the series becomes worth reading. By defying the comic norm and writing the Swamp Thing as a creature embracing his monstrosity rather than mourning his lost humanity, Moore begins to examine human nature and the effect on power dynamics—a theme he continues in Watchmen.
The art by Stephen Bissette is a little outdated stylistically, given that this series was first published as single issues in the 1980s, but it still holds up fairly well. It is detailed yet not overly graphic in terms of content, which emphasizes Moore’s inner character monologue rather than the blood and gore.
All in all, I enjoyed this read. It may not be the classic tale of horror that the title suggests, but I’d certainly recommend it to anyone.