blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 15 (July 1983)


Mishkin’s finish for the two parter is better than the open. First, he knows how to write those Phantom Stranger monologues to close out the story. Second, he’s juxtaposing this crystalline man-monster with Swamp Thing. It’s the path Alec Holland would never travel, using his power to take over the world.

The Hamptons continue their pattern— interesting people, the standard Swamp Thing. Except a couple panels, where he’s drawn as this lumbering green monstrosity. It’s rather nice art; has a very talky sci-fi thriller from the seventies feel.

Also nice is how Mishkin refocuses the story’s attention and he gives it a new protagonist. It’s not Swamp Thing, of course, but the new monster’s wife. She’s a strong character; Mishkin establishes her in just a few pages too.

The only problem with the issue is the pacing. There are two or three chase scenes to pad it out.


Empires Made of Sand; writer, Dan Mishkin; penciller, Bo Hampton; inker, Scott Hampton; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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