The Saga of the Swamp Thing 30 (November 1984)

In many ways, this issue is an exercise more than a full issue. It is not, actually, a full narrative gesture, not in the way Moore has established himself on Swamp Thing. It reads very quickly and one of the reasons it does is because Moore does not encourage lingering.

Arcane is back and he’s bringing hell to Earth. Notice the lower case hell and the uppercase Earth. Much of the issue is single panel snapshots of people about to do awful things to one another. Really, really awful things. Moore and Bissette do not show these things… because the reader’s imagination will do far better (at being worse) than anything illustrated.

The issue also shows how well Moore understands the DC Universe, whether it’s a tie-in to Crisis or a cameo from the Joker. Moore gets it, maybe better than anyone else.

It’s great work, but completely disturbing.

One Comment

  1. vernon wiley

    I was reminded from your review of the recent failure of Marvel’s Fear Itself storyline, and how over the course of seven issues, not once were the writer and artist capable of depicting the “Fear” the narrative stated was happening. Thinking of this old, perfect issue of Swamp Thing, all I can reply is that this comic had more fear radiant from one page of it’s majesty than all of Fear Itself.

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