Stephen R. Bissette

Swamp Thing Annual 4 (June 1988)

The weirdest part of the annual–which is mostly a Batman story, which doesn’t suit Pat Broderick’s pencils as well as the Swamp Thing–is Chester getting stoned with Labo. I always understood Labo to be a stand-in for Alan Moore… so Stephen R. Bissette wrote a scene with Alan Moore getting stoned? The scene doesn’t work. […]

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Swamp Thing 78 (November 1988)

It’s another fill-in issue–Mandrake’s on pencils again (with Alcala inking); Stephen R. Bissette handles the writing chores. It’s also filler narratively, but very nice narrative filler. Bissette doesn’t have much for Abby to do, however. He sends her on another trip to the afterlife, which could be eventful, but instead she just hangs out with […]

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Swamp Thing 64 (September 1987)

One could, if so inclined, sit and try to figure out who drew what–Alcala’s such a unifying inker on Swamp Thing, it’s hard to tell Bissette and Veitch apart. Yeates I could easily identify, just because of the startling photorealism. For his last issue, Moore avoids sentimentality. His plotting is gradual, relaxed. Much of the […]

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Swamp Thing 59 (April 1987)

Stephen R. Bissette comes back to Swamp Thing to script a fill-in. Well, maybe not a fill-in. I mean, I’m sure Moore was busy with something else, but the story itself isn’t disposable. It’s just an Abby issue when the series has become, for a while anyway, about Swamp Thing. The issue serves a couple […]

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Swamp Thing 50 (July 1986)

While touted as an anniversary issue, Swamp Thing barely figures into this story. Moore’s upfront about his limited role–the comic opens with Cain and Abel, after all. It again features guest appearances from the DC supernatural set, with a couple deaths involved. Moore eventually does make it all about Swamp Thing, but in a relatively […]

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Swamp Thing 46 (March 1986)

While I love this issue–the way Moore tells the reader the ending is going to be awful, then still manages to make it even worse (without a drop of blood), is awesome–the cover does imply something else entirely. The cover implies, between the banner and the superheroes, a Crisis tie-in. And I suppose Moore does […]

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Swamp Thing 44 (January 1986)

I never thought I’d be making this statement–but I can’t tell Randall from Totleben. Randall does some of the inks here and two inkers are seamless at first read. Maybe if I had been concentrating more on the art…. Instead, this issue of Swamp Thing is a big mishmash and, against the odds, it works. […]

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Swamp Thing 42 (November 1985)

In a strange but significant way, Moore cops outs with this issue. He concludes his possessed slave descendants story without examining any other the racial elements he brought up in the previous issue. Instead, he conveniently brings in some zombies, some hallucinations and Swamp Thing… everything ends very nicely. Actually, it ends nicely for zombies […]

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Swamp Thing 41 (October 1985)

So in 1985, Moore did a frank story about racism. That feature alone would make this issue of Swamp Thing significant, but it’s far from the most stunning part of the comic. Hollywood has come to the swamp and they’re making a miniseries about plantations and slavery. The evil of the plantation reincarnates, down to […]

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Swamp Thing 40 (September 1985)

This issue’s kind of a downer-in-one. Bissette and Totleben are back at full strength and do a great job. The story concerns a housewife whose lycanthropy manifests itself (seemingly for the first time) while Swamp Thing’s in town for a visit. Moore juxtaposes the woman’s problems against the history of a local Native American tribe […]

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Swamp Thing 39 (August 1985)

Something strange happens with the art this issue. It’s Bissette and Totleben, but one or both of them is darned lazy. While there’s some great Swamp Thing art, all the human characters are hurried. And the amazing Swamp Thing as landscape (first time ever) is far less amazing than I’d expect from the artists. That […]

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Swamp Thing 36 (May 1985)

Not a happy comic, not at all. Moore plays with having multiple points of view, fragmenting the story’s timeline to give everyone a chance at a surprising moment. He opens with Swamp Thing, who doesn’t really have a story this issue. Moore’s showing his mastery; he turns what should be a filler issue into an […]

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Swamp Thing 35 (April 1985)

The truly nightmarish quality of Moore’s Swamp Thing shows itself here in his ability to gradually peel back the layers of a small incident. Moore frames this story around a collection of newspaper headlines (about nuclear power and, more importantly, nuclear waste) and a guy addicted to it. To nuclear waste. It’s really gross, but […]

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Swamp Thing 34 (March 1985)

I should have remembered this issue, but I did not. The story is pretty simple. Alec and Abby start dating. In one of Moore’s rare moments, he forgets Swamp Thing’s acceptance of “Alec” as Abby’s name for him came in a dream sequence, not in scene. Anyway, the issue is a big crazy art fest […]

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Swamp Thing Annual 2 (January 1985)

I am having a hard time deciding my favorite part of this annual. In terms of ambition and payoff, it’s probably the best annual ever. Moore, Bissette and Totleben don’t just produce a great story, but also a fun one and an emotionally devastating one. All while Swamp Thing goes to Hell. The contestants for […]

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