Tuesday, November 25, 2014 • Afternoon Edition • "SCORE! The Outhouse does it again!"

Swamp Thing # 61, 62, 63 64 - Moore, Veitch Bissette

Written by Arion on Monday, August 04 2014 and posted in Blog
Swamp Thing # 61, 62, 63 64 - Moore, Veitch Bissette
Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, like all literary masterpieces, was in constant evolution. It began as a horror title, then it started combining “sophisticated suspense” with fantasy, but in the final issues the shift towards science fiction was more than evident. Furthermore, Alan Moore’s ability to rescue old DC heroes from the Silver Age and turning them into fascinating characters was an unparalleled success. 
Swamp Thing # 61, 62, 63 64 - Moore, Veitch Bissette
Green Lantern versus Swamp Thing

And we are the witnesses of this narrative shift in the pages of “All Flesh is Grass” (published in Swamp Thing # 61, June 1987), a deeply touching story about a planet of creatures that are very similar to Swamp Thing. In this world, every tree, every plant and every flower is a sentient being, an intelligent creature, with a soul and a conscience, if you will. 

And the monster from Louisiana’s swamps is not ready for something like that. He clashes onto them, he crushes them, he absorbs thousands of individuals into one gigantic body, and with countless voices inside his mind, he finds it impossible to rest or to be at peace. 

It’s only thanks to the intervention of Medphyl, the Green Lantern of that galactic sector, that Swamp Thing learns to control his vibrational frequency and releases, or rather expulses, the bodies that had been subsumed: “Medphyl hauls upon a dozen lines, reeling in each reclaimed soul as green photon fingers untangle it from the mesmerized central mass”. 

The ending, however, is extremely moving and very intense. Because in just one issue Moore addresses complex subjects like the collectivity, the strange customs of an alien civilization, the way proximity can nurture love but also suffocate it and last, but not least, the loss of the ones we love, the death, the hurried departure of our fathers or mentors that leave us always devastated, always with one last conversation that it’s owed to us, and that it will never take place, because death takes it all away from us. 

“Wavelength” (Swamp Thing # 62, July 1987) was written by Rick Veitch, and it’s truly an extraordinary chapter. Seems to me that after working with Moore, Bissette and Veitch found in themselves their inner voices, their essence as writers, and they both exceled at it. Veitch pays homage to “El Aleph” a short story written by the legendary Jorge Luis Borges. But Veitch also combines the erudition of a highly intellectualized plot with the irresistible charm of DC’s vast heritage. Hence, the apparition of Metron and his Mobius Chair, the undecipherable mysteries of the Source, the encounter between the New God and the Swamp Thing, the vexing nature of the Aleph and the cruel and cold demeanor of Darkseid, of Apokolips, god of darkness, and the only one interested in the Anti-Life Equation. A remarkable issue that proved that Veitch could replace Moore as the writer of Swamp Thing, which eventually did happen.  
Swamp Thing # 61, 62, 63 64 - Moore, Veitch Bissette
Swamp Thing & Metron 

And that is quite logical if you spend a few minutes thinking about it. In his introduction, Stephen Bissette explains how important it was for Alan Moore and Rick Veitch to team up: “Together they explored the science fantasy and mythic potential of both Swamp Thing and the DC Universe with the same insight and energy that the earlier ‘American Gothic’ had brought to the horror genre”. 

Now that the Odyssey is over, the hero must return home. And that’s what happens in “Loose Ends (Reprise)” (Swamp Thing # 63, August 1987). While Swamp Thing exterminates the men responsible for severing his link to Earth, the rest of the cast gathers and coalesces under a new light: Abigail visits his husband, Matt Cable, a man in comma, a true ‘vegetable’, Chester Williams, Liz Tremayne and Wallace Monroe decide to put all their time and effort into an ecological movement. 

After 3 years and with more than 40 issues, Alan Moore was finally saying goodbye to the title that had made him famous in the United States. “Return of the Good Gumbo” (Swamp Thing # 64, September 1987) is the final chapter but it’s also an extraordinary example of how a series must come to an end. Swamp Thing and Abby are finally reunited, and they decide to leave behind all the craziness, all the supernatural aspects of their past, and to simply live together, like husband and wife. The ending is heartbreaking at moments, but at the same time it has humor and a sense of humanity that turn these pages into something genuinely unforgettable.

We should admire Moore’s run even more if we take into account the enormous pressure he was handling during those days. He was working 24/7, writing without a pause, and creating one masterpiece after another. In 1987 he was simultaneously writing Miracleman, Watchmen and Swamp Thing, like Bissette explains: “there was an enormous burden upon Alan’s shoulders […] and the pressure not only to deliver but also to live up to the high expectations”. Nevertheless, and against all odds, Moore created one of the most fascinating ongoing series that has ever graced the comic book industry panorama. 

Personally, it has taken me 2 years (from August 2012 to August 2014) to review the entire run. And it has been a task that has filled me with joy. Now I leave it all to you; read it at your leisure:

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 20 & 21 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/08/saga-of-swamp-thing-20-21-alan-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 22, 23 & 24 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/08/saga-of-swamp-thing-22-23-24-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 & 27 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/08/saga-of-swamp-thing-25-26-27-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 28, 29 & 30 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/12/saga-of-swamp-thing-28-29-30-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 31 & Annual # 2
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/12/saga-of-swamp-thing-31-annual-2-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 32, 33 & 34 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/12/saga-of-swamp-thing-32-33-34-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 35, 36 & 37
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/02/saga-of-swamp-thing-35-36-37-moore.html

Swamp Thing # 38 & 39 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/02/swamp-thing-38-39-moore-woch-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 40, 41 & 42
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/02/swamp-thing-40-41-42-moore-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 43, 44 & 45 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/08/swamp-thing-43-44-45-moore-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 46, 47 & 48 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/09/swamp-thing-46-47-48-moore-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 49 & 50 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/09/swamp-thing-49-50-moore-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 51 & 52 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-51-52-moore-veitch-alcala.html

Swamp Thing # 53
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-53-alan-moore-john-totleben.html

Swamp Thing # 54, 55 & 56 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-54-55-56-moore-veitch-alcala.html 

Swamp Thing # 57, 58, 59 & 60
http://www.artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/07/swamp-thing-57-58-59-60-moore-veitch.html
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Swamp Thing # 61, 62, 63 64 - Moore, Veitch Bissette

“Swamp Thing” de Alan Moore, como toda obra maestra, estaba en constante evolución. Empezó como un título de terror, luego comenzó a combinar “suspenso sofisticado” con fantasía, pero en los números finales el cambio hacia la ciencia ficción era más que evidente. De hecho, la habilidad de Alan Moore para rescatar viejos héroes de DC de la Edad de Plata y convertirlos en personajes fascinantes fue un éxito sin precedentes. 
Swamp Thing # 61, 62, 63 64 - Moore, Veitch Bissette
Swamp Thing & Abby

Y nosotros somos los testigos de este giro narrativo en las páginas de “Toda la carne es césped” (publicado en "Swamp Thing" # 61, junio de 1987), una historia profundamente enternecedora sobre un planeta de criaturas que son muy similares a la Cosa del Pantano. En este mundo, cada árbol, cada planta y cada flor es un ser conciente, una criatura inteligente, con alma propia.

Y el monstruo de los pantanos de Luisiana no está preparado para algo así. Él se choca con ellos, los aplasta, absorbe a miles de individuos en un cuerpo gigantesco, y con incontables voces dentro de su mente, le resulta imposible descansar o encontrar paz. 

Es sólo gracias a la intervención de Medphyl, el Green Lantern de ese sector galáctico, que la Cosa del Pantano aprende a controlar su frecuencia vibracional y suelta, o más bien expulsa, los cuerpos que han sido subsumidos: “Medphyl lanza por encima una docena de cuerdas, jalando en cada una un alma reclamada mientras que dedos de fotón verde las desenredan de la hipnotizada masa central”. 

El final, sin embargo, es extremadamente conmovedor y muy intenso. Porque en tan sólo un número, Moore desarrolla temas complejos como la colectividad, las extrañas costumbres de una civilización alienígena, la forma en que la proximidad puede nutrir el amor pero también sofocarlo y, por último, la pérdida de aquellos a quienes amamos, la muerte, la apresurada partida de nuestros padres o mentores que nos deja siempre devastados, siempre con la deuda de una última conversación, que ya nunca ocurrirá, porque la muerte nos arrebata todo.

“Frecuencia de onda” ("Swamp Thing" # 62, julio de 1987) fue escrito por Rick Veitch, y es verdaderamente un capítulo extraordinario. Me parece que después de trabajar con Moore, Bissette y Veitch encontraron su voz interior, su esencia como escritores, y ambos lograron algo brillante. Veitch rinde homenaje a “El Aleph”, un cuento escrito por el legendario Jorge Luis Borges. Pero Veitch también combina la erudición de un argumento de alto vuelo intelectual con el irresistible encanto de la vasta herencia de DC. Allí aparecerán Metron y su Silla Mobius, los misterios indescifrables de la Fuente, el encuentro entre el Nuevo Dios y la Cosa del Pantano, la perpleja naturaleza del Aleph y la expresión cruel y fría de Darkseid, de Apokolips, dios de la oscuridad, y el único interesado en la Ecuación de la Anti-Vida. Un extraordinario número que demostró que Veitch podía reemplazar a Moore como el escritor de la colección, algo que eventualmente sucedería.
Swamp Thing # 61, 62, 63 64 - Moore, Veitch Bissette
The end / Fin

Y esto es bastante lógico si lo analizamos por un momento. En su introducción, Stephen Bissette explica lo importante que fue para Alan Moore y Rick Veitch trabajar en equipo: “Juntos exploraron la fantasía de la ciencia y el potencial mítico tanto de la Cosa del Pantano como del Universo DC con la misma visión y energía que la anterior ‘American Gothic’ había traído al género de terror”. 

Al final de la Odisea, el héroe debe retornar a su hogar. Y eso es lo que pasa en “Cabos sueltos (Repetición)” ("Swamp Thing" # 63, agosto de 1987). Mientras la Cosa del Pantano extermina a los hombres responsables de cercenar su vínculo con la Tierra, el resto del elenco se reúne y se redefine bajo una nueva luz: Abigail visita a su esposo, Matt Cable, un hombre en coma, un verdadero ‘vegetal’; Chester Williams, Liz Tremayne y Wallace Monroe deciden enfocar todo su tiempo y esfuerzo en un movimiento ecológico. 

Después de 3 años y con más de 40 números, Alan Moore finalmente le decía adiós al título que lo había hecho famoso en los Estados Unidos. “Retorno del buen Gumbo” ("Swamp Thing" # 64, setiembre de 1987) es el capítulo final pero también es un extraordinario ejemplo de cómo darle fin a una serie. La Cosa del Pantano y Abby por fin se reúnen, y deciden dejar atrás toda la locura, todos los aspectos sobrenaturales de su pasado, para simplemente vivir juntos, como marido y mujer. El final es conmovedor por momentos, pero al mismo tiempo tiene humor y un sentido de humanidad que convierten estas páginas en algo genuinamente inolvidable. 

Deberíamos admirar la etapa de Moore aún más si tenemos en cuenta la enorme presión que experimentaba en aquellos días. Él estaba trabajando las 24 horas del día, escribiendo sin pausa, y creando una obra maestra tras otra. En 1987 estaba escribiendo simultáneamente "Miracleman", "Watchmen" y "Swamp Thing", como explica Bissette: “había un enorme peso sobre los hombros de Alan […] y la presión no solamente de las entregas sino también de estar a la altura de las expectativas”. No obstante, y contra todo pronóstico, Moore creó una de las colecciones mensuales más fascinantes que han agraciado el panorama de la industria del comic book.

Personalmente, he tardado 2 años (desde agosto de 2012 hasta agosto de 2014) para reseñar toda la etapa. Y ha sido una tarea que me ha llenado de goce. Ahora, dejo todo en vuestras manos, para que lo leáis a vuestro antojo. 

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 20 & 21 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/08/saga-of-swamp-thing-20-21-alan-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 22, 23 & 24 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/08/saga-of-swamp-thing-22-23-24-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 25, 26 & 27 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/08/saga-of-swamp-thing-25-26-27-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 28, 29 & 30 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/12/saga-of-swamp-thing-28-29-30-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 31 & Annual # 2
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/12/saga-of-swamp-thing-31-annual-2-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 32, 33 & 34 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/12/saga-of-swamp-thing-32-33-34-moore.html

Saga of the Swamp Thing # 35, 36 & 37
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/02/saga-of-swamp-thing-35-36-37-moore.html

Swamp Thing # 38 & 39 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/02/swamp-thing-38-39-moore-woch-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 40, 41 & 42
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/02/swamp-thing-40-41-42-moore-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 43, 44 & 45 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/08/swamp-thing-43-44-45-moore-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 46, 47 & 48 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/09/swamp-thing-46-47-48-moore-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 49 & 50 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/09/swamp-thing-49-50-moore-bissette.html

Swamp Thing # 51 & 52 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-51-52-moore-veitch-alcala.html

Swamp Thing # 53
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-53-alan-moore-john-totleben.html

Swamp Thing # 54, 55 & 56 
http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/01/swamp-thing-54-55-56-moore-veitch-alcala.html 

Swamp Thing # 57, 58, 59 & 60
http://www.artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/07/swamp-thing-57-58-59-60-moore-veitch.html

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/08/swamp-thing-61-62-63-64-moore-veitch.html


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About the Author - Arion


Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

 


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