werewolf, werewolves and lycans

Swampy’s Skeleton

Swamp Thing is obviously not a werewolf. But he has fought werewolves. I read Alan Moore’s “The Curse” (based on an idea by artists Stephen Bissette and John Totleben), issue number 40 of the DC Comics series SWAMP THING (by that time in the series run, it had been shortened from its original title SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING and the tagline “Sophisticated Suspense” had been tacked on) when I was probably too young to be reading it. Equating the curse of Lycanthropy with menstruation and the repression of women, it was heavy, profound, thought-provoking stuff. But for me it was just a badass story where Swamp Thing fought a werewolf. All the subtext crept in without me being aware of it.

Anyway the new SWAMP THING series is getting set to debut on the DC livestreaming thingie (which means I won’t get to see it until later, when it is hopefully released on DVD). They’ve released a promo poster that pays homage to another of Moore’s, Bissette’s, and Totleben’s stories, SWAMP THING issue number 28. The folks over at Bloody Disgusting say that it is an image of Swamp Thing “holding a dead body.” Clearly our friends over at BD have not read Alan Moore’s run on the comic, else they would know that this isn’t just any ol’ dead body Swampy is holding; it is his own. See, one of the biggest swerves Moore threw at the fans was the revelation that Swamp Thing was not a human being who had been transformed into a monster, as was the established origin. Rather the Biorestorative Formula that was believed to have transformed him actually resulted in the weeds at the bottom of the swamp becoming far more aggressive and active. When scientist Alec Holland was murdered and his body ended up in the swamp, the plants ate him, and in the process absorbed his intelligence. They then tried to grow for themselves a new body. Swamp Thing for years did not know he *wasn’t* the scientist in a transformed state. In reality he was just a giant anthropomorphized weed with a man’s memories and emotions.

I don’t know if they’re going to go with this origin story for the new series, but the artwork sure suggests that they are. Which could be really interesting, since in the comics the realization that he was never human drove Swamp Thing temporarily insane and he ended up killing people (well, one person) in a fit of rage.


The Evil Cheezman • June 4, 2019


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