Those that know this stretch of Swamp Thing, or Saga of the Swamp Thing, as it eventually became, know that every issue is special. With Alan Moore handling writing duties you know you’re in for something huge, like, say, altering the entire origin of the Swamp Thing. This particular issue isn’t necessarily special as a result of some epic shift in the Swamp Thing’s existence, it’s special because a very, very important character earns his introduction within these pages. Within the very first few pages, actually.
John Constantine shows up to look after Judith, who seems to be losing her grasp on reality. Now, I’ve been away from the book for some time, so I don’t recall Judith’s issues, and I don’t recall John’s connection to the woman, but we’ll see if this particular book can fill in a few blanks.
It turns out the great and powerful Cthulu may be making his way to earth, and this seems to play a sizable factor in Constantine’s presence. And, for the record, we get an immediate air of superiority from John. He’s obviously a little different, and, it would seem, powerful.
We get some cutaway shots and learn that Swamp Thing has been through some tough times as of late: whatever hell he’s gone through he’s been reduced to little more than a minute organism, but Abby somehow finds him, knows it to be Swamp Thing, and steadily nurtures and feeds the beast so that he might grow into the hulking powerhouse we know him to be.
As the issue progresses Swamp Things progress is rapid and impressive. John Constantine meanwhile, is being told that it’s not necessarily Cthulu making a return to earth, but Satan himself. It’s a good thing we know how capable John is – this is looking like a colossal challenge, to put it lightly.
As the book nears its conclusion John Constantine and Swamp Thing finally meet, and initially it isn’t too friendly. John flexes his muscle while Swamp Thing still struggles regenerating.
There is some gorgeous artwork from Rick Veitch and John Totleben in the book, especially on the pages in which Swamp Thing and Constantine share time, mid-way through the book. And for the record, yeah, John’s always been super savvy. He knows what the Swamp Thing is even though the Swamp Thing himself doesn’t fully understand it. And John does a fair job of attempting to feed the creature some advice.
The final pages of the book take a perfectly dark turn, and those who’ve come in contact – sans Swamp Thing – begin acting out in unpredictable and often violent ways. It all adds to the allure of Constantine and his presence. He’s vowed to meet with Swamp Thing again soon, and that’s a meeting that will no doubt shed some light on the horrors at hand.
A supreme read, and a perfectly mysterious introduction to John Constantine!