Friday, 12 June 2015

Swamp Thing ( after Wrightson )

A forgotten part of Swamp Thing's history are the issues that followed Len Wein and Berni Wrightson's original groundbreaking run. After Wrightson left the strip, feeling it was turning into a 'monster of the week' book, Wein stuck around for a few more issues, until David Michelinie stepped in to join replacement artist Nestor Redondo.
This run is well worth checking out, and not only for Redondo's exceptional illustrative art. There's some great stories here, the tone well in keeping with what came before. In this 15 issue run for instance, Wein, Michelinie and stand-in Gerry Conway give us:
Time travelling morality tale The Eternity Man:

Telepathic mutant kids in The Tomorrow Children:

A toy town full of creepy octogenarians in Village Of The Damned:

And er, this guy...

Ok, forget him. But really, there's some cracking stuff to be found here, like this issue: Where Swampy gets himself possessed by a demon, and Redondo pulls out all the stops and then some. Check out that fight scene splash page!


  1. I bought these issues when they were brand new, being 10 years old in 1975 when #15 came out. The Comics Journal did a review of Jack Chick's The Crusaders comic books which came out at the same time, and TCJ publisher Gary Groth remarked about some of the similarity in drawing style between Redondo and Fred Carter, as well as, in this case, subject matter. The main difference, however, is that ST #15 was a secular comic book written by Jewish David Michelinie, whereas born again Christians Jack Chick (writer) and Fred Carter (artist) did the work on The Crusaders which, despite sometimes very netherworldly visuals, was evangelistic in nature. Some Christians are divided on whether Chick and Carter have gone too far with some of their more lurid depictions of evil. Ironically, Filipino Swamp Thing artist Nestor Redondo was a nominal Roman Catholic at the time, but became a born again Christian in the early 1980s and even worked on Christian comics prior to his passing in 1995.

    Chris A.

  2. I loved this period of the Swamp Thing comic more than Alan Moore's run (and as much as the Bernie Wrightson first few issues). Nestor Redondo was such a great artist I cannot recall anything he drew that wasn't stunning, his Rima the Jungle girl is another classic. Does anyone know if DC ever collected his work on Swamp Thing (or anything else) as I have never seen it?

  3. DC only collected Nestor's issues 11, 12, and 13 as an addendum to the Wrightson issues (opening with the short story in HOUSE OF SECRETS #92 which started it all). What's a real mystery is....whatever happened to the cancelled IN THE DAYS OF KING ARTHUR treasury edition which DC was advertising in the late '70s? It featured Redondo art and much of it was apparently finished. Where is it now? A pity to see a treasure like that slip through the company's (and our) fingers...

    Chris A.

  4. Yeah... Nestor Redondo was great - weren't you talking about posting one or two of his Marvel Classics a while back, Pete?
    But none of those Filipino artists - with the possible exception of the mighty Alex Nino - really got the recognition they deserved. Possibly because they didn't draw superheroes much. Although personally, I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't like Rima the Jungle Girl.

    All the same, I think the (much) better writing gives the Moore years that edge over the rest when it comes to Swamp Thing.
    Not that its a competition or anything.... I like 'em all. Even the Pasko period (but I draw the line at Mark Millar - you've got to have some standards, right?)


  5. So much great Filipino stuff ready and waiting to be posted, I hardly know where to start - yep, Rima The Jungle Girl, yep, Marvel Classics Comics, yep, Alfredo Alcala's Voltar, there's also a great Pasko Swamp Thing about a child murderer I want to put up so stick around, all.
    Back Issue did a piece on In The Days Of King Arthur that I could put together a bit on too...

  6. I bought that very same issue at a comic convention last week for 6 Euro for the purpose of framing (because it looks incredible) . I got into swamp thing from hellblazer but honestly enjoy swamp thing far more