Friday, July 8

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1 of 3 (8/11)

Okay. Another drawback of the pre-order system that I use: Had I known that this Brightest Day Aftermath as it was announced several months ago would end up being The Search for Swamp Thing, I would not have gotten it. I've never cared for that character. (He doesn't even have a cool, funny name like “Man-Thing,” his Marvel Comics counterpart … whose name was even funnier with the publication of Giant-Size Man-Thing!)  
Nor have I ever cared for – mainly because I have absolutely no familiarity with – the character of John Constantine who it turns out is front and center. But one of the twists at the end of the year-long biweekly series Brightest Day a couple months ago was bringing these two characters who have not been properly part of the DC universe but rather part of the “subset” DC-imprint “Vertigo” universe, back into the mainstream. (Get this: John Constantine's own title, Hellblazer, is poised to become the oldest unrenumbered DC comics title in a couple of months when Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Batman reset the odometer to #1 – Hellblazer will be at issue #283, if I'm counting right. If that's not a hell of a note...? – forgive the pun....  To show how old I am, I remember Superman #200 coming out - both it and Batman are well into the 700s now, at least for a couple more months.)

So. I got it anyway. How is it as an issue? Meh. Basically, Brightest Day left Swamp Thing, the embodiment of “the Green” or some kind of life-force of planet Earth, as the embodiment of the White Lantern force of Life (because green is the color of Will, you see … no? …). But Swamp Thing, who (if I understand it correctly and I probably don't) was once a reanimated vegified (?!) scientist named Alec Holland, before he wasn't (John Kerry: “I voted for it before I voted against it...”), has apparently gone all eco-terrorist.... Zzzzzzz.... Oh! … uh … Constantine's trying to track him down, invades the Batcave and assaults Alfred trying to get Batman's help, further endears himself to Batman (I think it's Dick, but who knows or cares?) by smoking in the Batmobile, 
who also calls in Zatanna, who apparently has a history with Constantine that didn't end well.... Zzzzzzz....  Huh? ... Wha-? ... Oh ... Yeah, Superman's on the cover, but he doesn't appear in the issue – Oh, wait – Superman is in a couple of ads. And a very annoying Subway sandwich shop advert-comic-insert right in the middle of all or most of this month's DC comics.   I guess that counts.
 And besides, at one point Hawkman was supposed to appear on the cover in Zatanna's place … did Constantine and Hawkman have some kind of relationship in the past? That might've been interesting... Is that your mace or are you just happy to see me? (I'm kidding, Dr. Norge!). Well, the point is, Hawkman's nowhere to be found either.  There were also several other variations previewed with various figures blacked out. Gotta cultivate that mystery, right?

I'm not familiar with either the writer or the artists on this issue. Both are passable – actually, the art is not bad at all. And Vankin takes a story that was doubtless dictated to him, at least in its broad strokes, and does a workmanlike job with it.

One other thing I'm noticing on the cover. Who's the only one casting a shadow? Batman. Why? Because he's Batman! (Say it with Christian Bale's voice from The Dark Knight - “I'm Batman.”) (Actually, that brings to mind another clever bit in the Batgirl issue I read a few days ago. Stephanie and Beryl [the English heroine "the Squire"] are chatting after their adventure - which will cause Stephanie to be late to her rendezvous with Batman ...
... Imagine her voice lowered in an appropriately gravelly manner.)
Hey, sometimes in this hobby you do end up feeling like you let the publisher pick your pocket. When that happens, all you can do is find some kind of fun in it.  But when I find myself entertaining myself more than this comic did, well.... 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, there was a typo in the first paragraph, which referred to this "Blackest Day Aftermath" issue ... just call it a Freudian slip ....