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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iconic
This is where the revolution in modern American comics truly began, with a little known but well-regarded British writer given his first American comic, a minor fading title, by Len Wein, one of the co-creators of the orginal character and the new book's editor. With Saga of the Swamp Thing (quickly losing 'Saga of the'), Moore proved that it was possible to create...
Published on 8 April 2009 by Ian Williams

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed but slow paced
A slow burning read that requires some getting into but worth the time and effort, looking forward to reading the rest in this story arc.
Published 8 months ago by nathan hands


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iconic, 8 April 2009
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is where the revolution in modern American comics truly began, with a little known but well-regarded British writer given his first American comic, a minor fading title, by Len Wein, one of the co-creators of the orginal character and the new book's editor. With Saga of the Swamp Thing (quickly losing 'Saga of the'), Moore proved that it was possible to create literate commercial comics that would appeal to the older reader.

It's impossible to over-emphasise the importance of this comic which had the effect of being drenched by a bucket of cold water as it impacted on fans and professionals alike. Very quickly every issue became eagerly awaited as we (yes, I was there, already a fan of Moore's for V For Vendetta and Marvelman in the British magazine Warrior) waited to see what Alan and Swampy would do next and we were never disappointed.

Here is the rebirth of Swamp Thing with wonderful and hideously-ugly detailed art by Bissette and Totleben who added so much to Moore's tales of horror.

I still have the original issues, carefully packed away, but bought this nevertheless and will buy all the forthcoming volumes as should you. If I have one -well it's a regret rather than a quibble- it's that, lacking Moore's co-operation with DC comics, this isn't the Absolute edition that it should have been, larger in size and packed with background material, text and previously unseen art.

Nevertheless, what you have is a landmark in modern comics, an absolutely essential addition to any graphic story collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The critics were right, 7 Feb 2014
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Always heard good things regarding Moore's run on swamp thing. This was reduced so I thought I would pick it up. Such an engrossing read, moore takes this c grade dc comics hero and makes him a solid a. Amazing art, great fun, great examples of writing horror in the comic medium, amazing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A combination of pace and depth, 7 May 2009
By 
Ryan Birch (Llandudno, North Wales) - See all my reviews
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I bought this Grapic Novel after reading some of Alan Moore's work (Numerous Batman titles, V for Vendetta, Watchmen etc) and reading a Swamp Thing comic in Midnight Days, a Graphic novel collecting various comics written by Neil Gaiman. I was expecting good things, but what I got far surpassed my idea of what I would read.

The story is an excellent combination of depth and pace, and manages to strike a fine balance where the reader isn't bombarded with information at a rate where it becomes hard to follow, nor is the reader left bored between events.

Its hard to comment further without touching on parts of the storyline, and its not worth spoiling, as this is definatley worth reading.

Essential.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... first came out - panting for the next issue like no other comic before or since (well except perhaps ..., 16 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Saga Of The Swamp Thing TP Book 01 (Paperback)
Just bought - and just finished - the entire Alan Moore "Swamp Thing" collection - bought these comics when they first came out - panting for the next issue like no other comic before or since (well except perhaps for Moore's "Miracleman" which I used to journey from Kent to New Cross to make sure i got the next issue of "Warrior" - thanks Dez)
Time and circumstances meant I no longer had those comics but these reprint volumes are a very good replacement - the paper is just right and the reproduction superb - the stories? - sublime.
Essential reading for anyone serious about good writing and art in comics.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great writer but come on, let's hear it for the artist..., 15 May 2011
By 
Mr. Jason Stafford "Jason" (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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ok, I love this book, the writing is superb but i just want to mention the artwork, like a lot of Alan Moore comics i often feel the artist is given short-shrift (often no shrift at all). There's one part of the book that has such an image that it grabbed me and stayed with me for a while, that's the small panel where swamp thing has rooted and water has pooled in his eyes, it's just such a beautiful image and is perfection in drawn form. I can't stress enough how complimentary the artwork is, in fact in some instances better than the written word...herecy I know but like 'The league of extraordinary gentlemen' i often wish Kevin O'Neill would get more of a mention, his artwork is superb. Buy this book, please :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's still painful to think about, 10 Jan 2014
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I had a chance to start collecting the original comics as they came out. I knew Alan Moore's work from his Marvel UK 'Captain Britain' strip, I knew how good he was. But as a young teenager, I was a dyed in the wool 'Marvelite' and just didn't buy DC comics.

I have since collected all of Moore's Swamp Thing issues in various formats, and realized what a damned fool I'd been. These works would have lit up my adolescent brain like a firework display. It's hard to imagine how much they would have affected my thinking and dreaming and how much pleasure and delightful dread they would have given me.

Eddie Campbell (the artist who later collaborated with Alan Moore on the awesome, towering work 'From Hell') wrote of Moore, the British (Northampton) writer taking the American comics world by storm something like this: 'The Americans have given us many things, like the endless coffee refill, and words for not doing very much, like "hanging out" and "goofing off". I suppose they were hanging out and goofing off, when Alan Moore landed among them like a hungry wolf.'

Moore's work was a revolution. It tore down the old notions of what a horror comic could be. It gave us terrifying new vistas and possibilities. Especially starting from the second issue, 'Anatomy Lesson.' Moore's Swamp Thing shaped so much in US comics...'Watchmen' followed, but Swamp thing was first in the US, and arguably the best, if your tastes run towards horror.

Moore's Swamp Thing was a major influence on Neil Gaiman's early US comics, especially 'Sandman'. So with Swamp Thing, Moore helped set the tone for the entire Vertigo line of DC comics.

The artwork by Steve Bissette and John Totleben, Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcala was also fantastic, and supported Moore's prose with a dark beauty. The first three of those artists also contributed many plot ideas to Moore, and a special alchemy happened across these issues, that is rarely seen in comics.

I have read thousands of comics, and these are among the very best. They transcend the medium. The quality of writing, the visionary ideas and visuals are works of art by any standards. And not just by comic book standards. These stories can stand among works by the great horror prose writers and film makers.

Buy it, buy them all, so you don't miss out like I did.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed but slow paced, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Saga Of The Swamp Thing TP Book 01 (Paperback)
A slow burning read that requires some getting into but worth the time and effort, looking forward to reading the rest in this story arc.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Can't live up to the hype, 3 Nov 2013
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saga Of The Swamp Thing TP Book 01 (Paperback)
I know this is a beloved book and so, so many people adore this and everything else Alan Moore wrote, especially in the 80s, and that all kinds of superlatives are thrown around when discussing Swamp Thing - and I'm not being contrarian when I say this isn't all that and a bag of chips, either. Paul O'Brien from the House to Astonish podcast nailed it when he said that "if Alan Moore's books were as good as everyone said they were, they'd cure cancer". Which is to say, I think this isn't a bad book but suffers somewhat from the enormous praise that's built it up to an impossibly high standard, and when I finally read it, I found that it's actually just an ok book.

First off, the numbering - "Volume 1". Readers unfamiliar with Swamp Thing - and let's face it, there are a lot! - might think this would be the best place to start but it in fact isn't. At least, not if you want to see Alec Holland's death/rebirth as Swamp Thing, or his relationship with Abby Cable née Arcane/Matt Cable, or his initial struggles with his new appearance. This book collects Moore's first few issues writing the series but he started after nearly 20 issues had been out which means the book starts with issue #20 and goes through to #27, so you're going to not quite get the characters/storyline from the get-go - and there's no attempt to explain it later either.

You could argue that this is the first time the "real" Swamp Thing emerges as Moore's take on the character is the first time Swamp Thing became more than a hacky monster tale and turned into a deeper, richer story. The second issue - The Anatomy Lesson - is the highlight of the book as Swamp Thing is captured and examined in a lab only to discover that Alec Holland isn't Swamp Thing but that Swamp Thing is a mutated plant that thinks it's Alec Holland (that might seem like a spoiler but it's not as it happens really early on so it's not like giving away the ending to the Sixth Sense - plus the book is 30 years old at this point!). It's also a really well written story that starts off mysteriously, then goes back and circles back on itself in a neat one-issue story arc. I also really liked that Moore immediately defines that character his way with his vision of it on his second issue.

However, Moore only manages to create this kind of engrossing narrative magic a couple of times in this book - oddly in the issues that have very little going on in them - while the more action-packed stories are less artistic, less thoughtful, less involving, and it's why I didn't think this book is so amazing. There's an extended story featuring one of the least threatening villains ever, the Floronic Man, aka Jason Woodrue, who should be renamed the Moronic Man. Why moronic? He attempts to wipe out humanity by upping the oxygen rate, not quite getting that this would also affect the plant life he believes he represents and is fighting for! Plus if your ace in the hole is a chainsaw, you're done. You're not Ash, this ain't Evil Dead, I get the connection between chainsaws and trees, but seriously - a chainsaw against Swamp Thing? Come on.

The JLA get a cameo in this story despite not really doing anything - Superman and Green Lantern show up at the end to take away the Floronic Man after Swamp Thing defeats him and old Woodrue (wood - rue, get it? Not very subtle, Alan!) looks even more idiotic. He's attempting to talk his way out of it and just looks like such a feeble old man next to Superman and Green Lantern - it's pitiful. Superman puts his cape around Woodrue and takes him to Arkham. This guy was the big villain of the book!

Jason Blood/Etrigan close out the book as a demon shapeshifter emerges in the home for mentally disabled kids that Abby works in. Again, not a terrific villain and I felt Moore was pressing the horror angle a bit too hard. What I dislike about Etrigan - and for those who don't know, Jason Blood made a deal with a demon, Etrigan, centuries ago, and the two are now bonded in one body forever - is the constant rhyming which I know is a big part of his character but it lends itself to soooo many bad rhyming couplets. That said, Moore does an admirable job with his rhymes and none of them stood out as too embarrassing.

Then there's the 80s art... it's ok in parts but pretty terrible in others. Stephen Bissette and John Totleben just can't do action. The first issue opens with the military hunting down Swamp Thing and those helicopter attacks looked awful! The motion doesn't look real and the explosions looked ridiculously phony. Also, towards the end of the book when Etrigan leaves and Jason Blood re-emerges, Blood's character model up until then has been red hair with a streak of white but in this scene his hair's gone dark blue and facially he looks identical to the character model of Matt Cable, Abby's alcoholic husband. So Bissette and Totleben literally swapped out Jason Blood for Matt Cable in a scene featuring Jason Blood! That's pretty damning. On the subject of faces, neither artist is particularly good at drawing them and frequently they look rushed and/or badly rendered.

But other times where there isn't much movement or humans that just feature Swamp Thing? Beautiful. Not only that but the page layouts are really imaginative with plot elements framing a page and things like plant roots dividing up the panels. Or panels arrayed cleverly across two pages in a style that JH Williams III has made popular with his work on Batwoman. Before this, the only Swamp Thing I'd read was Scott Snyder/Yanick Paquette's New 52 Swamp Thing and the most striking thing about that book was Paquette's wonderful art and page layouts which I thought were original. Reading this book, it's clear Paquette took his cue from Bissette and Totleben with their pioneering use of art and style in presenting their version of the character. So I'm split with the art - sometimes it's hard to look at, badly rendered, or flat out too dated to be convincing, and other times I love what I'm seeing.

Swamp Thing is an interesting character and kudos for Moore for elevating the tone of the stories to a higher level. This first book has some nice narrative moments and does a major revamp of the way readers would see the character, but generally the stories, like the art, that comprise it are uneven at best. The book features some odd villains that are difficult to take seriously, and there's no real direction for the character - I'm not sure what Swamp Thing's purpose is - both things I'd like to see done better in later books. Saga of the Swamp Thing Volume 1 is a bit slow at times, a bit lugubrious like a lot of Moore's writing, but otherwise it's an ok read - just don't get carried away by the hype.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!!!, 29 Sep 2013
This review is from: Saga Of The Swamp Thing TP Book 01 (Paperback)
I didn't actually by it from amazon but i just wanted everyone to know just how good it really is. you've probably heard that a million times though because it's one of the most acclaimed comic series ever and marks the begging of Alan Moore's reign as the king of american comics so as well it's sort of Alan Moore year 1. the art is brilliant and grotesquely detailed but i think the story shines most. Alan Moore has a weird yet strangely poetic writing style and it works very well. my favourite episode was anatomy lesson where Jason Woodrue aka the floronic man is released from prison to dissect swamp thing and he makes a terrifying discovery and it ends on a chilling note. It's good because Alan Moore gets you to really empathise with the floronic man. the other tales are good some are creepy but anatomy lesson is by far the best. i need to keep collecting this series i've got books 1 and 4. highly recommended!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Saga of the swamp Thing, 10 Aug 2013
By 
GeoffD (Solihull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This was bought as a gift for someone who is very keen on such things. He liked it very much.
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Saga Of The Swamp Thing TP Book 01 by Alan Moore (Paperback - 4 April 2012)
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