The Anatomy Lesson

Last week I had some time to browse at my local comic book store and I ran across a copy of Swamp Thing #21. And even though I have that run in trade paperback, I knew that I had to pick it up. Published in February of '84, Alan Moore does something truly brilliant here in just 23 pages. I do believe that this is the greatest single issue of any comic book, ever.


Of course, reading it now it's hard not to see just how much it fits in with the rest of the late 80's, early 90's horror/Vertigo genre, but this was the first of its kind. Moore managed to transform a somewhat mediocre title into a groundbreaking book, and it all happened within this issue. Or at least the seeds were firmly planted here.

We live in the era of reboots. Nostalgia is a greatly sought-after commodity, so anything that was even faintly popular back in the day is subject to a fancy makeover. But don't worry, this was not what Moore was doing. He broke down and recreated Swamp Thing to bring a different level of storytelling to the book, and it's important to note that he did it without contradicting any previously established continuity.

If you're not familiar with his run on Swamp Thing this post might not make any sense, but you're also missing out on one of comic's greatest writing triumphs. This is the work of a master in his prime, and while Watchmen earned its place in comics history, I will always favor this green mess of a creature.