Swamp Thing #1

If you are familiar with Swamp Thing you likely know this story. Dr Alec Holland and his wife Linda are taken to a secret lab in the woods by Matt Cable. Cable obviously works for the government in some capacity, though it's not made clear what that capacity is. He just as obviously gives not a single shit about either Dr. Holland. He is only interested in them finishing their formula that makes plants grow, and that formula not making it into anyone else's hands. This fact makes some of what happens next odd.

Three thugs (led by a man who looks like a sinister Mario) find the doctors at their hidden swamp lab and try to make them an offer they can't refuse. They do refuse and the thugs leave with a warning. Cable is distraught that Dr. Holland didn't somehow alert him of their presence, telepathically I suppose. Now, one would think that since their security has obviously been compromised the smart thing to do would be to move them to a new hidden location. But no, Cable just warns them to be careful who they open the door for in the future.

A stray dog shows up and Linda convinces Alec to take it in. The dog has been bugged so now the thugs can hear what's going on in the lab. The weird thing is, this has absolutely no effect on anything else in the story. I'm not sure at this point why they even bothered with it. The thugs show up again and apparently Linda is out as Alec seems to be there alone. The thugs knock him out and plant a bomb. He wakes up and the bomb explodes, somehow causing his body to absorb the chemicals from their project. He sinks into the nearby swamp.

At his grave Linda gets no comfort from Cable, who basically says "Well, he's in the ground, let's get you back to the lab where he was murdered so your ass can get back to work". It should be no surprise that the thugs show up again and trick Cable into searching the swamp while they murder Linda. Alec, who has been revived as the Swamp Thing due to his chemical bath, was waiting for them but got distracted trying to save the dog.  He murderizes the thugs, which seems to upset Cable as he tries to kill the Swamp Thing. It doesn't seem to occur to him that two innocent people are dead because he's so terrible at his job, he's just upset that Swamp Thing punched these criminals to death and he doesn't know why. The story ends with a mystery figure looking at Swamp Thing in a crystal ball and remarking that they have been waiting for him for years.

Despite the flaws I mentioned, it's a good story and a fun read. If you've seen the movie (and I presume the show, I haven't watched it yet) you know it well. Looking forward to the next issue when I get into stuff that I don't remember as well. Swamp Thing was always a favorite of mine as a kid, but I haven't read it in years. I look forward to seeing how well it holds up. If this first issue is an indication, I think I'm in for a pleasant surprise.


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