Happy 2020 everyone,
I’ve used my holidays so far to re-watch and write about the 2019 Swamp Thing TV series. An episode guide can now be accessed from here. It is intended as a guide for viewers of the series who are unfamiliar with how the events in the show relate to those in the comics. I have enjoyed rewatching the series and looking for all of the references, and I think it has helped me to appreciate the series a bit more.
There are a few plotlines in the series that remain unresolved and it makes me wonder what would have occurred if the show had run for a second season, or even for the 13 episodes that were originally planned. There are several references to the Rot and insects, and Abby’s unexplained childhood fears of the Man With No Face open up the possibility for the introduction of Anton Arcane. Matt’s car crash in Episode 9 also sets the stage for the show to explore one of the more shocking events in DC Comics history, which resulted in The Saga of Swamp Thing #29 being published without the Comics Code Authority’s stamp of approval. However, Matt’s story in the TV show went in a different direction, which feels like a missed opportunity.
While there are some scenes that seem to drag, and some tedious exposition, the series did manage to capture some of what make the comics great. I think that Alec and Abby’s romance was developed fairly realistically, even though they didn’t spend much time together, and they got to share a hallucinogenic moment together a la ‘The Rite of Spring’. The ‘The Anatomy Lesson’ episode delivered the famous twist effectively, and the theme of Swamp Thing struggling with his identity and his relationship to humanity is explored throughout the series.
There were also cool nods to the Conclave, Nathan Ellery, Anise Arcane, Dennis Barclay, and a guest appearance by Adrienne Barbeau. The TV show did well to include references to the first two Swamp Thing series, and the ‘New 52’ reboot of 2011, as well as introducing elements from the wider DC Universe.
I’m still a little disappointed that they didn’t show Holland running around in flames before he died, as this has been a consistent part of his origin story, and for me that scene was a highlight of the 1982 film.
Anyway, please let me know if I missed some references or if any of my notes need correcting.