I haven’t been doing a lot of Swamp Thing-related reading or writing while the world has been on virus lockdown. There hasn’t been any new DC comics in stores for weeks now and I’m missing my regular fix of superhero adventures. However, things seem to be slowly returning to normality, at least here in Australia. New Swamp Thing stories have been appearing digitally in a series called Swamp Thing: New Roots. These stories seem to be included in the 2nd ‘Giant’ series. The Giant comics were being released in Walmart stores slightly before the Direct Market editions, but COVID-19 threw this schedule into chaos. At the time of writing, New Roots #6 is about to come out, while Swamp Thing Giant #5 is out in Walmart stores in the US, and Giant #4 is about to hit comic stores everywhere.
Other than the Giant issues, Swampy is continuing to appear as a member of Justice League Dark, and seems to be included in another team that will appear in the DCeased: Dead Planet series. I’m also excited for the Tom King/Mitch Gerads Strange Adventures series to resume. (I’m not sure if Swampy will show up there, but it is possible given his past relationship with Adam Strange).
In TV/movie news, the latest Swamp Thing TV series will be broadcast on The CW television network, where many of DC’s TV series already reside. The animated film Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is out now. This is a follow-up to the 2017 Justice League Dark film, which Swamp Thing briefly appears in. I haven’t watched Apokolips War yet but I suspect that Swampy only has a bit part. He is voiced again by Roger Cross.
Finally, a few weeks ago Martin Pasko passed away at age 65. He wrote 17 of the first 19 issues of The Saga of Swamp Thing when it was relaunched in 1982, teaming up with such notable artists as Tom Yeates, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben. Pasko introduced the characters General Sunderland, Liz Tremayne, and Dennis Barclay – all of whom would appear in the latest Swamp Thing television series. He also brought Abby and Matt Cable back to the series. I’m not a big fan of these issues and they tend to be pretty dialogue-heavy but there are some cool ideas in here, including the teen punk vampires of Rosewood who would be revived during the Alan Moore run and who possibly had some influence on the film The Lost Boys. While working with Bissette and Totleben, Pasko brought back Anton Arcane (in his creepy arachnid form) and these final issues are a nice lead-in to the iconic Moore run. Outside of his Swamp Thing work, Pasko wrote many stories for DC in such flagship titles as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Justice League of America, and also wrote for TV.